Here are FOUR surefire ways to use music to make your parenting life easier.
1. Find a Signature Song
First pick an easy go-to song that you can use for most everything. It saves you from running through a list in your head, trying to decide, and most likely, missing the moment where a song was needed most. “Skip to My Lou” is a great choice. It’s easy to remember and you can fit just about any words into the tune.
Remember, children love ritual. It’s okay to repeat the same song often. With young children: Repetition is Good. Repetition is Good. Repetition is Good. Pick one song and use it often.
2. When the Household is Going Crazy . . .
Music soothes. It is a magical way to get your child’s attention and to keep it. When a musical sound fills the air where there has been silence, or maybe even loud voices, the child has something new and pleasant to focus on. You can use recorded music as a subtle invitation to come closer. Using an instrument like a drum of even a kitchen pot will grab attention. Singing a song yourself can calm and focus like nothing else, especially if emotions are tense.
2. Gain Cooperation the Easy Way
Use music to tell your child what you want them to do. Use your Signature Song – let’s try “Skip to My Lou” again.
Wash, wash, wash your hands . . . Wash your hands my darlin’
Eat, eat, eat your snack.
Hands, hands, in your lap.
Climb into – your car seat.
4. Transitions Sneak up on Us
Sticking with our tried and true “Skip To my Lou”, use the song to help with transitions. It’s lunchtime. “Put the Playdoh Away” leads to “Sit down at the table” on the next verse.
Singing a good-bye song is extremely useful when it’s time to put something away. “Bye Bye dolls we’ll see you soon . . .” Leaving someone’s house, you can sing the names of your friends as you say good-bye. And it’s really helpful as you begin to get ready for bed.
How do you use music in your house?