SING! The power of the Song
My precious four-year-old daughter, Madeline inspired this week’s Tip. She had surgery recently. When I entered the post op room, she was crying inconsolably for the nurses. I went to her and stroked her sweet face and began to sing the song I used to sing to her at bedtime and naptime when she was a baby and it calmed her down almost immediately.
I recommend a song as a last step of a bedtime and naptime routine for the following reasons:
1) There is a clear beginning and end to a song, so the baby knows that when the song is complete, it is time to go into their cribs and take their journey into sleep.
2) It helps make the routine portable – anyone can sing and it can be anywhere– the park, the mall, grandma’s house, the hotel.
3) It relaxes the parent. Studies have shown that singing lowers your blood pressure.
4) As time passes, the baby will start humming and then singing along with you. That is simply going to melt your heart.
5) It might become part of their internal strategy to fall asleep. So, as you walk down the hallway to clean up the dinner dishes, you may hear your sweet little one sing themselves to sleep. Now, that is really going to melt your heart even more!
There are other times you can use singing with your children, as they grow older.
My favorites include:
1) Sharing toys at the park or at home. Children respond better to a song better than saying one more minute and then you have to give it to your friend to play with. We used to sing the alphabet song.
2) Washing hands. This really helps children learn how long to wash for. It is so darn cute to hear them sing the alphabet song or the birthday song.
3) Leaving the park after your 10 minute, 5 minute 2 minute warnings. “Now, I am going to sing and when the song is done, we will have to leave.” My son used to pick the “Johnny Dee” song. It is all about how much you love them through the Alphabet … A you’re adorable , B you’re so beautiful, C you are a cutie full of charms….
Please do not worry if you don’t have a great singing voice. I sure don’t have one …just ask my brothers and sister in laws! But children do not care – they love it when we sing and when we lose our inhibitions and be silly.
How about you? Do you sing?