Raising Kids: Using Music to Find More Joy in Parenting
Raising kids is hard. Music can help bring more joy to the process.
When I became a new mom I was hit all at once with the stunning reality of caring for a helpless child. I struggled with the things every mom struggles with—lack of sleep, how to calm a fussy baby, and how to find joy in the very difficult process of raising kids. I distinctly remember one exhausting afternoon when I was trying to get my baby to fall asleep. I was feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, tired, and doubtful of my abilities to mother. I decided to turn on Pandora to a children’s music station to help both me and my baby get our minds off the arduous task of falling asleep. A sweet folk version of “You Are My Sunshine” came on and I immediately felt shift in the room.
I held my sweet little boy (who at times I wanted to label as anything but sweet—fussy and stubborn was more like it), but suddenly he became sweet as the moment was blanketed in music. I sang along with the familiar song while I looked into his deep grey eyes, and I felt the depth of our bond. Mother and child. He didn’t fall asleep right away, but my mood and temperament shifted and gave me peace. Even though the days were hard and the nights were harder, this baby was the beginning of a whole new life for me and my husband, and this music was helping me experience the joyful emotions that should have been more at the surface throughout the process of raising kids. The music brought it to the surface.
From that point on I began to use music to bond with my baby. It didn’t take away the hard moments, but it increased the joyful ones. That increase in joy gave me more strength to cope when things were hard, all because the bond with my baby was stronger.
As the years have progressed and I now have 3 young children, we continue to use music on a regular basis. My kids sing songs all day long, we attend weekly developmental music classes, we listen and sing along to favorite songs on the computer and in the car, we sing one favorite song per child before bedtime, and I try to play a little piano or guitar every day. Of course, my home is probably more musical than most because I’m a music therapist, but that’s not to say that other parents wouldn’t benefit from a little more music in their lives. It brings great joy to the process of raising kids!
At Harmony Music Therapy we can help you as a parent learn how to interact with your child using music. You may be unsure what songs to sing, worry about the quality of your voice, or feel strange singing at all. You may not have instruments at home or might not know how to play the ones you do have. Don’t worry! We can help.
When you bring your child to music classes and attend with him or her, you will become familiar with the songs that are developmentally appropriate for your child. You will see how to interact with instruments, use music for movement, sing with confidence, and calm your child with music. And most importantly, you will experience how powerful music can be in creating strong bonds between you and your child.
If you are struggling to find joy as a parent, if raising kids has you feeling drained, give you and your child the gift of music. Come to our music classes or sign up for individual music therapy and experience for yourself the joy that music can bring.
Learn more about raising kids with music: