Every time I start singing to my kids, they roll their eyes and give me the three syllable “M…o…mmmm!”
This does not deter me.
I used to think if it bugged them so much, I should just stop. But then I realized they don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s not that I have a great voice that the world needs to hear. It’s because they need to hear something from me that they won’t hear anywhere else – me, in all my flaws and vulnerability, telling them they are more important to me than even my own pride. So I sing on, serenading them with pop songs, silly songs, and my personal favorite, love songs.
Why do I keep singing when it clearly makes them squirm? Well, there’s your answer. But there are also some other very good reasons.
- Some things are better expressed in song than plain words. I mean, who can argue with “You are my sunshine”?
- Songs are a good way to remember messages. When you were a kid, I bet you learned something set to music that you’ve still never forgotten. Perhaps the one about all the states, or the books in the Bible, or how to Stop, Drop, and Roll? I’ll pause while you remember the annoying chorus that will now be stuck in your head the rest of the day…
- Singing lets your kids know that everything is OK. It’s very difficult to sing in times of great stress (although I highly recommend trying) and your kids instinctively know that if you’re singing, you’re feeling pretty good. And knowing that mom and dad are OK makes kids know they are OK too.
- My mom and dad sang to me. I remember bedtime songs, and car trip songs, and hearing my dad sing as he went about getting ready in the morning. I don’t remember the words (contrary to point #2 above), or the quality of their voices, but I remember feeling like there was no place I’d rather be.