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Bonding With Your Toddler Through Music
Once your child starts walking around, talking and drawing, the experience of being a parent changes completely. Not only do you make sure your toddler survives, you also need to entertain them 24/7!
While many people are quick to point out the miracle of having a child and the amazing aspects of being a parent, the other side of that is the hours, days, weeks and years of work that you put in as a babysitter.
There’s a reason that au pairs and nannies are in such high demand: many parents want the joy of playing with their children a few hours a day, and the freedom to live their independent lives the rest of the time.
If you are a stay at home mum or dad, you are pretty much doing a heroic job. You’re working all the time, without exception and you are providing hours of unique entertainment to a little human in the throes of development!
Typically, in the toddler years, drawing animals, listening to music, dancing and playing simple games dominate the day. When your child goes down for a nap, you can have a glass of wine, check Instagram or sit and meditate – whatever recharges you – and then it’s time to your parenting hat back on and entertain your kid.
One of the most consistently reliable ways to entertain a toddler is to play music for them. There are channels on YouTube dedicated to providing music for young children, and if you sing along, it will set an example for your child and they will want to participate as well.
Learning song melodies and lyrics is one of the best ways to promote early memory and brain development.
For a lot of parents who are active musicians, introducing your toddler to music can be a bit of an obsession, from playing them Mozart while they’re sleeping, to strumming the guitar when they’re awake, it can take up a lot of the day. The fringe benefit of being a parent who is also a musician is that you can practice singing and playing, honing your chops while simultaneously entertaining your child. The fact that the music is coming from you is all the more meaningful.
Even if you aren’t already a musician, you could potentially head to a Long & McQuade music store in your neighbourhood and pick up a simple ukulele or glockenspiel to tinker around on.
The benefit of having simple, easy to play instruments around (think Fisher Price xylophone) is that your child may end up picking up music at a very early age, giving them a much better chance of blossoming into a musician as an adolescent or teenager.
If you’re playing you child songs at home, they’ll see how it all works and start reaching for the instrument, strumming the guitar while you hold down the chords.
Some music obsessed parents may need to take a more relaxed attitude if their child shows more interest in dancing to music than actually playing music. Perhaps your young one’s talents lie elsewhere, and besides, maybe your next child will be a baby Beethoven!