Sunday, December 27, 2009
I always think, "if they already have a doll, they don't want or need another one," or "if they have building toys, they probably don't want another one." But then I remember I had 22 dolls at one time in my life! I gave them all to Deseret Industries one summer when I was a teenager.
Then I start thinking, "I want to have the coolest things at my house that they'll love to play with", like one of those IKEA chairs that swivel around or the scooters they use in P.E. at school http://pe.ssww.com/pe-recreation/active-play/scooters/. And I once saw a really cool chair on some website that was from Europe. It was like half an egg shell that the child sat inside of. It looked really fun.
So---tell me. What are fun toys your children like to play with or that you have bought or seen lately.
I like to sing this song with my grandchildren. I rhyme the names of their cousins, aunts and uncles and feel like I'm helping them keep connections with their extended family.
This is also a fun song to sing at school. We do it with the children all standing around holding onto a parachute. When the name of the child is rhymed, they get to run under the parachute and come out on the other side. If you don't have a parachute (and why would you?), then use a tablecloth or bedsheet.
Any other ideas?
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Christmas time is such a busy, hectic time, that it seems hard to focus on anything at all except running here and there, buying this and that, and decorating more and more.
One year I wanted to teach my children that all our activities did tie into the "true meaning" of Christmas so I got a big poster board and divided it into 3 categories: Christ's Birthday, Love of Family, and Service to Others. We talked about how these 3 things are what Christmas is all about. Then throughout the Christmas season, we jotted down the activities we did and put them under the proper category. It was a relief to me to see that most of our activities did fall under one of these categories. It made the busyness seem worth it.
Other traditions kind of evolve and become locked in as you pass them on to younger children or the next generation. That's what happened to a Wee Sing Christmas video that I bought years ago. Every year my children would watch it and love it, but as they got older and older, they began to watch it so they could make fun of it! Now the grandchildren have to see it each year. But wait, I forgot. The VCR doesn't work. Yeah, a reprieve this year!
Do you have some favorite Christmas CDs or movies that you watch and listen to each year? Pass them on-I'm always looking for new Christmas CDs to buy.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
I LOVE watching children play and use their imaginations. I LOVE listening in on children's conversations as they play and pretend. I LOVE hearing children sing or hum as they busily play.
One year for Christmas when I had three young boys, money was tight (well to be honest, money has always been tight-especially at Christmas). Anyway, there was no money for Christmas presents. I decided to hit the thrift stores and see if I could find some dress up clothes for my boys. It was the most fun I've had in a long time. It was like a scavenger hunt going from store to store looking for items to complete 3 ensembles. I ended up with a yellow slicker, rain hat and boots for one son, a hard helmet and tools and boots for another son and a football helmet and jersey and shoulder pads for another son. They were in 7th heaven that year as they opened their gifts and immediately put on their clothes and began to pretend.
Give open ended dress ups. You don't have to buy the cutest dance tutu you can find or make. Instead give a yard of the glitziest pink fabric you can buy and watch the imagination soar.
This year for Christmas, give the gift of IMAGINATION!
"I was playing with a very dear friend of mine who is a violinist. We began, as we often do with Aaron Copland's Sonata, which was written during World War II and dedicated to a young friend of Copland's, a young pilot who was shot down during the war. Now we often talk to our audiences about the pieces we are going to play rather than providing them with written program notes. But in this case, because we began the concert with this piece, we decided to talk about the piece later in the program and to just come out and play the music without explanation.
Midway through the piece, an elderly man seated in a wheelchair near the front of the concert hall began to weep. This man, whom I later met, was clearly a soldier-even in his 70's, it was clear from his buzz-cut hair, square jaw and general demeanor that he had spent a good deal of his life in the military. I thought it a little bit odd that someone would be moved to tears by that particular movement of that particular piece [but]...we went on with the concert and finished the piece.
When we came out to play the next piece on the program, we decided to talk about both the first and second pieces, and we desribed the circumstances in which the Copland was written and mentioned its dedication to a downed pilot. The man in the front of the audience became so disturbed that he had to leave the auditorium. I honestly figured that we would not see him again, but he did come backstage afterwards, tears and all, to explain himself.
What he told us was this: 'During World War II I was a pilot, and I was in an aerial combat situation where one of my team's planes was hit. I watched my friend bail out, and watched his parachute open, but the Japanese planes which had engaged us returned and machine gunned across the parachute chords so as to separate the parachute from the pilot, and I watched my friend drop away into the ocean, realizing that he was lost. I have not thought about this for many years, but during that first piece of music you played, this memory returned to me so vividly that it was as though I was reliving it. I didn't understand why this was happening, why now, but then when you came out to explain that this piece of music was written to commemorate a lost pilot, it was a little more than I could handle. How does the music do that? How did it find those feelings and those memories in me?'"
Parents, music is POWERFUL! Give the gift of music to your children. Please.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
“Well, no wonder the little boy looked at me with such a confused look on his face!” she replied.
Do you sometimes feel like you are speaking a different language to your children? Do they look at you in a confused way, or totally ignore you? Or go on with what they are doing as if you hadn’t spoken?
Maybe we need to learn to speak “childrenese”. The best way to learn childrenese is to understand children and know what they are capable of doing or not doing.
For example would you ask a 2 year old to “go hurry and get dressed”? Would you tell a 3 year old to share his favorite toy—and actually see him do it? How about an 8 year old? Would you expect a 4 year old to own up to doing something wrong and not blame it on someone else? Would you instruct a 5 year old to sit still for 30 minutes without moving while waiting in a doctor’s office? Would you take a 6 year old grocery shopping with you and tell her to walk quietly beside you and not touch or ask for anything? (Ha! You’ve all said that I bet! But it certainly doesn’t translate into childrenese—nor did any of the above situations.)
The next time you speak to your child and she looks at you with a confused look on her face, or just ignores you, think about what you just said. Was it age appropriate? Did you give too many instructions at once? It may take time, but soon you will become fluent in childrenese and suddenly life will become better.
But that's the only dance I danced (except for half a dance with my brother). I was too self conscious to join my nieces out on the dance floor. They were having a great time and when they started line dancing I really wanted to learn the steps and dance. But I thought how silly everyone would think I looked--an old lady out dancing with all the youth.
I missed out on a lot of fun. As the night wore on I noticed two older women about my age dancing on the sidelines. They were smiling and laughing and having a great time. I wished I could be as confident as they were so I could dance too. Oh well. I decided I would dance at home.
What a fun family activity--dancing. Put some music on and dance with your children. Dance by yourself. Dance to decrease your stress, to lose weight, to exercise, to have fun!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Here’s the basic play dough accessories: toothpicks—for poking into the dough, muffin tin—to hold pretend muffins or cookies, rolling pin, popcycle sticks or butter knife to cut the playdough with, cookie cutters, and anything else in the kitchen that looks interesting.
But don’t forget the music. Any upbeat or children's CD will do. I personally think that playing music in the background helps children play longer, more happily and helps them think creatively.
I always make my own play dough (though I hate washing the pan). It’s kind of fun to make and it’s nice and warm to play with. Here’s a site with some fun variations on making your own play dough. http://www.easy-kids-recipes.com/play-dough-recipes.html
So the next time your kids need something new and different to do, make some play dough, put on the music, and watch the creativity flow.
I like to teach rounds at school, but they're harder to sing (and make sound right) than you would think. 3rd graders have a hard time keeping their group going without getting confused unless they know the song very well. But 4th-6th can sing pretty well, after lots of practice.
Some of my new favorite rounds are "Hear the Song of the Nightingale" from the movie Madeline, "Music Alone Shall Live", "Dona Nobis" (which is really, really hard), "Scalloped Potatoes" and "Jolly Red Nose". I can't wait to teach the Tacobel Canon. I just found a recording of it here as well as the Scalloped Potatoes one.
A friend and I go hiking once a week and we love to sing as we hike. I like to sing rounds with her and should be happy with the two part harmony we make. But then I think, wow, if we had another person we could sing three parts......
Do you like to sing? Want to come hiking with us?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Ahh, music to my ears, “You can’t stop there, Mom. Please keep reading!” Isn’t reading aloud to your child one of the most fun, warm, bonding experiences you can have? Not to mention one of the most beneficial experiences you can give your child. Research shows that children whose parents read to them become better readers. Their vocabulary increases, their language and speech development speeds up, and their listening skills are focused and ready for school.
Many of you are followers of Jim Trelease (http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/). He has championed the importance of reading aloud for years. He has lots of suggestions for books to read aloud, too.
Here has been some of my children’s favorite books that we’ve read aloud: The Wheel on the Schoolhouse, The Hobbit (my husband read the kids this one), Mandy (by Julie Andrews alias Edwards), The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles (another one by Julie Edwards), Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Summer of the Monkeys, (sniff, sniff) and the Boxcar series.
Share some of your favorites with us.
Kayli, at age 6 could feel the Lord’s Spirit whisper truth to her. Music IS powerful! It affects our emotions. It can soothe, excite, relax, and energize.
When my daughter lived at home, she always had music playing in the background. The orchestra teacher at school, who was a colleague of mine and talked to me on the phone quite often, commented, “you always have music playing at your house. I need to do that more often.”
This daughter has since married and moved away, and I’ve noticed how quiet our house has become. I have lots and lots of CDs sitting on the shelf. But do I play them? I did one summer. I decided to go straight through all my CD’s and play every single one of them. I think I’ll do that again. Right now I’m listening to the soundtrack from Enchanted.
What are you listening to?
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
My daughter called me on the phone from
As you read this blog, you’re probably overwhelmed and stressed yourself. So what do you do when you’re in that situation? Here are a few ideas:
Scream in a pillow in your bedroom (I mean it. Try it and see if it doesn’t help!)
Call your mother/friend
Dance, go for a walk, jog, exercise, just MOVE
Read a book and ignore everything
Lower your standards (It’s better than abusing yourself or children)
Dovetail your “To Do List” where possible
Endure and know that “this, too, shall pass”
Be grateful because at least you are alive and active
Forget being perfect. It doesn’t exist.
Stop comparing yourself with others
Remember to enjoy the journey. This is part of the journey.
What do you do when you're overwhelmed and stressed?
I asked a mother of one of my piano students (who has 7 children who are at various stages of music training) to give her thoughts and ideas about music lessons and children. Here are some of Lisa’s thoughts:
What is a good age to start? Our oldest son was six. He was so hyper that a 30 minute lesson was all he could stand. I have seen younger children begin music lessons, but the successful ones are usually those families with one or two children.
What are the advantages of starting early? It becomes a part of your life and a part of your routine. We have all learned a lot about music. We have also learned about baby steps and small amounts of progress over time. I don’t think it is always that way with other things, like sports.
What other areas of life are affected by music lessons? My son has gained focus and can concentrate better from all of his practicing. He also has learned about team work from playing in the orchestra. With chair auditions, he has been first chair and also 22nd chair, so he has learned that there is always someone in front of you and always someone behind. He has learned that if you practice you will have a good outcome (usually) and there are consequences if you don’t. Another son has learned to work at something that he finds difficult and he is starting to play the piano as a stress release.
How do you keep your children interested in practicing? I think we just do it every day, like brushing our teeth or doing math problems. I have never been big on elaborate reward systems. In the beginning I would help my son practice 10 minutes before his favorite television show came on and he would get to watch it when he was finished. If he messed around, it ate into his television program. Now he practices on his own.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
A friend stopped by and I told her my situation. She immediately said, “You should make an I Love You chart and hang it on the refrigerator.” I replied, “A what?”
“An I Love You chart,” she said. “Every time anyone in the family says I love you to another family member, they put a star on the chart.” I thought, “yeah, that’s really going to help.”
After she left, I decided to try her suggestion. I mean, it couldn’t hurt. So I hung a piece of blank white paper onto the refrigerator and told my little boys,
“okay now, whenever you or your brothers or mommy says,
I Love You, we can put a star on the chart. Let’s see if we
can cover the whole paper before Daddy gets home in 3 weeks.”
Guess what? It was a miracle! There was little fighting.
There was hardly any crying. What there was, though,
was a lot of family members saying “I love you”. And that
chart was covered in stars before Daddy got home!
If all the Raindrops were lemondrops and gumdrops
mp3 download: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_0_10?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-music&field-keywords=if+all+the+raindrops&x=0&y=0&sprefix=if+all+the
mp3 download: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_0_7?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-music&field-keywords=skinnamarink&x=0&y=0&sprefix=skinnam
mp3 download: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/buddycastle
Tell Me Why
mp3 download: http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1257141821/ref=sr_nr_n_17?ie=UTF8&rs=624868011&keywords=tell%20me%20why&bbn=624868011&rnid=624868011&rh=n%3A!624868011%2Ci%3Adigital-music%2Ck%3Atell%20me%20why%2Cn%3A624899011
Jig Jog Gee
Monday, October 26, 2009
I use to love to hug and kiss my babies. They were so cute and loveable! But I could tell that one of my older children was dying for that same physical love and affection. She would constantly follow me around the house and be right in my face whenever anything was going on. I really didn’t feel like hugging and kissing her—she was too old---- 8 or 9 years of age. And it was kind of awkward; we weren’t a very hugging family. But I knew she needed it. One day, I said in a cooing, silly voice, “Do you need some love and attention? Come here.” And I pulled her onto my lap and covered her with hugs and kisses. She loved it!
Some of my other children started picking up on that line and when they were having a hard day would come up to me and say, “I need some love and attention.” And I would hug and kiss them and off they’d run a few minutes later—ready to face the world again.
Children need physical touch. They need--no matter what age--for you to hug them, put your arm around them, sit them on your lap. It's the best feeling in the world to hug your child. Do it often!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Here's a song (?) a friend remembers her mom passing down:
"I spoke to my plants. There came no reply.
So I sang. And that's when they died."
Here's the titles of some of the other songs sent to me. See if any of them sound familiar to you:
Horsey, Horsey, I Once Had a Doll, Down in the Valley, 3 Little Fishes, Mairzy doats and dozy doats, Oh, You Can't Get to Heaven, Stars are the Windows of Heaven, The man who has plenty of good peanuts...
Then there's the song my mother always sang to me to wake me up in the morning, "Good morning, good morning, good morning, enchilada on a tortilla!" That's become a family favorite!
What songs are you passing down to your children?
A couple of weeks ago we had a ukulele player come and accompany us. Actually, she's a friend, Emily who is just learning to play the ukulele. If you want to play the guitar, but need to go cheaper and faster, choose the ukulele!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Do we really pay attention to our children or are we oblivious to everything but our own needs and our agenda. If your baby, toddler, child, teenager (husband)is crying—there’s a reason. If your toddler, child, teenager is exhibiting angry emotions –there’s a reason. Maybe it’s as simple as they need to take a nap, or they’re hungry, or need a diaper change (well, not the teenager!). Is something happening at school, or with their friends, or lack of friends, etc. Are they getting an earache, a cold, the flu?
My younger brother was always grouchy and irritable. Then my mother found out he had bad allergies and didn’t feel good most of the time. As soon as his health problems were addressed, he became a happy child again. STOP and figure out what’s wrong. Children—and adults—want to be nice and happy, and are, for the most part, when their needs are being met. Find out what those needs are, and you’ve got your happy child back.
Looking for other lullabies you can sing? How about: Tell Me Why, Skinnamarinkadinkydoo, All the Pretty Little horses, All Through the Night, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and A Bushel and a Peck.
If you are not familiar with a song, but would like to hear it, go to Amazon and click on Music, then MP3 Downloads. Type in the title of the song and you will be able to hear samples of lots of artists singing the song. You can even buy the download for .99 cents. What a bargain!
There are lots of lullaby CDs you buy. Here is a link to one that presents each song twice, once with beautiful vocals and again instrumentally, so your own voice can sing your child/baby to sleep. http://www.serenitysupply.com/catalog/Lullabies-for-Little-Dreamers-CD-126.html
Here is a wonderful site that has lots of beautiful lullabies you can listen to, download and view the lyrics. They are categorized by Welsh, Christian, Angel, etc. There is also a link to lullaby books. http://www.lullaby-link.com/index.html
Tonight let the cares of the day, the crying and frustration wash away as you tuck your little children (and don't forget the big children) into bed, sing them a song of love and kiss them goodnight.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I was frustrated with my life and felt my needs were not being met. I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to tell me where my priorities should be. The answer: I am a mother of preschool children. I need to take the time to nurture them, enjoy them, and teach them. That is my first priority.
It was hard to accept this answer at first. But as I sat at the breakfast table with my 4 year old on my lap (she loved to sit on my lap to eat breakfast)I began to enjoy the wonderful way it felt to hold her and knew that I was giving her a sense of security and love. And as I helped my 6 year learn to read and play the piano, I felt love for her and knew I would cherish these memories with her.
I didn't feel like I was wasting my time anymore or missing out on some big project I could and should be doing. Instead, I felt peace, knowing that the little things I did during the day were really the big things--and the most important things.
Some Suzuki students listen to their music CDs while traveling in the car. Music can turn the drive time into a learning time, jam session, or even a lullaby time. Take advantage of car time to sample some different styles of music from CDs you've rented from the library. Leave a comment and tell us your favorite CDs to listen to.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Another son didn't think much of my cooking and every evening we had to listen to him complain about the food. One night he asked me what was for dinner and I enthusiastically replied, "Chicken Burrito Ole!"
"Oh," he replied, "I wasn't hungry anyway."
Poor Moms! Especially moms with young children. You go unappreciated for years. You do the washing, cooking, cleaning, teaching and disciplining. It's seldom that you get the thanks and praise you deserve.
But please stay with it Moms! You are doing the most important job in the world! You are raising the children that will become the next generation. You are teaching your children to be responsible, kind, honest. You won't get any thanks for a long time. But trust me, someday your children WILL come back and tell you thanks for all you have done for them. Just be patient!
It's best to wait until your child is 8 or 9 years old because their fingers need to be long enough to cover the holes. Start with easy songs that use the notes B A G. To correctly hold the recorder, the left hand is on top, the right hand at the bottom. The left thumb will almost always cover the hole in back, and the left fingers will cover the holes in front. If you cover the back hole plus the top hole, that is the note "B". Two holes covered in front (plus the back hole) is "A" and three holes covered in front (plus the back hole) is "G". Be sure to press down lightly when covering the holes. Your tongue should make a "T" sound when blowing.
Here's a favorite song to play: Hot Cross Buns
B A G B A G GGGG AAAA B A G
How about having a recorder orchestra for your next family get together?
Oh, and better buy some ear plugs for Dad!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
If you want to play "Do Your Ears Hang Low" on your recorder, here's how it goes. Remember to cover the hole in back plus the 1st hole in front=B, 2 holes covered in front=A, 3 holes covered in front=G
Do your ears hang low? B A G G G
Do they wobble to and fro? (no recorder notes on this line)
Can you tie them in a knot? G A B B B B B
Can you tie them in a bow? G A B A A A A
Can you throw them over your shoulder B A G G G G G G G
Like a Continental soldier? (no recorder)
Do your ears hang low? G A B A G
Have fun! Bring your recorder to class next week and play with us!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I decided to keep a Joy Journal. I would write down things that my children (and husband) did that brought me joy. Then on those days when "joy" was elusive, I could read my journal and be reminded of those better days. I kept a Joy Journal for all the years my children were growing up until they all moved away. Sometimes I wrote several times a week, and other times just once a month or I would forget for several months. But I kept at it. Then on each child's birthday, at our family birthday party with the grandparents, I would read several entries about that child that I had written that year and how he or she had brought me joy.
This has been a fun and rewarding tradition. It helped me LOOK for joyous things my children did and helped me focus on my love for them. I like to think that it helped them too.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Matthew and his younger brother love to dance. On Saturday nights the family will put music on from the 80's, 90's or current music and the whole family will dance and have fun. Matthew also loves to play the piano. He will sit at the piano and play whatever comes into his mind. He sits down like a concert pianist and pounds out notes, then takes a bow.
But when Matthew gets too much stimulus with music or tv, he gets hyper. There has to be a balance. His mother, Tammy, will play church songs to help calm him when he is upset about anything. Tammy writes, "I am definitely convinced that music is great therapy for any child, but absolutely helpful with children that have special needs."
Watch your children this week and see how you can use music to calm them, encourage them, teach them and just have fun with them.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
"When will your child be born?” asked the educator.
"Born?” she gasped. "Why, he is already five years old.”
"My goodness, woman, “he cried, “don’t stand here talking to me—hurry home; already you have lost the best five years.”
What can you teach your child from birth to age five that is so important? It depends on who you ask. If you ask a Suzuki music teacher she would say you can teach a child to play an instrument as early as age 3. If you ask an educator he would say your child could be reading by now.
But here are some even more important things you can teach a young child: stability and security by responding to your baby’s cries, responsibility and orderliness by helping your toddler pick up his toys, happiness by playing with your child, love by touching and holding, self esteem by listening to your preschool try to explain something to you, respect by saying "please" and "excuse me", gratitude by saying "thank you", decision making by letting your preschooler choose the outfit to wear that day.
So don’t just sit here reading, go teach your child something!
Do your ears hang low...
My Bonnie lies over the ocean....
In a cavern in a canyon excavating for a mine.....
Love me tender, love me true.....
Do, a deer...
God, Bless America...
The National Association for Music Education started a campaign in 1995 called Get America Singing...Again. It's aim was to establish a common song repertoire and promote community singing.menc.org/resources/view/get-america-singing-again
Folk songs bridge the generation gap as grandparents, parents and children sing the old favorites and create lasting memories. The words to my favorite musical round state the value of folk songs
All things must perish from under the sky.
Music alone shall live, music alone shall live
Music alone shall live, never to die.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
This semester we will be having guest musicians come and play their instruments for us. Today Karis's older brother, Carsten, brought his violin and played for us. It was fun to see the reaction of the babies.
We sang the song, A Ram Sam Sam, and used the parachute to keep the beat. The babies loved dancing on top of it as well as underneath it.
As parents we often look for the secret ingredient that will turn our children into model children. It is so simple that sometimes we overlook it. It is so hard that sometimes we substitute other things instead. The secret ingredient is time. Giving time to your children is one of the most important ingredients in raising happy, productive children. There are many poor substitutes out there because as parents we are busy, stressed and tired. Too often we use TV, computer games, friends, soccer, etc for substitutes instead of giving quality time to our children. Quality time may be listening to your child tell about her dream, playing “Go Fish” with your son one more time, or just simply being home so your daughter can stay home and play.
Your baby is only going to be a baby for 2 short years---then you will never have that baby again. Enjoy giving time to your baby by touching, holding, laughing, playing, and being there with him. Your preschooler will be going to school soon and when she does, she will be gone for 7-8 hours out of your life and influence. Enjoy, play, listen with her now. Your teenager will only be a teenager for a few short years (did I hear clapping and whistling out there?) Listen to him, talk with-not at- him, respect him.
The secret parenting ingredient=Your time
Ammon, our 2nd oldest son said he sings a lot while he helps his children brush their teeth. "It always calms the kids and makes it easier," he said. He sings at bedtime too. Every Sunday night for the past 4-5 years he sings songs from the German hymnbook at bedtime. He says, "it puts them right to sleep--they're anxious to have the noise stop!"
Make some memories, Dad. Start singing!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Why should children memorize poetry? It introduces them to phrases and vocabulary they might not hear in everyday language use, it instills a sense of rhythm and rhyme, it awakens a love for language and helps express emotions and thoughts in a new way. It teaches sentence structure, increases self esteem, helps one become a better writer.
If you have an infant, toddler, preschooler or elementary age child, read poetry to them. Additionally, encourage older children to memorize poems. Google "poetry and children" and you'll be at the computer for an hour! By the way, here's a snatch of a poem. Who wrote it?
Oh,I'm being eaten
By a boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
I'm being eaten by a boa constrictor,
And I don't like it--one bit.
Holly mentions that lots of children's songs are good for math, pattern recognition, rhyming, story telling, motor skills, etc. Thank goodness Holly hasn't stopped singing. Being a "non-singer" or not, children love to hear their parents sing and interact with them on a fun one on one basis. It sounds like love to them!
Monday, August 31, 2009
I eventually did get more patience, but it wasn't the way I expected. I continued daily praying for patience until one day I learned that the way to have patience with my children was to enjoy my children. I began watching my children and noticing things about them. How they interacted with each other, how they problem solved, how they thought and came up with solutions. I learned about what stage they might be in (http://www.parents-in-a-pickle.com) and how that caused them to act certain ways. As I watched and learned, I became more patient with them. I enjoyed watching them and loved to see how their brains worked things out.
I learned that to have patience with my children, I needed to learn more about them, why they acted the way they did. I needed to enjoy them as they were at the moment. I needed to enjoy the journey, to savor them as they were at this moment in time. My love for them increased and amazingly, I had more patience!
The problem: They're kids. They hear your voice so much, that sometimes they tune you out, especially if they hear you ask them to do something they don't want to do.
The solution: Sing. Sing your instructions, then whisper your instructions. Now you've caught your children's attention and hopefully they'll quickly follow through with what you've asked them to do.
This can work for toddlers learning to put away toys (Barney's clean up song www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz-3Kxx3EQY) or teens who need to clean their bedrooms or wash the dishes, etc. Try singing in an opera voice, or country style, or with a proper English accent.
As parents, we need to "lighten up" and have fun. Singing makes for family fun.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
And guess what? Johnny did change. He became that sweet little helpful boy and grew up into a wonderful man and has been a great father to his six children. My mother first labeled him as a "terror" and that's what he became. But when his label changed to sweet and helpful, he changed too.
Be very careful of the labels you put on your children.
Just singing a simple nursery rhyme like "Jack and Jill" or "Here we go round the Mulberry Bush" will catch your baby's attention so you can complete that diaper change with less struggles. Add some silly words to add interest, "Here we change your diaper, sweet baby, your diaper, sweet baby, your diaper, sweet baby. Here we change your diaper, sweet baby, and now you're ready to play."
Don't want to chase your two year old around the house to get her to get dressed in the morning? Make up some words and sing while you're helping her get dressed. Try singing this to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb": First you put your green shirt on, green shirt on, green shirt on, first you put your green shirt on and then I'll tickle your tummy!
How else can you use music to catch your child's attention so daily routines will flow smoother?
Monday, August 17, 2009
Do you ever wish you could have "parenting training wheels"? After failing over and over again as a parent, have you ever just wanted to give up? But watch your toddler as he/she learns to walk. He tries over and over--and eventually learns to walk. We, as parents, can learn to take a step at a time toward good parenting skills and soon we, too, will be riding a two wheeler minus the training wheels!
By the way, this is Aaron today (and he has three children of his own). He really should take those training wheels off because he's a GREAT parent!
Did your child wake up on the wrong side of the bed--nothing you do seems to be what he wants? If your child is having a hard time--no matter if he is 18 months or 8 years old--try singing. This is such unexpected behavior from you, that usually your child will stop crying or at least quiet down and listen to what is happening. Sing a favorite song, folk song, make up nonsense words, whatever. Sing out of tune, in tune, sing loud then whisper. Use variety. Add some tickling. Then some hugging. Get your child busy doing something else and hopefully you'll have averted a major meltdown.
Husbands: Maybe you should try this on your wife the next time she is having "one of those days"!
Feel free to comment and share your experiences with us.
Monday, July 27, 2009
These are fun classes you won't want to miss out on! They are held on Saturday mornings and will begin September 5th. To register go to:
Can You Sing a Rainbow? Age 1 and parent
Parents and toddlers will discover the different colors of music, as they dance with colored scarves, bounce with balls, play instruments to jam sessions and sing a variety of songs. Experience the many styles of music and see how you can incorporate them into your home to make your child's home routines flow easier.
Dr. Seuss and Mother Goose, rhythms and rhymes and music sublime! Age 2 and parent
Wordplay, rhymes, music, and movement--all these activities and more will delight your child as he enters the world of words. Let music help your child acquire speaking vocabulary and prepare her/him for the wonder of reading to come.
Let's Sing, Let's Play, Let's Wiggle and Move! Age 3 and parent
You and your child will experience music with your whole body! You'll use your voice to sing, your ears to listen to music, your hands to play drums and your feet to dance. See how you can harness your child's energy through music!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
1. Babies and parents
2. Preschool age children and parents
3. Suzuki piano lessons and traditional piano lessons with a twist!
4. Homeschoolers at Eagleridge Enrichment Program through the Mesa School District
I teach music classes for babies and their parents as well as music classes for preschoolers and their parents through ASU's community school classes. This is a community education resource that offers classes in many areas. To view class schedules and to register for classes go to: http://communityschool.asu.edu/classes/preschoolers.php (registration for Fall Semester begins in Aug)
(scroll down to view more pictures)
I also teach music classes for families with
multiple age preschool children. I love to teach
these classes at Retirement Centers where we can involve the "grandmas and grandpas" who live there. New classes will begin in September. To register for these classes email me at email@example.com
I teach piano lessons in my home. What a wonderful gift to give your child, the ability to make music and use it to enrich his/her life as well as others. Besides the gift of music, you are giving him the opportunity to learn self discipline, consistency, how to break a difficult thing down into manageable pieces, perseverance, math skills, listening discrimination, etc.
I teach piano using the Suzuki Method. Children as young as 3 or 4 years of age can easily be taught to play any musical instrument using this method. Children listen to their songs, then learn to play their songs, and finally learn to read music. (for more info go to http://suzukiassociation.org/) However, since children learn in many different ways, I also teach "traditional piano" with a fun twist!
If you are interested in your child learning to play the piano, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, July 4, 2009
New preschool music classes will be starting for the Fall Semester through ASU's community school. Registration begins in Aug. To see classes offered and to register go to http://communityschool.asu.edu/classes/preschoolers.php