Monday, October 26, 2009

Parenting Tip #11 Hug Your Child

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

Music Tip #11 Songs my parents sang to me

I asked my family and friends to email me some of the songs they remember their parents singing to them. I acquired quite a list. One friend remembered sitting on a stool between the two front seats of their motor home and singing "I've been workin' on the railroad" at the top of her lungs. Others harmonized with family members while singing in the car. My son plays his guitar and sings to his kids at night.

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?

ASU Class - Guest Cellist

Saturday we had a guest cellist come to our class to play for us. Andrea played The Swan and it was fun to watch the babies focus on her playing. Later she helped us learn the song, Tell Me Why, as she played the melody on her cello. Thanks Andrea for sharing your talent and for bringing Benjamin ( her baby).

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

Parenting Tip #10 Happy Child Back

We were at the San Diego Zoo-- my 4 youngest children and my sister. We had been there all morning, had eaten lunch and were still walking and looking at animals. But my youngest daughter, Charity, age 3 kept whining and complaining. In exasperation, I finally said, “Charity, if you don’t stop whining, I’m going to take you back to the motel and make you take a nap!” She replied, “Finally! I’ve been waiting for you to say that.”

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.

Music Tip #10 Lullabies

What better way to tuck your baby/children into bed each night than to sing them a lullaby. Do you have songs your parents sang to you at night? Pass them on. Need some new songs to sing to your child each night? Here’s a cute song I happened to find on you tube. It’s become a favorite of mine.

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.

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.

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

Parenting Tip #9 The Best things are the Little things

I am a mother of seven children. When my oldest was age 18, my youngest was age 4. The next youngest child was 6 and not in school yet, so I was a stay at home mom with two preschoolers. But I viewed myself as a mother of older children who should have more free time while the kids were at school to work on projects I wanted to do and use my creative energy to write music, etc. The problem was: in actuality I was a mother of two preschool children and needed to give them my time and nurture them as I had their older siblings.

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.

Music Tip # 9 Car Time-Song Time

Do you feel like you're a taxi cab driver and spend most of the day in the car with your children? Want to make car time a happy time? Play music CDs. I'm sure you already do this. What are you favorite CDs to listen to? There are a ton of children's CDs you can buy or borrow from the library. My daughter just found a fun CD by Burl Ives. Ever heard of him? You might recognize his voice as Sam, the snowman on the old animated Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer movie. You could put in a CD of nursery rhymes and pass on the rich heritage of Mother Goose to your children. Or a CD of folk songs like My Bonnie lies over the ocean, Home, Home on the Range, etc. My granddaughter in Virginia insists on playing the same CD each week when driving home from Church.

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

Parenting Tip #8The wicked old witch!

Many years ago, my five year old son and I had been having a hard day. We were constantly at odds with each other and there had been much crying all day. That evening as I was getting ready to go to a Church play practice, he asked me, "what are you in the play? The wicked old witch?"

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!

Music Tip #8 Let's play recorders!

Want to introduce your child to a new musical instrument? Here's a fun easy instrument that you and your child can learn to play. It's the recorder! You can buy recorders at the dollar stores and choose from a variety of colors. Some recorders come with books, or you can get the fingering and songs off the internet.

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

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

ASU Music class for Tiny Tots

Here's the link for the Cuppy Cake song and lyrics we did in class today. Hope you enjoy it.

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!


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