Several months ago I was going somewhere with the girls, I can't remember where, and we were listening to John Lennon on my IPod. About halfway through the song 'Imagine' Lilly asked me what it was about, so I explained to her that it was about peace and loving everyone and that if we removed all the "stuff" that we deem as important in our lives we would see that we are all the same and maybe we'd be able to get along. I explained to her that it was about hope. A couple minutes later I looked over and she was crying. I asked her if she was okay and she said..."Yes. I just wish this is what our world was really like."
Ever since that day whenever we are in the car together she asks me what songs mean and I do my best to explain to her what I think they mean. Sometimes they are meaningful, and other times she shares my sentiment that a song is really stupid. Like that where have you been all my li i i ife song...Just dumb. But anyway, I love that we can share that time together because music is important to me and I'm glad that it is to her as well. Actually all my kids are music buffs. They all have their own tastes, and they are all very "passionate" about what they think is the best.
I was thinking the other day about my love for music and how it has been a part of my parenting. We always have music on in our home. There was a time when I thought it was super hilarious to blast Welcome To The Jungle as loud as it would go to wake the kids up in the morning. They didn't think it was nearly as funny as I did, but a mom has to get her giggles in some how. It also makes me super proud that my kids know who Queen, The Who and Van Halen are. So I thought it would be kind of fun to give a run down of some of the ways that music has helped me to be a better parent.
First, sometimes songs just embody a sentiment much more than you can as a mere emotional mortal. When I think about how I feel about my kids there is only one that comes to mind. When my kids are feeling down I just want them to listen to this song until they feel better. I want them to understand that no matter what I will always stand up for them and that I will always love them!!!
And I want them to head bang through the chorus.
Second, being a music lover has made me a translator. How, you ask? I'll show you
The Woo-Hoo song = The Walk of Life, Dire Straits
The Sun Goes Down song = Glad You Came, The Wanted
Oh Number One = Only The Young, Brandon Flowers
The Chipmunk Song = Sleepyhead, Passion Pit
Smile Like You'll Eat It = Smile Like You Mean It, The Killers
That one song with the piano that I like = This Ain't Goodbye, Train
You get the idea...
Third, being a music lover has taught me maturity and restraint. Instead of singing..."If I ever did that, I think I'd have a fart attack." and totally offend my girls who love that song, I sing it right out loud, but wrong in my head and then silently laugh to myself. As a side note, fart can be changed for heart in any pop song and still make total sense. You should try it sometime. (E.g... I'm only gonna break, break a break break a fart.)
Going along with number three but in a positive direction, sometimes changing the words to songs is super fun and appropriate and won't offend anyone. Like when potty training it's 100% appropriate to sing "My girl has to potty all the time, potty all the time, potty all the time."
Or..."Maddi Joooooooo...she's a vegetarian, Maddi Jo, Maddi Jo." When you're just trying to make your kids smile.
I started singing this song to Maddi on the way home from the hospital the day she was born and almost 6 years later I still sing it to her. Sometime I change it to veterinarian or Presbyterian just to mix it up a bit.
Fourth, being a music lover has taught me patience. When I flip through the channels and hear the same song on 7 different channels and the kids insist we stop and listen to however much of the song is left on every single channel; I smile and sing along. It's the only way people. Don't try to fight it. Just know in a few short weeks Rihanna will release a new song and you'll only hear that one incessantly for the next few weeks.
Fifth, your kids like it when you show interest in the things they love. So, I know all the words to every One Direction, Bieber, Hot Chelle Rae etc...song out there. And I sing along with them all. Sometimes I don't even do it on purpose. Also, it's important to understand that even though Harry gets all the attention, Zane is really the talented one and WAAAAAY hotter too. Just sayin...that kind of info will keep you in good with the 2nd graders. And you should probably turn a blind eye when you see your kindergartner kissing her Bieber poster. Don't even act like you didn't do the same thing to Jordan Knight when he was hanging on your wall.
So, these are just a few areas where music has helped me in my parenting. Music is it's own language and sometimes it's much easier to express how we feel using it. On that note, I leave you with this...