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Let’s Dance

 
How do you cultivate the soundtrack to your family's life?
By Cath Jenkin

Pic: Shutterstock

Article originally in Parent24
When I was pregnant, I spent a lot of the time with my beloved headphones on my belly. I will admit that it was probably hilarious to look at but I really don’t care about being looked at askew.

When I was an infant, my parents would read to me, often. I was also raised on a love for classical music and exposed to a large expanse of contemporary music. Having a mother as a ballet dancer, and a father who would conduct imaginary orchestras down the passageway all the time, I was destined to have a great love for music. Specifically, they taught me a great love for music that meant something.

As I grew older, our family met with some “interesting times” and our musical tastes reflected it. We formed a great passion for protest songs and modern music that reflected the times we lived in. Music sets the theme song for the greatest, saddest and most memorable events of your life, and I can accurately chart my own development by looking at my music collection. With my parents long gone, I know I can find them again through the music that pinpoints each of my life events. Slap on a particular Bon Jovi song, and I am back in the lounge of my parents’ house, laughing like we always did. In fact, I’m listening to it as I write this.

One of the most important lessons I wanted to pass on to my daughter always stems from the genetically inherited idea that music makes your life. So, I started her early, in utero. With my music collection by my side, I enjoyed music with my child, before I’d even met her.

As she’s grown, I’ve done my best to always make music available to her, and let her choose the way to chart her life. Granted, that’s not always great, as she has – in the past – acquired a love for music I cannot stand but that’s okay. This is her life she’s charting out, and not mine. We’ve spent a multitude of evenings dancing in our lounge, and singing at the top of our voices (apologies to the neighbours…)

Now that our family includes a musician, this life lesson is even more persistent. She’s starting to enjoy a variety of musical genres and, thankfully, no longer sings that awful Barney theme tune. Oh, and to the parents of toddlers who are sick of that song – hang in there, they do eventually move on from that silly purple dinosaur. I promise!

I know too, that every song has a message, and that’s been a driving force in my life. And it’s a relief to this mommy that my daughter’s favourite song is Katy Perry’s Firework.

And on a day where a frown furrows her brow, I know I can turn into a smile with a simple “Baby, you’re a firework”.

What is your family's current soundtrack?


Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.


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