What is your favorite song? What song comes to mind when you’re driving in your car belting out, wind in your hair and without a care in the world? Did you forget those days because while you’re driving, you’re just thinking of your to-do list or daydreaming that you’re somewhere else?
When you ask your children how their school day went, do you get cryptic vague answers or just one-worded responses? I don’t know if this changes very much as they age. Maybe they just escaped from school, and they too want to get on with their day. As a parent, I’m genuinely interested in what my child is learning in school and want to engage with her, but I never thought about her point of view. If I came home from work, did I always want to share what happened that day? Some people might, but do family members want to be burdened by your emotions of the day? For me, I liked to compartmentalize my workday from my home life. I chose not to discuss my work-life with my family. Maybe M feels the same way. So now, when I pick her up from school, I only ask her how her day was if she’s upset, sad, or extremely excited.
There are other ways to bond during the car ride to and from school. I love music. Music can transport to a different time and place. It can pull on my emotions or even change my current feelings. It is very powerful. Children learn nursery rhyme songs and that still has a place, but as an adult, sometimes those songs became dull and repetitive. When can kids listen to other music? Turns out, they can start anytime. It is best to start with simple melodies with beautiful vocals or music that highlights a single instrument. Classics such as Whitney Houston, Barbara Streisand, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Presley, Elton John and the Beatles, are a good way to start. If you’re more into modern music, Adele and Ed Sheeran are also great contenders. All these vocalists have great enunciation and crisps sounds which tickles my heart or soaks with emotion. Kids may not understand the words, but they feel it. Listening to these more sophisticated songs can really help children develop their minds. It is also best to teach them the artist and the name of the song. This can help them learn recognition and fine-tune their auditory learning. They can start to recognize the tunes and the voices. As time passes, children will start singing along with the songs and sometimes, they will start to ask the meaning of the songs. This other method can help them stretch and train a different set of muscles. Now, go ahead, enjoy your adult song.