Role modeling is one of the most important roles you will ever take on in your life. From the day your baby is born, they are watching you for cues. They want to know how to handle different situations in life, when to do what, and what is appropriate. They base their sense of normalcy on what they see and hear you do. It does not matter whether you set a good example or bad, they know no different. They learn through you becomes their sense of normal.
Now, how do early childhood music programs fit into this picture? They fit in perfectly, because they give you the opportunity to role model positive behaviors to your child. Following is a brief explanation of some positive behaviors and thought patterns that you can instill in your child just by taking them to early childhood music programs.
There has been a lot of controversy in recent years over how babies are taught to go to sleep, calm down from a temper tantrum, and handle minor disappointments that are a natural part of life. Some parents believe in the "let them cry" method, where babies simply allowed to cry until they end up going to sleep, calming down, or getting over their disappointment on their own. Other parents believe that letting them cry is a form of abuse, and think that it is the parent's job to soothe the baby back to sleep, help them calm down, or talk with them through the frustration of disappointment.
There is a third alternative here: teach children how to soothe themselves in an appropriate manner. This requires some hands-on attention from parents, but eventually leads to the child being able to control their sleep patterns and emotions independently. You can start modeling this through early childhood music programs, if you teach your child to use music as a form of soothing.
Learn through the lessons at your music class, and then start soothing your child through music. Hum to them or sing them a very soft lullaby. Rock side to side with them. Sit next to them and pat them, so their body's bounce to a slow beat. This starts to teach them how to soothe and calm through music. They may later hum or sing to themselves, listen to music, or rock and bounce when they are upset or want to sleep.
Freedom of Movement
So many people feel self-conscious when it comes to dancing and other forms of free movement. We were all given these bodies for the purpose of moving, and that is what they should be doing every single day! If you want to teach your children that it is perfectly fine to be happy, to dance, and to move around freely, then you have to do so yourself. You have to show them through music class that this type of free movement is fun and exciting. This makes it feel normal to them.
There are so many other things that you can model for your child during a music class. From sharing the instruments to soothing another child when they cry, look for the lessons in life and they will present themselves. As you respond to those opportunities, remember who is watching.
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The content is our own opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of Kindermusik or Kindermusik Asia.
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