There are two dates on our calendar that celebrate parents, but one seems to get far more attention than the other. While Mother’s Day arrives with flowers, fanfare, and marketing campaigns galore, Father’s Day seems to get short shrift.
Fatherhood and Healthy Child Development
Since the 1970s, research studies have repeatedly highlighted the impact an involved father can have on his child’s development and wellbeing, but widespread cultural acceptance of dads as caregivers has been slower to catch on.
Fortunately, things are changing, and fathers are increasingly being recognized as equal parenting partners. Suddenly fathers are appearing in diaper commercials and baby gear ads. “Mommy-and-me” classes are marketed to—and filled with!—devoted dads. Even “Amazon Mom,” the e-commerce discount program for things like formula and baby wipes, has been renamed “Amazon Family.”
Father and Child Bonding Through Music
It’s encouraging to see so many positive, realistic depictions of involved dads playing with, rocking, and reading to their children. At Kindermusik, we’re perhaps most excited to see those interactions that involve music.
After all, music plays an important role in bonding, and is an amazing way for any parent to connect with their child. A 2015 Australian study even produced evidence that parent-child home music activities “were most strongly and independently (of shared book reading) associated with children’s prosocial skills.”
Anyone Can Sing! Dads, Too!
Not much is sweeter than seeing a Dad rock and sing a child to sleep. And lullabies are not to be feared by fathers with all types of singing voices (your child doesn’t care how you sound, only that you’re there.)
But a catchy tune with a bouncy rhythm, like this Kindermusik favorite, “Love Somebody”, is even harder to resist. You can easily make this song your own by including your child’s name and changing the movements you do while singing together.
Make Everyday Activities Musical
Music can be incorporated into almost any activity. You don’t even have to sing a “real” song. Make one up as you go.
Washing the car together? Chant something like “Let’s scrub, scrub, the dirt away. Let’s rinse, rinse the soap away. We are cleaning the car!”
Playing together on the playground? Try some “stop-and-go” songs. “I am swinging you, swinging you, swinging you. Now we STOP!” Have your child start singing when he or she is ready to swing again, and also give him or her a turn to control the stops. Listening and practicing self-regulation like this has a profound impact on social-emotional development.
Interested in more music, ideas, and fun? Try a Kindermusik class near you. Dads are more than welcome!
Happy Father’s Day, from all of us at Kindermusik.