Sing Your Instructions

April 26, 2020 Barbie Wong

There’s a way to bring music into the house while getting your kids to do their chores. Check out this short video to learn how. It’s less than 3 minutes long.

Here is the transcript of the video:

Have you noticed that kids really don’t like being told what to do? Well, there’s now a way to get kids to do what needs to get done while also bringing music into your household. I’m excited to share with you this fun, easy technique.

As a parent, you know that there are certain things that need to get done in order for your family to function. Your kids need to be bathed. Toys need to be put away. But sometimes it can feel like pulling teeth getting your kid to cooperate. If this is happening to you, try this next time: Sing your instructions.

Singing lightens the mood and it brings levity to the situation. So next time, instead of saying, “Okay, it’s time to clean your room,” sing it:  “Okay, it’s time to clean your room.” Use any melody. You can use one that you made up, or something that you already know. One of the easiest melodies is something that you’ve heard on the playground. Nah nah nah nah nah. You know that interval of nah-nah. It’s time to clean your roo-oom. Just give it a shot.

And don’t worry if you sound off-key or you feel like you’re singing imperfectly. The idea is to have fun. And the more you do it, the better you become at singing the things you want to communicate. In fact, it’s even more fun if you just commit to it and you mess up royally. Sometimes I begin singing and it becomes this strange, awkward silly song and we all just burst out laughing. It really brightens the atmosphere and your child becomes more receptive to doing this task. Plus, you bring music into the house. If you want to get better at this, listen to opera and musicals. They are full of characters singing instructions and all kinds of thoughts and feelings. 

We’ve had so much fun making up silly ways to communicate through song, that my oldest kid came up with a way to ask whether the dishes are clean in our dishwasher. In our household, we now sing (to the tune of Shave and a Whistle), “Clean or not clean” and the answer is “It’s clean” or “Not clean.” It just makes it so much more fun.

So the next time you see a big mess that your kid just made, sing your instructions and enjoy the fun and silliness that unfolds.

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