If there’s one thing I want to make sure, it’s that my kid doesn’t grow up terrified to sing in front of other people. Not that I feel some deep urge for him to do it as a living or something; I just want him to never experience what I did as an adult. You see, I spent a lot of years not doing much singing in front of others because of the fears of not being good enough or being made fun of.
But in secret I would still sing. In the shower, I would still sing. In my car, I would still sing. And I always hated that I couldn’t ever let loose in front of others the way I really wanted to.
I believe every person is a singer. It doesn’t matter if perfect technical abilities are there. Something within each of us longs to do it. Don’t try to deny it. You know it’s true as much as I did in years past.
Anyway, my son’s early timidity for it has already given me plenty of motivation to give him confidence in it while he’s still young. And this is how I’ve done it so far…
For the longest time, I couldn’t get him to sing along with me, at least very loud. I would catch him humming or singing the words to our favorite songs under his breath, afraid that I would hear him. If I looked over at him, he’d immediately stop and withdraw.
So, I started buying the karaoke versions of some of our favorite songs, and I started belting them at the top of my lungs while we were driving or getting ready for the day. The very first time I cranked one up, he said, “Dad, where are the words!?”
I looked at him and laughed. “I got the song without words so that you and me can be the ones singing it!”
He thought it was a silly idea and refused to join in. He insisted that I shouldn’t be singing instead of the singers. I belted it out anyway.
After a couple days of doing this, I turned on the non-karaoke version again and started singing along.
“Dad, I like the one without the words,” he said. “Turn that one on.” This was in direct opposition from his previous requests.
“So, you like to hear me sing?”
I just looked at him and said, “I love singing the one with no words, but I only wanna sing if you’re singing with me. I got it for us.” Then I kept singing along with the man behind the microphone.
“Dad, I’ll sing with you,” he demanded. I made him promise. He did. I made him promise he’d sing with me even when we were driving. He did. I made him promise he’d sing with me even if other people were there. He did. So I turned the karaoke version back on.
And he kept those promises. At least the first one. He sang quietly at first, still unsure of himself, but soon he grew to love hearing his own voice against the karaoke background music. He loved that it was Dad and Noah that were singing the song and not somebody else. Before I knew it, he was hollering with me at the top of his lungs while we flew down the highway. This morning, he told me he wanted me to get some of our other favorite songs “without words” so we can “get really good at those, too.”
I can’t tell you how happy that made this papa’s heart.
Next we’ll work on singing in front of other people together. My guess is that’ll be a slightly bigger fear hurdle for him to get over. But that’s okay. Everything scary takes a little time and practice until it’s not scary anymore.
Dan Pearce Single Dad Laughing
PS. How have you helped your children get over their timidity with different things? And do you think it’s a good idea to do so?
Don’t miss the latest from Babble Voices — Like Us on Facebook!
More of me on Danoah Unleashed: