My daughter loves music; it’s kind of her jam.
As an infant she would be instantly soothed by certain songs and started humming recognizable tunes months before she could speak. Now, as a toddler, her musicality is undeniable. She can pick up a song after hearing it once or twice and has a great ear, singing melodies with surprising accuracy. When she wakes up in the morning, the first thing she requests before we even leave her room is, “Please put on music, Mama!”
As a mom who has also loved singing and used to dabble in it throughout her youth, this thrills me. As I introduce her to my favorite childhood songs from The Sound of Music and Annie and see the joy on her face as she twirls around the house singing “My Favorite Things” and “Tomorrow,” I can’t help but think ahead to the future and what this love for music might hold. Sometimes I envision her playing an instrument, singing choir solos in high school, or maybe even being a performer on a Broadway stage … Mama daydreams.
I try to encourage this love for music by exposing her to a wide variety of musical genres, instruments, and live music experiences — and by singing together often. But, as much as I would love to see my daughter pursue music as she gets older, I am careful to toe the fine line between being encouraging and being pushy. Children are like little flowers that need cultivating and care in order to bloom, but you also don’t want to “over-water” them.
I would hate to put my little girl in a box as “the musical one”; next week she might start showing an interest in nature or an inclination toward science, and I wouldn’t want to stifle that. I think the key is to truly take the time to listen to our children and let them explore their interests.
This is exactly what the mom of 15-year-old Citizen Kid Courtney did:
Courtney always showed a love for animals. By the time she was eight years old, she was begging to volunteer at her local veterinarian clinic. They agreed as long as her mom sat in with her, and at 10 years old, Courtney became a certified veterinarian assistant.
The initiative and ambition that Courtney showed is impressive, and so is the fact that her mom listened to her and helped her to pursue her interests. From purchasing dissection kits for her to simply helping her find the answers to her many questions, Courtney’s mom encouraged her daughter’s inquisitive nature in order to help her find what she loves.
This is the kind of mom I want to be to my children. I want to raise Citizen Kids like Courtney. So, whether my daughter wants to go to a Broadway show or decides she’d rather examine fetal pigs, I’m game. I just want to help her explore her interests, find what she loves, and become the best she can be. Whatever that looks like, I will be happy.More On