How do we encourage singing with our Children?
Last month, I shared many ways that singing enriched my life and my family today. Music elevates our spirits and polishes our character to be right with God. It uplifts our thoughts to a nobler cause. We sing for fun, but our utmost goal is to sing purely to honor and glorify God every time we do. Only if we do this, can we help ourselves and our children avoid the trap of comparison, competition, jealousy, pride, arrogance, avoidance, prejudice, and many other things that are happening in the mundane world.
If we train our kids with Christ-like mindset, they will have love, a sense of duty, acceptance, and blessings; and, we can truly be powerful witnesses of God as we sing or in any activities we purposed our families to do. When we have this love for Him, we will have contentment, as well as the knowledge that we’re doing our best for God. This is turn, will help them grow appreciative, grateful, and more blessed.
Here are some simple tips we do as parents to encourage our children to sing. May it inspire you the same.
1. We sing to our kids. Researchers says babies in the womb can hear and react to music already. We sing every day — from the time they are a fetus until birth and onward. Both my children have reacted positively to songs since they were babies because they heard it while in Mommy’s womb.
2. We use Adventist hymnals every worship time. We make a list and pick songs to sing regularly for a week or so until we have mastered and memorized them. On Sundays, my eldest daughter is free to sing as many as she can. Our worship song service extends to 30 minutes or more just from her singing her chosen songs!
3. We sing short choruses. It’s a fun way to have children sing as they enjoy doing the actions that accompany the songs.
4. We sing Scripture songs. This is a fun way to hide God’s word in our hearts.
5. We don’t force, but encourage our kids to sing. This is important. Our eldest daughter, Nichole, didn’t show interest in singing solos, even at home, although she loves children’s choir at church where she sings with her friends. So, I was delighted when one day as a 4-year-old she sang on the phone for our relatives, and I found an angelic little voice in her. Now, her voice is continually improving, and she knows that God blesses her effort and makes her better when she uses it. Remember the Parable of the Talents? She knows it by heart.
6. We don’t compare our kids with other kids. Have you had family who constantly tell you to let your kid sing because they see other kids at church, TV, or anywhere singing beautifully? Please don’t be pressured by them. My husband and I always remember that we are created uniquely, and our children will open up and sing when they are ready. We are not born singers anyway, and it took us a long time to sing solo. For the meantime, continue with encouragement, nurture their spirit, and try to discover other potential talents they could have.
7. We tell our kids we obey, praise and worship God when we sing. It’s a special way to glorify God. The Bible tells us in Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Psalm 63:7: “For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.”
James 5:13: “Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.”
9. We make ourselves available at church or any functions when we are asked. We tell our eldest daughter that when somebody asks us, it is one of God’s way of calling and asking us to minister to Him. Now, she also does the same. A few weeks ago, we were asked to sing again. I said, “Yes!” right away, and then asked our troops at home who would want to sing this time. We decided that my husband and I would sing a duet, because last time my daughter sang with him. But, when we started to practice, my daughter wanted to sing, too! We ended up singing together as a family!
10. We expose our children to good music. Andrews University campus and neighborhood is a very good place to live because it’s a wonderful community and has much availability of very good musical offerings. The Howard Performing Arts Center always has free concerts, and people are fantastic, down to earth, and approachable. Opportunities in learning are boundless. We always try to be aware of what is going in our area so we can plan ahead.
11. We look for ways to connect with others in our community. When my eldest turned five, we joined Berrien Springs Parent Partnership program in our area, which offers free community classes for homeschool students. We could enroll our child in up to four classes per semester. Last year, we enrolled her to take voice lessons, and for two years now she takes a Field Trip class. Through this, she has attended theater plays, heard the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and been on other trips that enhance her musical learning and development.
These are all good things you can start with. Now, what kind of music we exposes them to is another story. But, one thing remains the center of our life at home. It is God’s reminder to us in Philippians 4:8 that, “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”
Here are some song suggestions you can have fun listening and singing with your kids today. Be blessed!
- Kid’s Time for Jesus Songs
- 21 Beautiful Playlists of Children’s Songs
- 3ABN Kid’s Songs
- More Children’s Songs by 3ABN kids
- The Philippine Meistersingers You Tube Channel
Some Great Resources:
- Adventist Book Center — Heritage Kids, 3ABN kids, Sabbath Songs for Tiny Tots, Little Voices Praise Him, and others.
- Advent Source — More choices!
- Ladder of Life Series — This is a very good character-training program with stories and songs set to music. Book copies available at ABC as well. Audio CDs are not available. (Does anyone know how we could make it available to our SDA homeschoolers? Please PM our admins.)
- Thy Word Creations — Scripture songs.
If you have any more interesting resources to share, we would love to hear from you and add them to the list!