In an article I read about the show Sesame Street, it shared their original theory which they later proved true with some research data, “Kids learn better when their parents are there engaged with them.” Here are some ways you can use music to engage with your children.
Listen to a song with your family and then discuss with your kids what that song means. In doing so there’s opportunity for even greater learning impact. The great thing is those conversations will create a memory that is ignited again and again when the song is heard. I write devotionals based on the songs on my albums for older kids for that very reason. I also have a free app (Root for the Journey for iOS and Android) of family devotions and activities you can download and do with your family.
I’ve heard many stories of conversations that have happened between a parent and child because the child asked a question to learn more about something they heard in a song. That’s the opportunity to disciple your kids in action.
Use music to help create the environment in your home and your car, whether it’s in the background or with the volume cranked and ready for a jam. Play fun music that is relevant to your kids. Sure, they’re gonna like the latest pop song that comes out (cue: Taylor Swift or even “Let It Go”) but they need songs that are the right size piece for them too. It’s just like when they’re eating food. You don’t give your toddler a steak without cutting it into little bitty bites first. A younger child needs much smaller bites than an older child. What’s the vocabulary of the song? How repetitive is it? Those things are important so they can fully grasp the truth of the songs you’re listening to.
Point the hearts of your kids to the Lord. As a parent realize that just waiting till you get to church to worship isn’t enough. It needs to be a part of your spiritual life all week. It’s important to worship God in front of your kids, in the car or at home. Even spend time singing songs and worshipping with your kids. Your example of this makes a difference in your children’s spiritual life and future! It’s not anything we should take lightly. Our example matters. Our time matters. Our words matter. I recently came across these verses. Look at:
Psalm 145:3-7 (NIrV)
Lord, you are great. You are really worthy of praise.
No one can completely understand how great You are.
Parents will praise Your works to their children.
They will tell about Your mighty acts.
They will speak about Your glorious majesty.
I will spend time thinking about Your miracles.
They will speak about the powerful and wonderful things You do.
I will talk about the great things You have done.
They will celebrate Your great goodness.
They will sing with joy about Your holy acts.
Psalm 22:27-28, 30-31
From the four corners of the earth people are coming to their senses, are running back to God. Long-lost families are falling on their faces before Him…Our children and their children will get in on this As the word is passed along from parent to child. Babies not yet conceived will hear the good news— that God does what He says. (MSG)
These verses show us the importance of parents teaching and showing their kids about the Lord. If you are a parent then think about that and start demonstrating this to your own kids at home. Be an example in all you do: words and deeds. Show and teach others how to worship the living and true God that we serve.
I recall memories growing up in my Mom’s minivan listening to her cassettes filled with worship songs. I haven’t listened to those tapes in a couple decades but I can still sing their songs. It’s the message of the songs your family is listening to that’s so important.
As a kid I loved music. I’ve heard stories told by my parents of my love for my “Mr. Microphone” from a young age. Using the fireplace as a stage to perform my songs for the family. Music and performing is in my blood. It’s what I always wanted to do and felt strongly it is what God had called me to do with my life from a young age. I have devoted my life to helping teach people of all ages how to worship their Creator. I’m a mom of a young boy named Sparrow. I’m right there with you in the trenches figuring out how to lead HIM to Jesus. Whether at home, the car or at church, I’m using music as a tool to teach and model for HIM, a heart devoted to the Lord.