Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sharing Footprints -- Some practical parenting tips

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are . . .

More than just a children's song, this has become our family's waiting song.

Children need to learn patience from an early age. They need to wait for their food, wait for the car ride to end, wait to be held, wait for the diaper change to end, wait in their crib when they awake.

This simple song helped them learn to wait. It started as I heated up dinner for our first little boy. I remember him just seven or eight months old and hungry for his dinner, starting to fuss. I gently told him it would come soon and began to sing, slowly, the words to Twinkle, Twinkle.

Magic! He calmed and joined in "babababa" and waved his arms around for the twinkling stars. A habit was born.

It takes us about 30 seconds to sing a verse of the song together and that often seems just about right for quelling impatience and restoring a good mood, punctuated with a smile and Eskimo kisses.

All of my children have since benefited from the patience taught them by the twinkling stars, and they soon learn other ways to occupy themselves when the wait is longer or when they have outgrown nursery songs.

In hindsight I should have chosen a simple hymn or Jesus Loves Me, but I didn't, and the habit is firmly stuck. We do occasionally now sing the Patience song from Music Machine. That has such practical lyrics:

Have patience, have patience
Don't be in such a hurry.
When you get impatient
You only start to worry.
Remember, remember,
That God is patient, too.
And, think of all the times
When others have to wait for you.

Too late to change our habit, and I don't have any interactive motions to accompany it. Now the first songs our kids learn are generally Twinkle, Twinkle; Jesus Loves Me; and then Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Go figure. I don't think that list bears any direct correlation to the priorities in our home, but it does give me pause now and then.

They learned the essential habit of waiting though, and that is priceless.

More Works for Me Wednesday.

More from my Sharing Footprints series on parenting.


Living With Lindsay said...

This is a great idea!

I have recently discovered that my son will lie still and calm for me to floss his teeth when I sing the lyrics to the old Mickey Mouse Club song. I don't know why, and it has to be THAT song. It has made flossing go from something that took 3 or 4 minutes of screaming to something that is now done in a snap.

Colored With Memories said...

awesome tip! and i love those lyrics. my 21 month old has just learned to sing twinkle twinkle all the way through...and now every time she sees a star, it isn't just a "star" but a "twinkle star"...so cute!

5intow said...

Lindsay, flossing . . . another great application. Funny how certain songs get the job done better than others.

colored with memories, thanks for sharing the smile. I love the baby versions of songs, and Twinkle, twinkle is one of the best!


Kirsty said...

That's great! My 4 year old is going through a very impatient phase. I am going to try this out on him tomorrow. Thanks!

Courtney said...

I think I need to use this tip, hehe! anyway that is awesome and i love it and will totally use it!

Amy said...

Can't wait to try this with my son! Great idea! :)

Bahama Shores Mama said...

how funny.....our patience song was/is the ABC song.

LaVonne said...

Thanks! I am going to start this now. (With Jesus loves me though) :)

Sarah H said...

I found my way over here through WFMW. I just wanted to say thanks for taking me back to my childhood with the "Have Patience" song! My mom used to sing that to us as kids, and I'd forgotten all about it. I'll definitely try this with my 3-year-old. :)

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



5intow said...


Thank you so much for commenting. It is always encouraging to "meet" new readers. Welcome! If there is anything that I can do, answer, or pray for you, I would love to!

Thank you again,