Inspire, Not Require: How I Got Music In My Blood

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I mentioned in a recent post that my mom sang professionally. Her name is Sandi Griffiths and she sang on the Lawrence Welk Show for about 12 years. Because of her example my family and I have made music and singing a huge focus in our lives.Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 12.32.37 PM

This had a real impact on our family. We’ve all enjoyed singing our whole lives, although none of us have achieved degrees in music.

I want to make a connection with a concept I mentioned in my last post called “You, Not Them.” This concept involves teaching your children through your own example. Hence the importance of developing your personal talents, increasing various skills, and investing in your own passions and dreams. When your children see you doing these things, they follow your example and become passionate, too.

I have to explain to people that we don’t always do formal school in our home. We do some formal programs and curriculum with our children, but it’s usually seasonal as we feel necessary. As our children grow, we place them in more and more formal learning environments, the ones we feel are best for them at the time.

I love to have my children help me can food and make nutritious meals for our family. The time I spend working with them teaches them lifelong skills that are practical and important to me.

Jenni recording music

Children notice and absorb everything, just like little seeds germinating in rich soil. They will follow our example, whether for good or for bad. If we only force them to do the things we think are important, without leading them ourselves first, we run the risk of them developing “hate of learning.”

For example, when my kids are playing and my husband is singing while strumming his guitar in the background, they are absorbing by osmosis the lyrics and messages my husband is passionate about.

I’ve seen this principle at work many times in my own children. If I can find ways to inspire them and help them learn without forcing them, their speed and depth of learning increases exponentially.

So, without further ado, here is a video of my mother on public television, involving me at 2 yrs of age in her passion for music. It’s the Lawrence Welk Christmas show of 1972. We’re singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

So, the moral of the story is . . . if you want your children to learn something, think about learning or doing it yourself, or at least having them often see that for you, it is a passion.

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