‘I love the family
Longer than longevity
Mother tells me what to be
Taller than the tallest tree
I love the family
Sister loves me tenderly Sitting on my daddy’s knee
Let me introduce you to the family.’
~ The Stranglers
Parents who listen to music with their children are more likely to enjoy close relationships with them, according to a study in the Journal of Family Communication (Vinopal, 2018). The findings suggest that singing, dancing, and listening to music becomes increasingly important for family bonding as children get older. Music promotes bonding in families. This bonding is usually associated with movement which then creates attachment. For the study, researchers asked 157 young adults how often they listened to music with their parents as children, and how often they engaged in musical activities such as playing instruments or going to concerts. Respondents recalled memories from ages eight onward, and reported what their relationships were like with their parents as adults too. Results indicated that familial musical experiences at every age level were linked with enhanced self-reported parent-child relationships in young adulthood. Although, shared music seemed to have the strongest effects during adolescence.
The main message for parents is that it’s important to get into musical habits early on. These interactions can be as simple as playing your favourite songs while driving, or moving about to the beat while cooking dinner. New parents may be thinking long term what their relationship with their children is going to be like. The one way of improving, strengthening, and maintaining a parent-child relationship is to include music in daily living. It the perfect prescription!