There are certain personality traits that are genetically passed
down from parent to child, such as eye color, hair type and color,
nose shapes and sizes, and even quirky things like preferring to
sleep with your feet uncovered so they can "breathe," while other
interesting habits and behaviors are learned. Growing up, my
beloved mother would come up with the silliest, funniest songs,
seemingly off the cuff. Once I was into my teen years, I recognized
the melodies of my mom's silly songs while listening to our local
oldies radio station. Sometimes I thought my mom was being
a bit too silly and crazy with the lyrics she'd come up with. Now,
being a mom, it all makes sense.
What do I do when my toddler is throwing a fit and his lunch
across the room? Instead of pulling out my hair, which seems
to be shedding more and more every day, I make up crazy,
silly songs about carrots and toes or peanut butter on his nose.
Is my preschooler giving me that defiant scowl again? Don't
scream into a pillow, just burst into lyrics from Oklahoma,
South Pacific, or better yet, The Sound of Music.
Although there are times to respond sternly to misbehavior,
there are also times when crazy, silly songs are helpful to
lighten moods of both parent and munchkin. My daughter has
already picked up this trick. When my toddler is upset about
something, she'll sing, "Animal crackers in my soup... ," which
usually calms him down.
Yes, silly, made-up, crazy songs are a powerful tool in parenting,
but I must give a disclaimer. Once comfortable in this new method
of familial stress relief, one may go too far and find oneself
using this technique in Target or the grocery store, sometimes
without even realizing it. This in and of itself isn't really harmful,
but one may find one's children attempting to disown them in
Do you have any quirky parenting tricks or funny personality
traits that you can see are multigenerational in your family?