Do you remember when your child was a baby and first started making noises? They would start out slowly as cooing, grunts, or babbles, and eventually they got louder.  Sometimes squeals of delight may have sounded like screams from a horror film because the pitch would be so intense. These vocalizations from your baby would often catch the attention of surrounding strangers, sometimes causing parents to try to “shush” their loud child to conform to perceived social norms (sometimes passed down from generations – “children must be seen not heard”). Of course as parents we know that our baby was trying to find his or her voice. They were experimenting with their voice changing pitch, tone and volume perhaps to see the effects it had on their surrounding environment, but more likely for the sheer pleasure of vocalizing. Its instinctual for them, they practise this as a way of getting use to their voice and learning how to control it to express themselves.

These days with a 7 and a 10 year-old running around, not much has changed (ok, I exaggerate- lots has changed but the vocal thing hasn’t much). My boys run around at home, still experimenting with their voice, mostly loud, silly and definately attention catching. They make funny noises, forced burps, fake screams of pain when playing, and the volume always seems to be on high.  Sound familiar?  But step outside, into the public eye, or at school and all of the sudden there is volume control (for the most part). The safety at home to express one’s self fully and utterly freely is not carried over into the public just yet.  Of course there are the social expectations that children pick up from adults to tone it down, but I think it is more than that.  As they grow, children are still trying to find their voice, and they need their parents support to do so.

The irony is that as “new” parents, (parents become new parents at each new developmental stage of their first child as they try to navigate the route of an emotionally maturing child) many of us are trying to find our own voice as their parent.  Directive, non directive, laid back, structured, flexible, firm, what style of parenting do we voice?  So what is a parent to do?  Ahhh, that is the million dollar question that actually does not have one straight answer. To me parenting is all about intent. If you have your child’s best intentions in mind then you will find the groove of parenting them in a way that fits both you, your child, and the situation.   In that sense you will find your voice as a parent in the moment, much the same way a child or a baby finds their voice in different situations. Just as babies and children need to practice and experiment to find their voice, get use to it and control it so do we as parents. Of course the more tools you have at your disposal, the easier it will be to exercise your voice with the same confidence as a baby boldly experimenting with their vocalizing.

Comments are closed.

OffbeatFamily Store

You have 0 items in your shopping cart. View Cart

Listen To The Beat Within