Young par­ents don’t sing lul­la­bies, but sci­ence says they should

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Camilla Turner ED­U­CA­TION ED­I­TOR

THEY may once have been seen by par­ents as a sta­ple of the bed­time regime – but now it seems that lul­la­bies are fall­ing out of favour with younger moth­ers and fa­thers.

Just over a third (38 per cent) of par­ents sing lul­la­bies to their chil­dren aged un­der five, ac­cord­ing to a Yougov poll of more than 2,000 adults. But the vast ma­jor­ity – 70 per cent – of those who still keep to the old ways are older than 45.

The poll was com­mis­sioned by the Lul­laby Trust, which aims to pre­vent un­ex­pected deaths in in­fancy and pro­mote in­fant health. It showed that women were more than twice as likely to sing to their chil­dren ev­ery night, com­pared to male par­ents.

A study car­ried out at Great Or­mond Street Hos­pi­tal has pre­vi­ously shown that lul­la­bies help to make chil­dren feel bet­ter.

Re­searchers sang to a group of chil­dren un­der three, some of whom were wait­ing for heart trans­plants, and mon­i­tored their heart rates and pain per­cep­tion.

The re­sults, pub­lished in the jour­nal Psy­chol­ogy of Mu­sic, showed that young pa­tients ex­pe­ri­enced lower heart rates, less anx­i­ety and re­duced per­cep­tion of pain af­ter they had lul­la­bies sung to them.

A sep­a­rate study, pub­lished by the Na­tional Lit­er­acy Trust last year, found that singing songs and rhymes with your baby or young child sup­ports lan­guage de­vel­op­ment and read­ing skills.

Laura-jane Fo­ley, a so­prano and am­bas­sador for the Lul­laby Trust, said: “Singing to chil­dren is just as im­por­tant as read­ing to them.

“The mu­si­cal three Rs of rhythm, rhyming and rep­e­ti­tion are cru­cial to a child’s mental and emo­tional de­vel­op­ment.

“And by par­tic­i­pat­ing in the shared ac­tiv­ity of singing, par­ents are strength­en­ing the bonds be­tween par­ent and child.”

‘The mu­si­cal 3 Rs of rhythm, rhyming and rep­e­ti­tion are cru­cial to a child’s mental and emo­tional de­vel­op­ment’

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