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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Velvet Nose: Moments that matter with your kids

Singing incorrect lyrics is just one way to strengthen your family.
We sing primary songs to our two older children as part of the bedtime ritual most nights. During requests, they often get to the point where they sing the entire song to you to request that you sing it. They love the tradition, and it really does help calm them down and get them ready for bed.

One of the songs is one my children call "The Bluebird Song" but is actually called "My Heavenly Father Loves Me." They call it that because the opening line says: "Whenever I hear the song of a bird, or look at the blue, blue sky." So they just kind of ran with it and it became "The Bluebird Song." I actually had to ask my wife the real title just now.

One lyric in the song is, "Whenever I touch a velvet rose, or walk by a lilac tree, I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world, Heavenly Father created for me." And when I sing this to them, I always substitute "nose" for "rose" and poke their noses lovingly. Every time, they burst into laughter and correct me with their "Daddy-you're-being-silly voices."

"Velvet rose!" they emphasize. I'll sometimes alter the lyrics here and there just to elicit this reaction, but this one I do almost every time. It's almost become part of the song, sort of like a round. I love it, and by the delighted voices of my children when I boofer the lyrics, they love it too.

This is the kind of moment every parent should cultivate with their children. It is so important to develop inside jokes, quirky and silly repeating jokes, and little rituals that help you bond. This is a major strengthener to any family, even though the events often seem minor. Look for ways to cultivate these minor moments that will become lasting memories for both you and your children. And beyond that, it socializes your children, teaching them how to be a friend in part because you are being their friend with the kind of moments friendship are made of.

What rituals have you found in your family which strengthen you in minor ways?


  1. We've always sung "I am a Child of God" to our son. Almost any time I sing it he stops to sing with me (he's 10 months old so its more like making sounds). He likes it so much that when we recently sung it at church he watched me and sang with me while I played the organ. He was being tended by another member so I'd look at him as I played and sang as if it were written just for him.

  2. Yeah, our two-yr old busts out in song during Sacrament all the time. It's good to hear she's not the only one. What she sings is not always entirely related to what's being played on the organ. And it's almost always louder. There's usually ripples of laughter spreading out from our bench in Sacrament when she chimes in.