Archive for May, 2012

What’s in a Name?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Sophie, Emma, Michael –  these are beautiful names (not to mention very popular), but what do they mean?

Ever since I was a little girl, I thought about what names I would choose for my children. I think it’s a fun thing that most little girls do. You get to imagine that you’re a grown up with your own family, telling your imaginary children to clean their rooms and eat their vegetables. However, I didn’t know that names had so much meaning behind them until I got older.

Choosing a name for the new member of the family is quite an undertaking. This will be the name that will help to define who they are and will be attached to them their entire life. Since TV and movies are in the homes of most people today, many form a bond with the names of popular characters.

You can see the influence of this in the 2011 Top Five Names on the Social Security Administration website. Names like Jacob, Noah, Isabella, Sophia; can you pick out which ones were taken from TV or movies, hmmm? You’ll also notice a couples names topped the charts for years in a row. I was surprised to find out that Emily was #1 for girls for at least 10 years.

I became curious about what my name means too. Lynn, for example, is my middle name. I was surprised to find out that it means waterfall. However, if Lynn is used as a shortened form of Lynette, it can mean grace or little beauty.

You may already be aware of the meaning of your name because it meant a great deal to your parents. Some parents choose a name for the meaning rather than how it sounds or how it coordinates with a last name.

Many times, a name is passed down through generations in remembrance of a beloved grandparent, in honor of mom or dad, or the attachment to an aunt, uncle, cousin, or even a close friend.

If you curious about the meaning of your name, I located Meaning-of-Names.com to define a few of my friends and family.

What was important to you when selecting names? Did the meanings behind them influence your choices?

Sing, Sing a Song….

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Who doesn’t love music? While the preferred style of music varies from person to person, we love to turn on the radio, jam to our iPods, pop in our favorite CD, or just sing in the shower. Well babies are people too, and they love music just as much as us adults. Why not serenade your sweet one with the vocal stylings of – you?

Jan Boner M. Ed., MT-BC  recently wrote an article called, “Sing to Snuggle – Sing to Giggle with Your Baby” where she listed benefits of singing to your baby. Here are a few things singing can do:

  • Gains attention and engagement with baby for building communication
  • Optimizes an infant’s mood and regulates the arousal level
  • Strengthens emotional bonding with parent or caregiver
  • Helps regulate emotional states

 

 

Since babies will respond more to familiar songs, why not take opportunities to sing to your baby at different times? Jan suggested singing while changing diapers, feeding, rocking, walking, or driving. Your baby will become more familiar with the songs  and eventually respond with a gleeful  chuckle and a twinkle in the eye.

When I babysat my niece for the weekend, I would sing the song that her paternal grandmother would sing to her. Now I had no idea what her grandmother was saying, but I tried my best. I thought that even if I could get close to what she was saying, or at least follow the melody, my niece would recognize it.

The only thing I could remember was the word ‘Tumbala.’ That’s it. I knew nothing else. When my niece would cry, I would just repeat, Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbala. It worked, and she loved it. The real name of the song is TUMBALALAIKA, and I only discovered this when preparing this blog. It turned out to be a Russian folk song in the Yiddish language; who knew?

The point is, you don’t have to be a talented vocalist or even remember all the words to a particular song. What’s important is that you are singing to your baby.

It’s sweet; my niece is four-years-old now, and she still smiles when I repeat those Tumbalas over and over. It just goes to show how much children listen and remember. Jan mentioned in her article that you should even start singing to your baby while you’re still pregnant. What a beautiful way to start your relationship.

Check out musiktogrow.com; Jan is a teacher there, and this is a wonderful place where children ‘develop their potential.’ They offer ‘early childhood music classes, music therapy services, group piano and private instrumental lessons.’  Similar Musikgarten classes are offered all over the US and abroad too. Find a class in your area at http://www.musikgarten.org. What a great idea! I wish an organization like this was around when I was a kid.

 

Do you sing to your baby? There are so many benefits; have you seen the effects?