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Music Conflict

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  • Music Conflict

    Hi mamas. We're having a music conflict in our home, and could use some input for solutions.

    My daughter is four, and very highly sensitive to sounds and to negative or sad emotions. She very much prefers the familiar when it comes to music. We have literally listened to the same CD in the car for over a year now, and I'm about to go insane. I've tried other CDs by the same artist (Laurie Berkner), and she'll listen to a few songs and then insist that we put back in her favorite CD. I've tried other artists, and she might like a song or two, and so she'll want to hear those songs over and over and over until she has them completely memorized, and then she wants to go back to her favorite CD. She seems truly distressed about it if we try to push her to listen to something else, and would rather turn the music off.

    My husband likes to listen to "grown up" music in the house, and she becomes very distressed if he does. It's like she needs to stop what she's doing and listen intently to the words, and she's bothered if she can't understand the lyrics or if she doesn't understand the context behind the lyrics. If the song is sad or angry, she gets upset. After a few songs she becomes overwhelmed with listening intently and wants to turn it off. She can't seem to make it background noise. My husband wears his iPod a lot so she can't hear it.

    Same thing if I try to sing a song around the house. I sing a lot, and like to bee-bop a bit while I work around the house. She'll tell me it's distracting her and ask me to sing in a whisper or to stop singing all together. If she is attracted to a particular tune I start singing, she'll want me to sing it over and over until she can memorize it and sing along.

    On the flip side, she loves to sing herself, and will make up songs a lot. She'll ask me to sing along to her songs, which are often very, very creative. She's even getting fairly good at making them rhyme on the fly, which I find impressive for a 4 year old. She plays her guitar and drums, and seems to enjoy her own music. She also enjoys when we all sing "camp fire" type songs - especially if they're the repetitive type that she can memorize quickly (like 100 bottles of pop on the wall).

    Is this something she's going to outgrow? Will we ever get to listen to anything other than the same 12 Laurie Berkner songs over and over and over? Seriously- I love music, and I sometimes feel myself ready to smash this CD to pieces. The songs are good, but it's been 12 months of them with nothing else!

    Before this particular CD, she was fixated on the Wiggles. At least there we had 4 or 5 CDs she would rotate between. And before that, when she was around 2, she would listen to lots of different CDs.

    I was thinking of making a mix of the songs she likes from the various different CDs (the ones she has memorized), and then maybe I could talk to her about trying to introduce at least one new song a week. Maybe that would be less overwhelming than trying to listen to a whole new CD, and we could just add it to the mix once she knows it. Any other ideas?


  • #2
    My almost 4yr old son has a couple obsessions with songs also, and luckily they rotate a little around, but are still very annoying. I do think part of it is the age, but other kids get hung up on clothing or food or something else more than music. We purposefully do not play "kids" music in our house that much, but that dosn't seam to make a difference! Our son has asked up to play this punk version of Spider-man forever, over and over etc.. AHHHHH I am going crazy also, I feel your pain. I am ready to let him use my old shuffle I pod with just his songs on it or set up a radio in his room for those times he needs it over and over...still not sure if that would work.

    I think it is normal...... Ahhhhh!


    • #3
      our approach is that we try to honor everyone's preferences, but no one person should be dominating all the time. so when i listen to my own music and my son complains, i say, when this cd is over, we can listen to your choice. same thing w/the t.v., computer, board game, outdoor activity, etc. EVERYONE gets to have a say.


      • #4
        Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
        EVERYONE gets to have a say.
        My son seems to not get this concept yet- other then-- "OK you can watch your show or listen to your music for 3 more minutes.. now my turn". His sense of time is very self skewed, no big surprise. He is getting closer to understanding the concept, but not close enough for it truly to work for the rest of us.


        • #5
          Originally posted by WildBlueberry View Post
          We have literally listened to the same CD in the car for over a year now, and I'm about to go insane.
          Oh, Mama, this made me smile so much because I'VE SO BEEN THERE!! But for us, it's a Thomas the Tank Engine cd. Holy cow, if I hear that thing one more time, I'm personally going to go to the Island of Sodor and and tell the Fat Controller where to put his trains!

          We got the cd when my son was two, and listened to it pretty often, then his sister was born a year later, and now at 3 yo, she's addicted to it! She always asks to listen to Thomas. Always. I cannot emphasize the word "always" enough. (Yes, that is four years of the same cd.)

          One thing that has saved us is that my car has a 6 cd changer, so when one cd is done, it automatically goes to the next one. So we listen to Thomas, and then it's done, we hear something else. (Though do I really have to point out that I have all 6 cds memorized? *sigh*)

          At home, we do exactly what a previous poster does, and everyone gets a turn picking out music. Everyone's preferences are honored, but no one gets to dominate. All our music is digitized on my computer, so it's really easy for the kids to choose what they want when it's their turn. (Thomas is NO WHERE on my computer! In fact, none of the car cd's are!) Everyone gets a turn choosing music. My 6 yo son has a cd player in his room, and I've made him cd's of his favorite music, so he often retreats in there when it's my turn to choose!

          We do that to an extent in the car, too. The times when I just can't take the kids' cd's anymore, I tell them it's my turn. I always choose NPR.
          Last edited by mahogny; 05-17-2008, 06:47 AM.


          • #6
            Could you get her an ipod (or other mp3 player) just for her that she could use in the car and at home while everyone else listens to other music?


            • #7
              Thank you for all of the suggestions! It's good to know that I'm not alone.

              I actually had some success in getting her to listen to another CD yesterday. We made a deal that we would listen to it only once, and that I would skip any songs that she doesn't like. We listened to "Music for Aardvarks" (which is one of my favorite children's music CDs), and she asked me to skip two of the songs. I asked her if she would be more agreeable to listening to that CD more often if I made a new CD without those two songs, and she said yes. So, maybe if I go through her collection and make new CDs without the songs she doesn't like, we could have more variety.

              It really bothers her to listen to "adult" music, and honestly, I don't like some of the questions that the lyrics provoke anyway. So we're going to try to get in some of our music when she's very heavily occupied in something else- like when we're outside playing - so that she's not so apt to try to interpret the words.

              I like the idea of the iPod, but I'm not sure it will work for her. When we're listening to music, she really likes everyone in the car to sing along. In a way, I really like that because it's more of a "together" thing. But I might try it - especially for long car rides where we can go through the same CD 4 times in one trip!

              Thanks again, everyone.


              • #8
                I know I am coming in late on this, but I wanted to add the good news about getting children to listen to new music is it helps develop the neurons in the brain. There have been some studies on this and I will try to locate them this week if I can, but you may be able to google it.

                Listening to and creating new music creates new neurons and helps the brain be able to view "life" and information in more ways.

                Ronnie has his own little cd player and I make mixes from his favorite cd's and then add one or two new songs to it that way he gets slowly introduced to new music. (Similar to what you did with the Music For Ardvarks, I love them btw) I love the computer age. I remember doing this with cassettes and vinyl.

                Now my husband loves a lot of the kids music, enough to where he will pull out his guitar and start doing Wiggles or other songs.
                Last edited by EcoMaMa; 06-04-2008, 07:19 AM.


                • #9
                  This isn't the study I was referring to, but this is some great information.

                  This one is more from the child playing music view than the listening view, but it has great information.



                  • #10
                    i feel your pain... i had to listen to a cover of eleanor rigby for two days straight.

                    luckily now my oldest has a varied taste. but sometimes she still falls into it. glad im not the only one


                    • #11
                      Every time I bring my 6 yr old nephew to the mall we MUST play video killed the radio star on repeat, the whole ride there (a good 30 minutes). If i don't he'll give us a hard while we shop. Instead of trying to compromise with him I've decided to just play his song and I tune in on my i pod.


                      • #12
                        wow, sounds like your daughter is acutely and auditory learner!

                        seems to me that this is something you just have to live with for a while. as for the CDs, try to sound more nonchalant about them but do keep trying to listen to other CDs, even if it doesn't last very long. at least, you get a break from the same old cd.

                        it's too bad you can't sing your heart out, though!