Music strengthens relationship with kids

Music strengthens relationship with kids
Highlights

Parents, take note If your children spend family road trips with earbuds firmly in place, all you need to do is turn up the music in order to improve the future relationship with your kids

Parents, take note! If your children spend family road trips with earbuds firmly in place, all you need to do is turn up the music in order to improve the future relationship with your kids.

The study was published in the ‘Journal of Family Communication’. The research was conducted by the University of Arizona, and the researchers found that young men and women, who shared musical experiences with their parents during childhood and especially during adolescent period reported having better relationships with their parents as they entered young adulthood.

"If you have little kids, and you play music with them that helps you be closer to them, and later in life will make you closer to them. If you have teenagers and you can successfully listen to music together or share musical experiences with them that has an even stronger effect on your future relationship and the child's perception of the relationship in emerging adulthood," said study co-author Jake Harwood.

"With young kids, musical activity is fairly common, singing lullabies, doing nursery rhymes. With teenagers, it's less common, and when things are less common you might find bigger effects because when these things happen, they're super important," said Harwood.

For their study, Sandi Wallace and Harwood controlled for other ways children spent time with their parents growing up and were able to determine that music seems to have a unique effect.

They said two factors may help explain the relationship between shared musical experiences and better relationship quality.

The first is coordination or synchronization, is something that happens when people play music together or listen to music together. If you play music with your parent or listen to music with your parents, you might do synchronized activities like dancing or singing together, and data shows that that causes you to like one another more," said Harwood.

The other way music may strengthen relationship quality is through empathy. "A lot of recent research has focused on how emotions can be evoked through music, and how that can perpetuate empathy and empathic responses toward your listening partner," she added.

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