The conversations of life

Want to get along better with the kids – or grandkids? Turn up the music


Most of us have memories – good and bad – of Mum and Dad turning up the radio on family car trips.

Now a new US study has found kids who share musical experiences with their parents – and grandparents – during childhood and especially their teenage years – report they are closer later on.

They surveyed a group of participants – average age 21 – on childhood experiences of activities such as listening to music, going to concerts or playing musical instruments together – and how their relationships with their parents was now.

The more music shared between parents and kids, the better they rated the relationship when they were older.


The power of music

They put this down to two things: doing coordinated activities such as singing or dancing seems to make people like each other more (we always thought it was the alcohol that went along with this).

Sharing musical experiences also encourages people to be more empathetic towards each other (if you’ve got teenagers, you’ll know how hard that can be to come by sometimes).

These experiences don’t need to be complicated either – even just turning up the radio can apparently have an effect so there’s no need to pack the kids in the car Partridge Family-style.

Of course, it’s not the prescription for the perfect relationship – but if you want to stay connected with your kids, it could be one way to do it.

SingStar anyone?

With a background in nursing, Annie has spent over 20 years working in the health industry, including the coordination of medical support for international TV productions and major stadium events, plus education campaigns with a number of national health organisations. In recent years, she has also taken time out of the workforce to be a full-time carer, giving her first-hand experience of the challenges and rewards of this role.

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