The presence of music in a home with a toddler is a sight to behold. Humans, by nature, are drawn to music, and the last time I checked, toddlers are in the human category. It’s not necessarily the music itself; it is the beat.
If you watch a toddler closely, they will keep up with the beat. Now they may not be Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers, but when music is played, they cut the rug to the beat. I, for one, was amazed when my daughter started dancing. I am no dancer. Period.
Children dancing is a normal part of the learning and growing process. And if properly nurtured, the next dancing sensation may be the toddler in the high-chair with the tapioca toupee’.
But not all children are dancers. And if your child is either not dancing or becoming agitated when asked to dance, don’t despair. Despite all the negative stuff you have read on proper development and signs of autism, it could be simple.
And our guide is going to show you some of the more simple reasons why your toddler doesn’t dance.
Is your toddler listening to the right music?
Just like they learn different tastes, textures, and colors, they develop tastes for certain music. And these tastes might not be Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. It just doesn’t have a beat.
You should expose your child to different types of music. The pathways between cells in their brains will become more responsive. They, in turn, develop certain favorite music by associating the memory.
If certain music isn’t present, they may not develop a taste for it at all. When it comes to music, choose quantity and variety. It creates a win-win situation in how well they respond to music. And how well they respond to the beat in the music.
Is your toddler even in the dancing mood?
Just as the way toddlers mimic their parents, they too will mimic other toddlers. If your toddler doesn’t want to dance, try having a play date with other short dance partners.
Your child might just be waiting for the signal to start. And if a room full of toddlers dancing doesn’t get you started well, you may be the problem. Seriously, some children need to be in the mood to do certain activities, and dancing could be one of them.
Encourage the dance moves by joining in. Again toddlers like to mimic, so you may be the key to getting a dance session initiated.
Never push the child to do something they don’t want to do. If your child doesn’t want to dance, don’t be the parent who demands. This isn’t good for anyone involved.
Is your toddler coordinated enough to dance?
This might sound cruel, but the child may not be ready from a coordination point of view. How much time do you spend teaching hand-eye and hand-hand coordination? Remember, too; we are talking about a toddler who is still trying to master walking. Don’t be overly concerned if dancing has yet to evolve.
Music will encourage a toddler to move to develop their motor skills. When you begin to notice these movements, you can increase the amount by increasing the volume. Don’t rupture any eardrums. Just know the louder the music, the faster they move.
And by moving faster, they will begin to develop muscle coordination. Eventually, they improve their strength and balance. All of these are attributes of a fine dancer.
Another good coordination builder is to give them a toy drum or other toy music maker. It will help the hand-eye coordination and improve their clutch grip.
Is your toddler a dancer?
Some kids just don’t dance. It’s not a learning disability, and it’s not a problem. Some children are natural-born dancers. Some are natural-born athletes. It may take a bit of time for your child’s natural-born ability to shine through. DO NOT WORRY!
Perhaps a better way to look at it is some children just don’t dance well. They might be more at ease sitting in a pile of Lego blocks, not on the dance floor. A parent’s job is to find the stuff they are good at and nurture it. Point them in the direction where they are at ease with what they are doing. And please be sure to praise them along the way.
Is it time to worry?
Again I believe that there is a simple reason why your toddler won’t dance. There is too much emphasis placed on ‘your child should be doing____by the age of____.’ Every child is different, and each child develops at their own pace. Some are slow, some are quick, and a few may never. But remembering their individuality is a key factor in understanding child development.
Now some learning disabilities may be forewarned by the lack of dancing. But there are no learning disabilities associated solely by the lack of dancing.
It boils down to a simple matter of proper mood and wanting to do it. And just because your toddler isn’t dancing doesn’t mean he or she isn’t going to be musically inclined.
Should your toddler be one who sits and watches others embrace the fact, he is watching and learning. A child can participate in many ways. Not doing what everybody else is doing shows extreme individuality. Encourage them to be their person, be a different person. Those will be the people on the cutting edge in the future.
Dancing children promote a vision of happiness and healthiness. These are priceless commodities concerning children. And happy, healthy kids are every parent’s hope.
After you explore all avenues and it is determined there is a problem with your little one, don’t despair. Children with certain types of learning or growing disorders are not unlike other children. They still want and require the same love and affection.