A Woke Lullaby – Saying Goodnight to Consumerism.

It’s sometimes hard to teach our children the littlest things. Teaching them important life lessons is harder. Hardest of all is helping them teach themselves, and preparing them for those inevitable times they’ll have to learn a lesson on their own.

A Woke Lullaby – Saying Goodnight to Consumerism.

It’s sometimes hard to teach our children the littlest things. Teaching them important life lessons is harder. Hardest of all is helping them teach themselves, and preparing them for those inevitable times they’ll have to learn a lesson on their own.

What if we’re actively making it worse by reinforcing the wrong approach to these challenges? I’ve recently realised that’s exactly what we’ve been doing.

Every night without fail (and before daytime naps), my wife or I will sing our kids a classic lullaby, you’re no doubt familiar with. Hush little baby.

That means that at least twice a day they hear the same eight lines telling them: “Don’t worry, if things aren’t going to plan, mummy will buy you something” it’s normally something pricey, and always unrelated to the issue at hand. “Oh your mirror broke? Here’s a goat.”

A goat.

We might as well say “Hush little baby, don’t you problem solve or cope with your emotions. Which farm animal will stop the crying?”

Think little baby – the new and improved version.

Think little baby, don’t say a word. Listen out and hear the mockingbird.

If that mockingbird don’t sing, shine so bright like a diamond ring.

If that diamond ring turns brass, meet Alice through the looking glass.

If that looking glass gets broke, read a story ‘bout three billy goats.

If those billy goats won’t pull, run really fast like a charging bull.

If that charging bull falls over, go and throw a ball for a dog named Rover.

If that dog named Rover don’t bark, we’ll take a long ride in a horse and cart.

If that horse and cart breaks down, you’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

I haven’t changed much. The tune is the same, and so are all the objects/animals.

Instead of the consumerist “buying a distraction” when trouble arises, there are a few different approaches here that I think are a bit more practical.

They might not be clear right away, but they’ll make sense once you know them, and the song should serve as a mnemonic device to keep them close at hand.

  • Listen out and hear the mockingbird – Stop reacting, take a quiet minute and listen to the world around you. Give yourself room to think.
  • Shine so bright like a diamond ring – Have confidence in your ability to solve the problem, sometimes that’s all it takes.
  • Meet Alice through the looking glass – Get creative, think outside the box. Paint the roses red if you have to!
  • Read a story ‘bout three billy goats – You might not be on your own crossing this bridge. Is there a big brother or friend who wants to get the other side?
  • Run really fast like a charging bull – Get your heart rate up and your mind off the problem. Look at it from a distance.
  • Go and throw a ball for a dog named Rover – Maybe the problem isn’t worth solving, roll it into a ball, throw it away and have some fun.
  • Take a long ride in a horse and cart – Look to history. It’s rare that a problem is new, and you might just find it has been solved before.

There’s no correct order to apply these approaches, and in some cases your kids will need to work through a few to get there, but with this song they’ll have a better start than all those kids waiting for mum to show up with a goat.

And hey, if it all falls down, they’ll still be the sweetest/smartest/strongest/bravest little babies in town. I like to mix it up with that last line.

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