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Study reiterates significance of lullabies for better emotional bonding with toddlers
Gone are the days when lullabies were often sung by parents or grandparents to calm children and putting them to sleep. These days, most elders use commercial pacifiers, including the musical ones, to calm and pacify children instead of singing lullabies to them. Even at the day care centres and play-schools for the children in age group 2 to 4 years, the care-providers do not sing lullabies to soothe children and put them to sleep for a nap in the afternoon.

Moreover, emphasis on speaking English to develop the vocabulary of toddlers has become a fashion in urban areas in our country. In such a scenario, parents complain that though there is a need to relearn and revive the singing of lullabies, they hardly remember those now and even the space for social learning has been taken over by the formal societal and educational institutions.

"Both parents and pre-school functionaries need to learn singing of lullabies and link this universal cultural aspect of human living to upbringing and early-child education," advocates the Jaipur-based NGO Bal Sansar Sanstha. There exist evidences that a parent's slow and soft tonal voice is a powerful auditory cue for a child to relax and calm down. According to child-psychologists, Listening to and feeling the tonal quality of lullabies provides a bonding experience to toddlers that lasts throughout childhood

The NGO undertook a quick intervention of restructuring lullabies for emotional bonding with toddlers and try-out with young mothers to study their reactions. The abstract on the intervention says that lullabies had been the parts of most cultures around the world for creating emotional bond with and emotional ventilation toward toddlers. However, a revealing news story that in the west and influence of urbanization have led to wrongful replacement of culturally evolved lullabies with rock and pop songs has been the motivation for this study.

It was thought to restructure and adapted eight old English lullabies as per the evidence-based basic norms and attributes of such songs sung softly with emotion tonal value. The users of a mini-booklet of these lullabies made favourable comments for the intervention that created awareness for parental education for informed choices for proper upbringing of children. The abstract on intervention has been included in the proceedings of an upcoming conference on psychology in Chandigarh.

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