My daughter is 2 yrs 4 months and for the last few months if I try to sing to her she gets very cross and tells me to stop. Sometimes it's because she wants to sing herself, but more often she just doesn't want me to. Do other parents experience this?

  • 3
    Maybe you can't sing? :P I'm just playing, I think dcm has the right answer.
    – Bobo
    Oct 16, 2014 at 19:12
  • Maybe the child gets restless because she has become very familiar with these songs... She may be interested in new material - it may help if you expand your repertoire.
    – Alexey
    Feb 22, 2015 at 13:08
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    My younger daughter will lose her mind if her mom tries to do yoga. Could be an associative thing. Maybe like you say she just wants to do it herself. Or maybe she thinks singing time means bed time. I wouldn't worry about it though. In 3 months it will be a new crazy thing and the singing thing will probably have passed
    – Kai Qing
    Feb 23, 2015 at 21:22
  • At that age she can probably talk. Have you tried asking her why she does not want you to sing?
    – sleske
    Sep 7, 2016 at 8:20
  • Is that how you used to get your daughter down for sleep? Maybe she thinks of it as nefarious sleep-inducing mom-magic and is in the "you're not tricking me into sleeping, woman!" mode. Sep 7, 2016 at 20:04

4 Answers 4


My kid is almost 3 and he does the same. We use to enjoy singing a lot together when he started talking. Now he just does not want to sing with me anymore, and when I do he either tells me "don't sing mama" or he changes the lyrics to "crazy" words. I think is just a call for independence, but nothing to worry about, I don't think is worth fighting a battle about it. He sings on his own when he is playing alone making up his own songs or putting new lyrics to the tunes he knows.

  • +1, same here! I think it's just a phase, and they don't always complain about my singing.
    – w00t
    Sep 16, 2014 at 13:28
  • a friend of mine's son went through a phase like that - not only did he not want her to sing, he did not want to sing, not want to hear music... And then, one day, he started singing along to tunes, by himself, and wanting her to sing to him again.
    – Ida
    Oct 17, 2014 at 17:42

This must be a fairly painful thing to hear your beloved toddler say, and you have my sympathy. I have to admit I've never heard of this before.

Please look for other clues that she's easily disturbed by bodily sensations, such as certain kinds of shirts, labels on her shirts, a reluctance to try or eat new foods, and, among other things, a strong (if charming) desire for strict-ish routines. If she shows any of these signs, please read about the "highly sensitive child". If she fits none of these, don't bother.

What to do? That depends on your parenting philosophy. I'm a strong believer in respecting a child's feelings, but not in letting a child run things that adults should. Because she finds your singing distressing for some reason (can she put it into words yet?), give her choices. Ask her if she wants a song or a story at bedtime, or if she'd like to sing, or if she'd like to learn a new song with you. Or if she'd like to sing one together. You can't "make" her like your singing. But you can prevent her from telling you to stop.

If it's an attention thing (she wants to be the center of attention and thinks her singing or controlling things accomplishes that), it should be apparent from other areas as well. That's a different problem, however.

Respecting a child's true and valid feelings is a trust- and- relationship building experience. This is different from coddling her. It's your job to draw the line on unreasonable demands.

Please forgive me if this sounds preachy or harsh. I really do empathise.

  • Thanks for your thoughts. I don't think she's hyper-sensitive or easily distracted, but although she doesn't like being the centre of attention she does like things Her Way and does try to be quite controlling. We don't sing to her if she gets upset about it but won't let her tell us not to sing around the house more generally.
    – user293594
    Sep 14, 2014 at 1:33
  • I was actually thinking the exact same thing. Sounds good. She sounds like a lucky little girl.
    – anongoodnurse
    Sep 14, 2014 at 4:33

Do other parents experience this?

One of my children went through a phase where it didn't want its mother to sing to it. As with everything regarding children, though, this was just a phase. It came and went.

I fully agree with anongoodnurse' parenting philosophy. You should not force your child to listen to you. But your child (or anyone else, for that matter) should not force you to stop singing either.

However, I'd like to add one thought to the other answer: When are you singing? Is it only to her? You haven't said anything about your family. Is it just the two of you? If not, does the rest of the family enjoy singing – be it theirs or yours? Do you often sing together? I ask this not so you would answer me, but to make you ask this yourself.

If the rest of the family often enjoys singing and obviously has a good time doing so, then your child, when told that she doesn't need to listen to (you or anyone else) singing, and seeing that the others enjoy it, is very likely to grow to like it, too.

  • We sing nursery rhymes and songs she knows from playgroup and cartoons, and it doesn't seem to matter whether it's her mother or father or both of us singing to her. Sometimes we'll ask her to sing instead and she does but it isn't often that she wants to be sung to or with. Like you say, probably just a phase.
    – user293594
    Sep 14, 2014 at 1:13
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    Yeah, always remember the parental mantra: It's just a phase. It will pass. :)
    – sbi
    Sep 15, 2014 at 5:17

Is it inconceivable that she just dislikes the sound? The other answers are somewhat worrying in that they don't seem to consider the possibility that children like and dislike different things and something that is appealing to you may not be to them. I'm curious to know whether you think this in itself is a problem, or whether you're just worried that your daughter is rejecting you rather than the activity?

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