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?
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.
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.
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.
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?