How do you tell your kids or show your kids that you love them? Is it unique? Special? Just for them? Does it communicate a message that you want imprinted in their hearts and minds forever?

One of the ways I have chosen to tell my kids that I love them is by writing them each their own song (or two or twelve). Now before you tune me out…you do NOT have to have a degree in music or music therapy to do this. I sometimes use a method called piggybacking to write songs. That means I take an already written, familiar song and add my own words.

People have been doing this for years. Did you know that “Baa, Baa Black Sheep” and the “ABC Song” are piggybacked on “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”? If you watch Sesame Street, many of the songs they use are piggybacked, but my favorite is Elmo’s song at the end of his piece. It is always to the tune of “Jingle Bells”. He uses it for EVERYTHING!

But, I digress…

Let me share with you one way to write a special song for your little one. Choose a song to which you can sing the entire tune. You might want to think of several, since some are easier to piggyback that others. For instance, “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, “London Bridge” or “Old McDonald” are pretty simple songs. Now, think about what you want to say. Do you want to say that you love him or her? Do you want to highlight something special about him or her? Do you want to write a song about a favorite memory you have shared?

Let me give you a very simple example…

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