Children's Hobbies

To "push" or not?

20 messages
21/02/2011 at 17:37

My 11 year old daughter has been going to weekly electric guitar lessons for 18 months and is making slow progress. This is in the main due to the fact that she doesn't practice regulalry between lessons.

And then tonight she protested that she shouldn't "have" to go to lessons tonight as it is half term holiday!

Now, these lessons need a fair out of input from me, both paying for them and taking her every Monday night after work.

I asked her therefore does she really want to go to these lessons - she said she does and loves them!

I see them pointless if she is not going to practice much in between lessons.

Should I therefore:

1. Tell her I am cancelling them?

2. Tell her she must practice for say 30 mins three times a week and monitor that she does?

3. Just let her carrying on as she is now playing as litlle or often as she wants?   

21/02/2011 at 17:47

I didn't practise very much either, and had a similar conversation.

Dad said he didn't see why he had to pay for lessons if I didn't do any practise between them. So I was told that if I didn't practise, then he wouldn't pay. It was then, in a sense, my decision to carry on with lessons. I think I got given 6 weeks to show some commitment to practising. I did, but I ran out of talent and no amount of practise time can make up for that!

Obviously you know your daughter, but I'd have thought that you need to offer her some element of choice to continue, rather than telling her you're stopping the lesons.

21/02/2011 at 17:52

Hi Helen - I've also tried incentivising! I told her if she practised 3 times a week for 6 months I'd buy her a new Fender Telecaster guitar (£350!), she didn't though.

As you suggest no. 2 may be the best option?

21/02/2011 at 17:56

Like Helen I had to be pushed to practise (cornet and piano).  My parents had pretty much the same conversation with me although I was playing with a brass band, which I really enjoyed, so there was an added incentive for me to carry on playing.  They told me that if I didn't practise without being nagged they would stop my lessons, stop me playing with the band and sell my cornet.

    

I'm glad they did push me to continue playing as in later years I benefitted from being able to play to a high standard.  You daughter will benefit even more because the guitar is a very versatile instrument.  At this stage I would encourage her to continue but strike a deal with her.  You'll continue paying for her lessons but she has to practise.

kittenkat    pirate
21/02/2011 at 18:01

If only... then our child would be the absolute best at everything don't you know!

3......

That comment wasn't aimed at you OP, I just live in a ridiculously fucked up middle class area where parents live through their kids under the veneer of 'giving them all the opportunities'.

Bollocks to that, it's just pushy rich parents assuming that their children MUST be uber gifted in something.

21/02/2011 at 18:02

Why not talk to her instead of deciding for her and issuing ultimatums? 

Has the teacher said that she's making slow progress or is that your estimation? 

It seems as if you may both have different expectations about the lessons, maybe she just wants to go because she enjoys it.  Maybe she thinks that she is doing enough practice - depends too on what the rest of her week is like - does she have a lot of homework etc?

I'm not sure though why you want her to stop - it seems almost as if it's because she's not making the progress that you think / would like her to make, therefore, in your view, it's a waste of time and money. 

If it's for financial reasons, then explain that you think you're making the commitment (time and money) but she's not and see what she says.  She's only 11, so perhaps she doesn't realise how you see it.  If that's the case, then see if you can work out some kind of a compromise as HL mentions above.

kittenkat    pirate
21/02/2011 at 18:06

And so I rebel against that and my kids are kept in a dungeon with a cheese sandwich and a glass of water. I figure that way, when they finally get out, they can sell their story for shed loads of money and I've given them a character building experience to boot. Win/win.

(Disclaimer: Ok, it's not real cheese but that crappy cheese substitute that you get in slices, so you don't actually have to cut it. I'm a shit parent for that one thing)

21/02/2011 at 18:23
If I practice on my children's 3/4 size for 30 minutes 3 tinmes a week will you buy me a Fender?
21/02/2011 at 18:24
Jeepers wrote (see)

Why not talk to her instead of deciding for her and issuing ultimatums? 

I will - just sounding things out in the meanwhile

Jeepers wrote (see)

Has the teacher said that she's making slow progress or is that your estimation? 


A bit of both. He is saying she is doing well but could benefit from practising more.

Jeepers wrote (see)

If it's for financial reasons, then explain that you think you're making the commitment (time and money) but she's not and see what she says.  She's only 11, so perhaps she doesn't realise how you see it.  If that's the case, then see if you can work out some kind of a compromise as HL mentions above.


I do feel that I'm making the commitment (time and money) but she is not.
21/02/2011 at 18:25
Kwilter with a K wrote (see)
If I practice on my children's 3/4 size for 30 minutes 3 tinmes a week will you buy me a Fender?

Lol
kittenkat    pirate
21/02/2011 at 18:34

Is my suggestion of the cheese sandwich not cutting the mustard? You CAN add mustard if you like....

21/02/2011 at 19:07
Running Kev wrote (see)
I do feel that I'm making the commitment (time and money) but she is not.

Then just be straight with her and tell her.  See what she says.  Then suggest that you'll pay if she'll practise, agree to try it out until Easter (6 weeks of half term) and see whether that changes anything. 
21/02/2011 at 19:25

I'm not really in favour of pushing, although I don't regret being pushed to go to swimming lessons, as that was solely for my own good!

I also did a lot of gymnastics (from the age of 8 to 16), and my mum did a lot of ferrying to and from training sessions during those years. I never needed pushing once.

21/02/2011 at 19:35

i think there is a difference between encouraging and pushing. i agree with vicky, i did ballet, tap, and gymnastics from age 5-2(1!) with my  mum and dad giving up a lot of time and car journeys for things related to it. but like vicky, i never needed pushing or nagging because i loved it so much and therefore my parents didnt mind the costs of exams , lessons, costumes etc

my 7 year old started ballet at 5 , and yes i admit part of me wanted her to do it because i had loved that part of my life so much..she didnt like it, didnt want to do it and used to say she was bored/tired/busy playing to avoid going. eventually my hubby said its a waste of time and money, he was right, so she stopped.   sometime later we saw an advert for a dance school advertising cheerleading and she raved about doing it. she started , loved it and 18months later is still going and now doing gymnastics and tap there. not once have i heard her say she doesnt want to go.  they have to WANT to do it,and enjoy it to suceed. i wouldnt give her any of the ultimatums above, just talk to her , ask her what she does /doesnt like about it and if theres some other activity she would like to pursue...sometimes it takes them a while to find their niche...

21/02/2011 at 20:07
Lesson went well. We had a chat in the car on way back and she said she will practice three times a week
21/02/2011 at 20:41

...and if she doesn't ?

She may not take after you on the tenacity front you know? 

She's getting to the age when you just have to keep the communication open - and pick yr battles wisely. There's alot a door slamming years ahead ...

21/02/2011 at 20:48

We've had a chat and I explained the effort I was putting in and that I was very happy to keep on doing if she kept her side of the bargain - which hopefully she will.

If not, we'll cross the bridge ifa nd when we come to it.

seren nos    pirate
21/02/2011 at 20:58

Kev.....

I agree that if you are going to carry on paying and taking her to lessons then she has to put something in from her side...........that is life............

she then has that option..............or the option of just playing on her own in the house teaching herself.................both options are good.................

But I believe that children should understand if you are having to put in time and money for their hobbies then they should also put in the same....................otherwise they can follow their hobbies in their own way...............life doesn't revolve around them and parents are just not their for the kids benefits

hope it all works out

21/02/2011 at 21:26
God, I don't think I practised the violin at all (except for the night before my lesson) until I was 11. Then I decided I wanted to take it seriously and practised devotedly until I was 22. I still play for fun now. More pertinently, the ones who gave up as soon as we left school were the ones who were pushed into it and forced to practice. She's 11. Fair enough, she needs to know money doesn't grow on trees and if she wants you to stump up the cash she needs to show a bit of commitment, but by the same token cut her a wee bit of slack. It's much harder to come back to an instrument later in life when you're rusty than it is to make slow progress for a few years and then fall in love with it!
22/02/2011 at 00:03

So long as she wants to go to the lessons and does a little bit of practice I'd keep paying and just encourage her a little bit - maybe ask to listen to what she's been learning occasionally.   I think sooner or later she'll either decide she really does enjoy it and play more often or else decide it's going nowhere and knock it on the head.  


We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member
20 messages
Previously bookmarked threads are now visible in "Followed Threads". You can also manage notifications on these threads from the "Forum Settings" section of your profile settings page to prevent being sent an email when a reply is made.
Forum Jump  

RW Forums