February 03, 2012 — TLC for Your Family – Allowed to Bloom

TLC for Your Family – Allowed to Bloom
February 03, 2012


Here's your February 2012 TLC for Your Family Ezine – Enjoy!

Pink Daisy
We would never think of forcing a flower to bloom, right?

Over time, I started to apply this principle more and more to my children too.

My son, Keegan, has always had an ear for music, classical especially. He could sit, listening to a piece of music, and identify each instrument in an orchestral piece.

At some point along the line, I decided he might enjoy violin. He was only about four years old, but I knew a Suzuki violin teacher who taught children starting even younger.

And we tried, for a while. But Keegan just didn't seem that interested. So I backed off.

When he was about ten, he seemed interested again. I leapt at the chance and we went right back to his old violin teacher.

She was very clear that the lessons would need to be weekly, and he would need to keep up on his daily practicing of whatever songs she assigned.

Sometimes he was interested, sometimes not.

Knowing what I know now, I'm confident he would have retained his interest, were it not for the follow-the-leader, daily approach he was being told to take.
But, as it was, his interest slowly waned. And, after about a year of dragging him there, we finally stopped going.

He said he wanted to keep coming back, but when he wanted to. I said that was OK, and even the violin teacher was willing to consider it.
But he showed no interest in the violin for about a year following, until a few days ago.

That day he came to me in tears, saying how much he missed the violin. He said he realized that he had forgotten all about how much he liked it, and wanted to try again.

I had learned something from the last two times though: Offer help if and when it's asked for, and that's it.

So, I empathized, comforted, then checked in to see if he wanted help trying to play again. He did.

So, I tuned his violin and started looking for a YouTube video of his first song, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," to help him remember it. But before I could find it, he had played the whole thing, then his next song, and then his next! He was so happy.

When he at last grew tired, he stopped.

And you can be sure that I won't invite him to touch it again until if and when he brings it up.

This is just how it worked for me with guitar – I'm making the most progress now that I don't have a teacher, and can go at my own pace.

Reminds me of this quote from page 109 of the book Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School, by Grace Llewellyn and Amy Silver:

"Nathen Lester, a twenty-eight-yera-old recording engineer and musician from Southern California, shared this story. 'I was about nine when I expressed an interest in playing the mandolin to my dad. I can now imagine how excited he was at this since he is a musician and this was the first sign I had shown that I might follow in his footsteps. Within a few days he had rented a mandolin and showed me a few chords. He put it in my room, laying open in its case. I never touched it. I never even thought about playing it. I was busy reading and playing in the woods. After a couple of weeks I noticed that it was gone. My dad never rebuked me or even mentioned it. That's so impressive to me now that he knew me and trusted me so much that he could let it go like that, and that it didn't affect his support of my musical interests in the future. Now I am a musician. I wonder how my life would be different if he had [pushed] me somehow into playing the mandolin before I chose to pick it up on my own."

Something to consider . . . . :)

In any event, happy family-ing to you and yours!

Tiffany Clark
Family-Focused Speaker, Author and Advocate
Discover What Might be Possible in Your Family Life!

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