Thursday, March 25, 2010

Monkey see, monkey do.

This year I seem to have a clump of students hitting high school. And adolescence. I keep overhearing some parents saying to others;
"Seven days! How do you get your child to practice seve days?"
The answer, of course, has varied for everyone, but one theme has emerged.
"We've always done it."

You reap what you sow.

I don't know that missing a day of practice here and there makes THAT much difference to skill development. Two days, yes. One day, not SO much. When you consider that I will accept (on a practice challenge mission, which is all about achieving a certain number of consecutive days) the occasional day only a single twinkle variation gets played, it's obvious that this is not really about working through the list very day.

It's about establishing consistency. If mum will give in today, she might give in tomorrow, and then - hey, I've won! It's the eternal power struggle that every parent will face, and I've decided that how you deal with it defines the relationship you will have with your child.

There's a big difference between saying "Don't want to practice? Tough, you have to anyway!" and "Don't want to practice? Ok, how come? Let's have a talk about what we can do to make it easier."
Acceptance, validation, application of problem- solving and... affirmation that the practice is still going ahead but may need to have a different structure or level of support.

Of course, being adult and therefore believing ourselves to be in charge (ha! The arrogance!) many of us are inclined to button-push right back. (Isn't it funny- we are so quick to label other people's behaviour as button-pushing but don't look at our responses in the same light?)

So what?

Don't know. I'm certainly in a privileged position to see parents working with their children in many different ways at different levels of ability; some are absolutely inspiring in their patience, empathy and common sense. Big shoes to fill.


SE'LAH... said...

Since I respect my daughter, I tend to let her choose the activities she's interested in, rather than what I'd like to see her excel at. It's a very fine balance.

Thought provoking post.

one love.

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Cheryl said...

You're the best adult ever.

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