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Discouraged

December 16th, 2008 at 11:01 am

A couple hours ago getting the kids off to school. It is 37 out, sunny but cold. My kid refuses to wear a coat. Without much drama, I gave him the choice, the coat or no guitar lesson today after school.

He picked no guitar lesson. Unfortunately wearing a winter coat regularly brings out his stubbornness. He really likes the lessons, but is a typical kid in practicing too little, too fast, and trying to wear me out getting around the house rules (believe me, I'm am tired).

Over the many past months it has taken alot of will power (and I am a disciplined person) to resist picking up the phone and just ending the music lessons. The making him practice ... the using lessons as a reward for what should be helpful work around the house, etc.

It costs $100/mo, not more than we can pay, but I'm constantly discouraged with the present situation struggling wills with him.

What a relief it would be to just remove this source of conflict.

Yes, to the detriment of his future. A music education is very important, I know, I had one as a kid too.

Anyway...
I had a good idea just writing this entry. Am going to call the guitar teacher and ask him to change our lesson to tomorrow or the next day, instead of cancelling. I hope the delay is enough to make my son make a better decision next time.

6 Responses to “Discouraged”

  1. gamecock43 Says:

    ahhh...I hate kids. I did the same thing as a kid. Now that I am older I feel terrible about the grief I gave my mom. I feel terrible about all the headaches I gave her so I could 'win' all the time. keep with it (disciplining him)though...someday (in a million years) he will thank you.

  2. mom-sense Says:


    I like the idea of moving the lesson, just don't tell the kidd-o! I had a spurt of time when my younger daughter was rebelling against dance - didn't want to practice, etc. I stopped nagging her about it, praised the older one who loves to practice (dances all the time). Then there was a feis (competition) that I didn't sign her up for. She was shocked that she wasn't going - after that she practiced without nagging. Good luck.

  3. Ms. Pearl Says:

    hmmm...I have mixed feelings on this one. Coming from a former pushy parent, I hate to see kids get made to do an activity that more often than not benefits the parents. On the other hand, I do think kids need to be involved in at least some kind of extra-curricular activity and music is awesome. Is that all he does? Does he maybe want to do something else or maybe another instrument? Once it gets to the point of playing child psychologist and bribing, things have gone TOO FAR. Trust me, I have been there.

    I pushed my oldest daughter into dancing when she was younger and letting her make the decision to quit over a year ago was one of the best decisions I have ever made as a parent. Now, she has been telling me she misses dance and wants to go back. We'll see. I would say to let your child decide but offer some alternatives and explain the benefits of learning to play a musical instrument.

  4. swimgirl Says:

    It's 35 where I am, and when I dropped my kids off, there were lots of kids without coats. They're probably freezing, but it won't hurt them, really.

    I would say, "Choose your battles." No coat? He'll survive, and he might learn on his own to wear a coat on the next cold day. My son was never cold until he was about 15. Now he bundles up when it's cold. I really can't imagine arguing over a coat. Or I would have suggested, "Take your coat in your backpack in case you feel cold.

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    You gave him a choice, but now by moving the lesson you aren't following through...what does that say?

    I don't know if ultimatum was necessary, but the follow through on your part would be a good idea.

  6. monkeymama Says:

    I took piano many years and was a terrible practic-er. As most kids are. But since things come easy to me I kind of slid by. (I made up for it by teaching for maybe 7 years - where I got my skill - and forced to practice MUCH more - plus a LOT of practicing with student no-shows. I probably improved 100-fold in that time period).

    This is what is such a shame with the education system now. I took flute for 8 years throughout school and was perhaps more proficient because we practiced every single day, in class.

    My piano lessons were helpful also because they were hour-long group lessons with private lessons in addition, so maybe had class twice a week. Was just more time.

    1/2 hour class once a week? Solo? Recipe for failure. Unless you have a really unique child. I'd just try to find ways to make it more interesting. I can vouch that even kids who love it will not want to practice, and I am one who is grateful my parents didn't give up on me.

    I guess my long way of saying if it isn't working, maybe there are other alternatives. Any way he can play in some kind of group? Or he may just need another teacher. Maybe not the best fit? Good Luck!

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