A determined mind is the only way to success
A parent asks their child, “Do you want to keep on learning the piano?”
And here is what’s in the little child’s mind, “Does it mean, whatever I have started learning, I have the option of giving up?” “If I continue learning the piano, I have to practice it repeatedly, day after day, and even go to see the teacher every week; If I give it up, I will hang out with friends, or, even better, I will play video games and then take a nap. Yes, it sounds so attractive to me!”
So the child answers, “Nope, I don’t want to keep going”.
In asking such a question, even though with good intention, the parent try to show respect to the rights of the child by offering them a choice. What they cannot expect is that, as long as such a question is asked, the response is quite obvious: who wouldn’t want to take the easier option when provided with a choice. If you ask me to choose between going to work or being a couch potato, I will definitely pick the latter one.
To get along with children, parents should pay respect and attention to their thoughts and opinions. But bear in mind that to show them respect does not mean to spoil them. Respecting one another is a virtue, it is a lubricant for the harmony between people – to admit the individuality and equality of the others . On the other hand, spoiling somebody means letting him/her do whatever they want, without any reasonable limit or consequence.
Let’s take learning the piano as an example. Because children have not yet had a will so strong to insist on what they want, when given a choice, some parents fulfill their kids’ wishes, no matter what they are, to show them respect. But indeed it encourages children to give up easily.
Those clever parents know precisely when to make the decision for kids, at the right time and the right place. They do not just let them follow their desire. Life comprises of gives and takes – children will learn this truth when they enter the society.
Making the decision for children – what we just mentioned above, is not forcing them to obey us. It has to be done skillfully. For example, kid started learning the piano since very young. As the level advances, they feel the increasing pressure and think of giving it up. Knowing this, parents can try to let them have a pause for some days, and then bring them to watch a music concert. After enjoying wonderful musical times together, parents may persuade kids with both reason and passion, reminding them those precious moments of having piano classes, and finally ignite in their little heart the spark of passion and curiosity again.
In this case, the parents did show respect to child, and yet they did not just let them give up easily. In reality, however, most parents take the other way round.
It is all fine not to practice the piano today. May be also tomorrow? And also the day after tomorrow…Enough. On the journey of life, our children need to face all kinds of challenges. There are some that they are willing to face, some that they avoid; there are even things that they want to do at the beginning, and regret doing it afterwards. They just can’t simply say “NO!” to every one of them.
No success comes easily. Those who can because they know how to insist, and they can, insist. It is a virtue that everyone needs to get hold of and cultivate.
Life and piano learning are just one and the same.