Pieces of Me

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Learning things the hard way

Hannah has been taking piano for a little over a year.  She has excelled fairly quickly and although it hasn’t been easy to get her to practice, she has never struggled to learn a new song.  Until this week.  I don’t know if it’s because we took a week break from piano, if it’s because school started yesterday and she’s exhausted, or if she just can’t figure it out, but today’s piano practice has been horrifying.  So horrifying that I sent her to her room for screaming at me.  So horrifying that tears are being shed (by her) because she “CAN’T DO IT.” 

I’m still learning not to let her quit.  I don’t know if I can handle tears every day because I’m MAKING her practice.  Shouldn’t she enjoy it?  Shouldn’t she want to practice?  I want her to enjoy an extra curricular activity.  I want her to like playing the piano.  I don’t want her to play the piano because I make her. 

When does a mom know when to stop the madness?  I mentioned to her that if it was going to be this hard every day to get her to practice, we weren’t going to take lessons anymore.  That suggestion alone sent her over the edge.  Then I just told her I needed a break from her crying and left her alone.  What did she do?  She sat down, stopped crying, and played her songs. 

I guess I’m just going to have to give her time and trust her.  I can’t make  her like something, but I can’t take something away from her that she loves.  And she obviously loves taking piano lessons.  She’s just hit a point in her learning where she’s being challenged.  And she needs to be challenged. 

And I need to be patient.   Some things you have to learn the hard way.


Traci said...

This is one of the toughest parts of parenting IMO -- and it's the fine line of letting them be self-motivated vs. parents pushing them. Does Martha have any suggestions of different drills or something she can do to help in the meantime?

Whatever her instructor suggests for practice time isn't negotiable in my mind - that's part of the lessons ... the practice at home.

I doubt it was one week off that led to the frustration, but the exhaustion, other things on her mind, etc definitely could play a part.

Hope today is a smoother day and she's back to practicing!