Emma went to her piano lessons every week but wouldn’t practice at home so her Mum suggested she give up the classes.
Emma responded, “I don’t want to give it up. I love going to piano class. I just don’t want to practice”. So her Mum made a decision that I think every parent should make, (a decision I wish I had made) – that Emma could continue to go to the lessons without having to practice.
Emma is now 12, she started when she was 4. Still loving her lessons, and still not practicing.
The wonderful thing about this story is that Emma has had eight years of piano lessons that she wouldn’t have had, had they been conditional upon her effort at home. Despite not practicing, she has been exposed to and received all the benefits that learning a musical instrument promises, simply by attending and enjoying her 1-hour class each week.
When I heard about this story I had to share it – I love how it lets everyone off the hook. If you think your children don’t seem very interested in the activity you are taking them to, based on their lack of interest in doing practice at home, think again. Think about Emma and her amazing Mum!
Relax, drop the nagging and the coaxing (it’s exhausting after all) and let the benefits your child receives from that activity unfold without conditions or expectations. As long as they are enjoying it, you can be assured it will be of value to them, one way or another. I’m a firm believer that when it comes to learning experiences, that nothing is ever wasted nor a waste of time.