When Your Child Wants To Quit (What Would You Do?)

She was practicing in her room, counting out loud as she pressed each keys on her keyboard. I heard a lot of pauses. She played again, counted again and this time with the metronome… it was not that long til I heard another pause, and then no music.

I heard her running to the kitchen. She had tears in her eyes and a very unhappy face as she leaned against the wall. She actually looked so cute standing there wearing her pink long sleeve shirt and on her underwear, and the music book in her hand, slightly pouty lips trying to disclose the most terrible moment of her life and sparkly big tears behind her glasses.

I know what she was going to tell me and I can read her facial expression. She stated she wants to quit piano lesson and she does not like it anyway.

Looking at her so disappointed, I wanted to remind her that she cannot quit music. She knows that. We talked about it before. And she is doing well. Telling her no right at that moment would make her feel worst though.

When Your Child Wants To Quit photo

She was very concern. She was not ready for today’s session. She was having a hard time to count as she read the notes and play at the same time. It confused her. She cannot concentrate.

We did not have enough time to discuss about quitting and issue behind her disappointment. Instead, we got ourselves ready and head to see her teacher.

She probably thought we would cancel.

I did wish I have the knowledge about music and that I can find the right words or even a little piece of advice in that aspect. All I know is I can play a guitar and read the chords and that’s it.

So, as a mom who knows so little about music education I thought that I am not in a position to handle her difficulty to catch up.

When Your Child Wants To Quit photo 2I said to her that “Your teacher knows you better. She knows your strength and she knows your weakness. It’s okay if she notice you struggling and I know she will work with you. She will find a way.”

We got out of the house. She had her designated bag for piano lesson. I checked it while walking to the car and I noticed she did not have the right book in. I was quick to think that she probably intend to forget it, but I chose to shut my mouth and went back in the house and grabbed the book instead.

I joked to wipe her tears before she meet her teacher because I did not want her to think I beat the crap out of her.

She did great according to what her teacher told her.

She was a bit embarrassed to go back to one part of her old lesson or music sheet just so she can count, it was at slower pace but at the right rhythm.

I am a very emotional person and that means I was happy and teary eyed as I listen her play because I saw how stressed she was and how quick she decided to just quit.

I realized that sometimes telling her “You’ll be fine or You’ll do great” is not the best I can do, although I often resort to that to make her feel better, because in reality she have moments of not feeling great, and struggling. I want the best for her. I would do everything when I can, but there are times that the right person who knows where to lead and guide her on that particular situation can do better than me, her piano teacher.

Not to sound like I am a pro with parenting, but I try to remind her that life is not perfect. She can’t just quit. She can’t always get what she want. There will be frustrations and difficulties but she has to deal with it, and whatever it is, she needs the right attitude to deal with it.

 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. I Cor. 9:24


P.S Here’s a conversation we had long time ago that pertains to quitting (sort of). She heard her father and I so stressed/complaining about work.

Our Daughter: “Mama, just quit your job.”
Mama: “You can’t just quit. It’s part of life.” “Did Papa quit?”
Our Daughter: “No.”
Papa: “What if your Mom decided to quit when she was pushing you out of her belly?”
Our Daughter: (Silence)…. “but it was not a job.”

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