I have a friend whose daughter has been taking piano for a couple of years. The little girl recently told her mother she really doesn’t want to take piano anymore. Her mom won’t let her quit.
Worrying about our kid’s future is number one on our list. We want them to succeed. We want them to know how to commit, be dependable, persevere. We want them to be able earn a good living. In order to ensure them this future, we stage learning life lessons via every experience they have.
We end up forcing our children to take part in activities that they are not interested in, thereby disparaging joy.
My driving factor is always happiness. If something brings misery, why do it? For me the answer seems clear but when I speak to other moms, I hear the same concern: how will my child learn about commitment if I let him quit when he wants?
Discipline and training are not bad concepts but it should be based on interest. Interest creates motivation and motivation creates commitment.
If we raise children in an environment that encourages exploration, they will find things that interest them and they will pursue them.
Mastering a skill, like say piano, does not require training to become disciplined to practice the piano. When a child volunteers to learn, seeks to learn and is allowed to follow his passion, he will work hard, even if it’s difficult and tedious.
Check out the talk on “The Surprising Science of Motivation”:
Article By Nuria Almeida
Photo By Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious