My child has not wanted to practice , should we quit?
How do I know if my child is progressing or regressing?
These are the most common questions I hear from parents soon after they have began lessons. If your child is not in music but a different art after school program, you may wonder the same.
The answer: Developing a habit of practice and good home environment is difficult. It is a process and it can be developed over time only if it is nurtured with the patience of the parent.
Every journey has it’s setbacks. This could be a new goal at work, making a life style change, or starting a new activity with our child. Have you finished work thinking that you would spend a restful evening and suddenly there is a situation you need to attend to? Have you started exercising only to find out that on certain days you just don’t want to do it? We all have these feelings and they are natural. And yet, often when working with our children we feel that they need to do the right thing at ALL times.
Be mindful, not critical of your child’s small setbacks. Just like us they may go through periods of progress and regress. So when thinking about your child’s progress it is much wiser to look at a bigger time frame.
For example, if your child has been working for a year, think what has the progress been at the end of that year. Or if your teacher sets a goal for your child, wait for a month or two and then look back to see if the goal has been met. If you end up in a situation where things stay the same for a LONGER period of time, then that is probably when you need to be concerned and have a conversation with your teacher.
Think about it: One of the benefits of the arts is developing discipline, consistency and grit through practicing. If you need smart and efficient practice tips for your child check this post. In the process, you need to support your child through the ups and downs of practice until they reach a more consistent state with these skills. Don’t be the one stopping that process by wondering about the outcome. It is the process that will help their character on the long run, not seeing quick result.
At the end of the day: Don’t focus on the individual lessons, but rather on their sequence and your child’s development over a longer period of time. Seeing the bigger picture is how you would know your child’s true progress.