Letting Go?

The funny thing about the last post is that I find that if I really just do that my day goes a lot smoother.  I find that I have the worst days when I’m unwilling to let my kids do things their ways, when I insist that they do what I want, act the way I want.

Now obviously, I can’t let them have complete control but does the Princess really have to read the book that I got her from the library just because I remember reading it and loving it as a kid?  No, she doesn’t have to.  She can read “Spiderwick” it’ll be just fine.  But sometimes I can’t just let it be.  They have to wear sandals, not shoes, it’s hot out, SANDALS! Why?  If the Pea is ok with shoes and socks why on earth do I care?  I don’t know. But I do care! And he has to wear sandals,  BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!

I’m starting to think that if because I said so is my reason maybe I don’t have a good enough reason.  I need to let my control freak tenddencies go.  I need to be a little less type A and a little more type B.

Unfortunately at this point the only way I know how to do that is to give up entirely, which is why I let the Princess quit piano today.  I hate hate HATE that I did that but I don’t know what else to do.  I cannot have this fight with her every day.  I can’t send her to her room for hours every morning.

But honestly I’m sick about it.  Why?  I’m not sure.  Probably most of it is that I don’t play and I wish I did.  I don’t have much when it comes to the whole eye-hand coordination thing and my progress when I was made to take piano lessons was abysmal (so my parents let me quit).  The Princess, on the other hand, doesn’t have that problem.

She can play, she just doesn’t want to.  It’s just so sad.  It’s hard for me to see my daughter throw away talent.  And I know that she’ll regret it.  But she doesn’t, and she wouldn’t believe me if I told her.  So I gave in, I surrendered.  And the Princess was happy, she smiled she didn’t backtalk, she wasn’t made to spend hours in her room.  But I know I made a mistake.

I think I need a little middle ground.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jabe
    Jun 18, 2008 @ 00:23:08

    I know it isn’t my place to say (although I do feel it is my place to say that those things that go on their feet in lieu of shoes and socks are sandals, not sandles), but I agree that you made a mistake. I started taking piano lessons when I was 9 and my mom made me do it for almost 9 years, finally letting me quit during my senior year of high school when I had a legitimate excuse, because I had so much going on. It was not even six months from when I quit that I finally appreciated the fact that I had learned something I desperately wanted not to learn. I don’t know how to approach it or how to live with it (as the parent), but this is one of those where you should definitely reneg. I know there are a zillion kids who hate practicing the piano, but I don’t know a single adult who can play the piano that is sorry they learned…

  2. Alison Wonderland
    Jun 18, 2008 @ 05:30:26

    I knew that looked wrong!

    I know, I know, you’re right. And about two hours after I gave in she comes in and asks me if she can take violin lessons. Um NO!!! At some point this (yesterday) afternoon she also said that she wasn’t going to stop practicing, just taking lessons. HA!
    I know that I can’t really let her quit but I don’t know what to do nor how to do it. I do think I’ll let her take the summer off and then we’ll see.

  3. chronicler
    Jun 18, 2008 @ 07:29:08

    Go with her greed factor. My oldest is a great flute player. She wanted to quit a few times but always decided to keep going because she knew she could teach once she was a sophomore. Our district doesn’t have formal training for instruments and you have to seek private instructors. When she got to be a sophomore she began teaching lessons for beginning students and financed all her school trips with the money she made. If you don’t think it is a lot, factor half hour lessons on Saturday, all day long, at $15 a lesson and we’re talking serious money. $240 in a day and only teaching 8 hours or 16 lessons. Yeah, I hear it from her sisters all the time for me not pressing them to learn an instrument.

  4. melanie
    Jun 18, 2008 @ 08:30:30

    You need a new teacher! There are teachers out there who inspire the kids. They want to practice, they want to please their teacher. I do fight with Justin about practicing some but in the end I will see him really struggling to learn a song because of the satisfaction he gets of knowing he can do it. Not to mention I think his teacher holds him accountable. If he hasn’t practiced she lets him know that is not o.k. Kids respond to disapproval and approval.

  5. bythelbs
    Jun 18, 2008 @ 16:15:33

    My daughter doesn’t like to practice, but she’ll do it with a lot less complaining if I sit with her while she does it. And she only has to practice 15 minutes a day for her skill level (according to her teacher), and sometimes I let her do it in 5 minute intervals. How old is Princess? Maybe she just needs the summer off?

    I know what you mean about the letting go thing. I think to myself all the time “This doesn’t even matter!” Oh, but it does! For some reason, it does.

  6. Cat
    Jun 19, 2008 @ 06:22:10

    I’ve got to say that if she really dreads it and the constant battle it presents you is not doing positive things for your relationship with her, I’d let it go. There are certain things I absolutly would not let go– you hate studying math? Too bad. We do have to learn important things we might not enjoy. That’s life. But I recently read a book called Hothouse Kids which discussed the ramifications of forcing children to pursue studies like piano or voice just because they happen to be good at it regardless of whether they enjoy it. Most of the adults who experienced that as children loathed the subject at a minimum. If she’s been taking piano for a couple of years and just hasn’t developed a passion for it, I’d let it go. She may surprise you and choose to return to it later with renewed interest.

  7. Annie
    Jun 20, 2008 @ 11:32:50

    No no no…you didn’t let her quit. There is another answer, trust me. The day will come when she will look you in the eye and say, “Why? Why did you let me quit? I was a kid, I was stupid, I’d give anything to play now!” Ok, it might not come, but the chances are really really big that it will. Then you’ll hate yourself.

    Have you tried every single incentive program out there for her? If you haven’t, sweeten the pot a little and get that girl back on the bench.

    Also feel free to ignore everything I say. You’re still a great mom.

  8. Annie
    Jun 20, 2008 @ 11:36:01

    Oops. Just read your comments. I’m glad you’ve changed your mind. Tell her that Polly took piano and violin and her mother forced her to practice everyday. According to Polly, piano is way better than violin.

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