Watching your kids excel in various hobbies really is one of the biggest joys a father can feel. Not many feelings beat it. It’s really important that fathers support them in their passions in the right way. So, if your child has taken a liking to the piano, here are 4 ways that you can support them along their journey.
1. Focus on the fun
It is easy for children to forget why they got involved in performing arts in the first place. When the routine of their commitments – plus school, friends and family pressures – kicks in and they start to get serious about it, motivation can be impacted by extra pressure. Enjoyment then often falls to the wayside. Encourage them to share one great thing they enjoyed about their lesson when you pick them up afterwards.
2. Align your best intentions with their teacher
Often, parents have the best intentions to support their children, but unknowingly undo the work their teachers are achieving in the lesson with one word or question. Have a chat with your children’s teacher to learn what type of approach, feedback, encouragement and values they are working on. Strive to align your comments, feedback and questions with these.
3. Let children be children
When children’s talent develops or starts to show, it can be tempting for parents to want to give their child every opportunity to work on their craft. This does not have to translate into rehearsals 24 hours a day! Ensure kids have balance in their lives and get enough physical, psychological and emotional recovery. This includes social time out with their peers. Without a conscious approach to this, young talented students can burn out before they reach adulthood. Additionally, children and adolescents may want to explore other activities. This is OK and not a waste of time, resources, or money that have been invested to-date. Sometimes interests change and it’s important to support this exploration.
4. Don’t be a pushy stage parent
It’s tempting to want to get heavily involved in your child’s training and career development. While being present and supportive is important, ensure that you leave the teaching and career guidance to the professionals. However, this doesn’t mean not asking questions or inquiring about activities or decisions; just ensure you don’t overstep your role.
This article is taken from Gene Moyle’s June 2019 issue of Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice & Research, published by the Society of Consulting Psychology. This issue focuses on coaching elite performers in a wide range of occupational settings – performing arts, business, athletics, military and medicine.
From Pianist (10 July 2019)