Advanced search

to think it's v. hard to be an understanding, hands-off, unpushy parent sometimes?

(19 Posts)
Pielight Mon 14-Sep-09 19:19:54

ds has just started Y7. He's been invited to join the orchestra, but he doesn't want to. In fact he never wants to play the clarinet ever again, thanks all the same, he hopes I'm not too disappointed.

I am saying, 'of course not, it's your decision' but being tight-lipped and saying, 'you might enjoy it, you're quite good' he is saying, 'I really won't, I really don't want to do it, I'm not that good anyway, I never practice, I might join the choir. I don't want to play the clarinet.'

He is an annoyingly reasonable boy.

I say, 'okay' - then I walk out the room feeling incredibly irrationally annoyed with him!

Why? I never knew I cared about the clarinet so much!

Someone remind me why we did music lessons through primary school again?

colditz Mon 14-Sep-09 19:23:07

You probably did music lessons through primary because one of his friends did - and he now isn't seeing that friend any more.

Or he had to do n activity and chose clarinet as the least offensive.

dogonpoints Mon 14-Sep-09 19:24:40

Just to rub your nose in it, I have to say I haven't yet experienced the disappointment of my children giving up on something I valued on their behalf.

When it happens, I'll give you an opportunity to howl in my face wink

dogonpoints Mon 14-Sep-09 19:25:50

ALthough dd1 has wobbled a little with her flute. I wazs most calm and unpushy (dh, the musical one, not quite so laid-back) but she's stuck with it.

bruxeur Mon 14-Sep-09 19:27:06

Jesus Christ I hated the clarinet at that age. And I wish my mother had been as apparently reasonable as you were. It is the most boring, mawkish, vanilla non-instrument that ever cursed a stage.

There is nothing wrong with being an educated and appreciative consumer of music - why do we insist that all our children try to produce it as well?

mice Mon 14-Sep-09 19:27:25

We had something similar with the flute when my eldest went into yr 7 - he suddenly lost interest when faced with so many other opportunities.
I managed to convince him to keep it up - by telling him to give it a go for half a term and see how he felt then rather than making a hasty decision. My son is also annoyingly reasonable and eloquent - but I can be too!!
He has just started yr 8 and has signed up for jazz band, orcehstra, flute choir and wind band - and one of the main attractions for him now ...girls! He has worked out that the majority playing woodwind are girls and this puts him in a very fortunate position! Those hormones that hit early in secondary school do very funny things!
I have one girl in particular to thank - my son started secondary school as a grade 2 and is just about to sit his grade 7 two years later - and most importantly loves it - so sometimes a little perseverance does pay off!
Good luck - it can be worth being a little "pushy"!!

Pielight Mon 14-Sep-09 19:33:13

Oh dear now mice has confused me. Am I meant to INSIST?

I asked dh - who is also annoying reasonable - why we did it again and didn't he mind just a little bit?

He said we did it to open a door, he learnt it for four years, he isn't a particularly musical child, he's old enough to start deciding what he wants to do, it it's the debating society and the rugby team, then that's what it is. He thinks he knows what he likes.


thank you dogonpoints! Shall prepare myself for your howling, though suspect it might not ever happen. smile

5Foot5 Mon 14-Sep-09 19:39:43

Are there any wind bands he could join instead?

I play the trombone and I always found that while wind players can have a fun and jolly time in a band, the orchestral parts can be a bit, well, dull. I don't mean the style of music necessarily, but just the fact that in orchestras the action nearly always seems to be in the strings while the wind section often sit twiddling their thunbs for 12 bars rest over and over again.

(Though I have just decided to give an orchestra another try to keep a fiddling DD company - but I am pretty sure it won't be as much fun as band)

Pielight Mon 14-Sep-09 19:45:59

Think you are right that a wind band might be better, but don't think he's dropping it because of that iyswim.

Jeez. Everyone here is being so reasonable, and in my house;

I'm the one feeling like a crazed pushy loony because of the clarinet.

Perhaps I might just start work on one of the other dcs? I might INSIST dd becomes a violin soloist or something by teh age of 9.

I must have agendas I never knew about wink

againandagain Mon 14-Sep-09 19:48:03

I competed in a sport at international level as a child and teenager and as much as I wanted it I was completely aware of the emotional and financial strain it put on my family. Since I retired at about age 18 I have struggled with my identity a little bit as I felt I didnt fit anywhere other than in "that world", which I was no longer part of. When I had my DD 4 weeks ago everybody asked if she would follow in what I did- my reply- NO!! I will spend the money on private school instead! Not saying that any of you are damaging ur kids by playing an instrument of course, but I do know that it is not nice when a whole family pins there hopes on a child. Saying all this I will be encouraging my DD to do some sort of activity- I just hope I dont get carried away!

mice Mon 14-Sep-09 19:51:14

I didn't mean to confuse!!

I certainly wouldn't insist - insisting is always certain to lead to conflict in this house!

I just wanted to offer an opinion from someone who had been there a few years ago and has come out the other side.

My son says he is pleased that he carried on - I didn't have to make threats or bribe him to carry on I just suggested that he didn't make a decision without trying it out first (he had never played in an orchestra or group before)

I see it as encouraging rather than being pushy - give something a go before deciding it is not for you - which he did - and in the process he decided he enjoyed it - and that he met lots of girls too!

Also - if he has played for 4 years he has the basics under his belt and can always pick it up again if he regrets his decision - or when his interest in girls picks up as it undoubtedly will over the next few years!!!

Pielight Mon 14-Sep-09 19:55:57

Oh yes, that's a good point mice. Thank you, that is a good point. Part of me does understand his thinking, because actually he really was never all that good grin and he is joining lots of stuff. It's not a universal sort of ennui.

I'm not insisting or pinning hopes on anyone, againandagain, I promise. It's hard isn't it? I know someone now who is training to be get in to Olympics, and the amount of discipline and dedication she has to give is staggering.

I am nodding and saying, 'okay, I understand, it's your call' and then leaving the room seething, and starting a thread in AIBU. I think it is my first!

Pielight Mon 14-Sep-09 19:58:07

(oh and he has played in a group before - so it is quite an informed decision, I guess) I think too Mice your point is right - it should on some level be a pleasure shouldn't it?

Okay, thank you all. Am working this through slowly.

<calls Yehudi Menuin school to enroll the dog>

wb Mon 14-Sep-09 20:01:17

No don't insist. Dh was strongly encouraged (nagged, pushed, goaded) to learn several instruments through his teen years - he is very musical. Despite this he most firmly put them down aged 18 and has played nothing since (much to his parents dismay). Instead he paints and wood carves as a hobby- he's not nearly so talented at these as he is at music but he enjoys them more. Being good at something is not enough - you also have to want to do it.

againandagain Mon 14-Sep-09 20:02:29

lol pielight! I think if you are feeling that you would like him to carry on playing, but are managing to present a fair discussion with him so what if you come out seething and feel the need to start a thread! And I wasnt saying you were being over pushy, I was just chatting about how it is a fine line. I know my parents would never mean any harm but I was very much aware that I led a different life to the kids I used to go to school with (I left at 14!)

Pielight Mon 14-Sep-09 20:13:29

Think you are bang on wb.

And againandagain I was probably justifying myself to myself tbh. Agree though is a very fine line. If he was in fact talented at the clarinet, I might step closer to that line, but as it is - wanting to and pleasure should probably be the deciding factors.

thanks all.

Pielight Mon 14-Sep-09 20:18:36

god being reasonable is a strain sometimes


dogonpoints Mon 14-Sep-09 21:48:17

oh no, if he's never been that goo d on the clarinet (as well as not enjoying it) let him drop it deff.

Tinfoil Mon 14-Sep-09 23:02:27

Have you asked if there are any other instruments he would prefer to learn? If he's interested in joining the choir, why not focus on that instead for now?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: