building good relationships with (grand)parents

Amy said: Aug 13, 2013
Suzuki Association Member
74 posts

I have one family with twin 4-yr-olds whom I started teaching a year ago. Though the grandmother did the initial work to get lessons going and is paying for both private lessons and the group class, the parents are model Suzuki parents, and I truly love working with the family. However, every few months, some issue comes up that is extraordinarily stressful for me, partly because it culminates in a couple weeks of wondering if the family is actually going to continue lessons. (This is partly because the grandmother has before threatened the possibility of taking the boys out of my studio, even though this would mean quitting violin, because there are no other Suzuki teachers in my area. Sometimes the grandmother does not actually voice the threat, but I still feel it because the threat has been there before.)

Are there any tips for nurturing and sustaining a good relationship with the people who are going the extra mile to make sure the kids have the opportunity to grow through music?

Carrie said: Aug 14, 2013
 60 posts

Let it go. Read the book Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. It helped me to understand what part of a relationship is my responsibility, and what I have no control of and need to let go. I totally understand wanting to keep the family and doing your part to make that happen, but it sounds like it is miserable at times. Understanding boundaries and using them in relationship will take away the grandma’s control over you and reduce your stress. Sometimes that results in the other person respecting you, and it balances out the relationship. Sometimes the controlling person leaves, but that is their choice not your fault.
Blessings as you work through this,


Amy said: Aug 16, 2013
Suzuki Association Member
74 posts

Thanks, Carrie, for that reminder. Setting appropriate personal boundaries has been a long-time struggle of mine, and sometimes I need others to point out to me when I’m not setting or sticking to appropriate boundaries. I’m looking forward to reading the book.

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