Parents behavior and children behavior during the class

Luis Oliveira said: Mar 2, 2018
 3 posts

Experienced parents please help.
My son is 3 years old. He is starting his classes.
I believe the teacher isn’t experienced in such young children. I think most children start at 5-6 years old with her.

My wife takes him to the classes but he misbehaves too much. And she believes she shouldn’t lecture him durning the class. (I would put him grounded every class :))

At the end my wife is taking classes… Not him.

Of course children are like sponges and even if it looks like he isn’t paying any attention, at the end he learns something.

Out of the violin class he is a normal boy, polite and sweet, far from the hiper active child we see in violin class.

He already told he likes the violin classes, he doesn’t want to leave, etc, etc…

Have any of you faced this situation? Do you think we should be tougher ?

Thanks a lot.

Joanne Shannon said: Mar 5, 2018
Joanne Shannon
Suzuki Association Member
Los Angeles, CA
140 posts

I expect all parents to control their normal 3 year old.

Lois Reiter said: Mar 6, 2018
Lois Reiter
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Gatesville, TX
13 posts

At that age it is definitely up to the parent to control the child. When my own children were young the teacher made it very clear in group class that the parent was expected to take the child outside the classroom if the child became disruptive. If he is enjoying violin then the reward should be getting to stay in the classroom, not outside it.

Luis Oliveira said: Mar 6, 2018
 3 posts

Thanks girls.
After a quick search on the topic I saw other parents complaining about similar behavior of their children.

My wife will try to controll him but at the same time keep the morale high.

I bought a 4/4 violin to myself and I’ll try to practice together.
I can play a little bit of piano what makes everything easier.
I know that he loves to hear me playing the first four variations on the piano.

I’ll post about the progress. Maybe it helps other parents.

Barbara Rylander said: Mar 6, 2018
Barbara RylanderViolin, Viola
Saline, MI
29 posts

I hope you have read Dr. Suzuki’s book Nurtured by Love and another very good book is Your Child’s Growing Mind, by Jane Healy.

I have worked with young children and raised 5 of my own. And I would strongly encourage you not to go the route of “control”.

Instead I believe it is more important to gain a deeper understanding of Suzuki himself. He said “when the child looks up, the lesson is over”
I’m writing these things from memory so please forgive any misquotes. The book They’re Rarely too Young and Never Too Old to Twinkle is a fabulous resource for understanding how to work with very young children.

When I have a 3 year old in my studio I work very hard to have the parents interact in an appropriate way with their child. The parent and child relationship is more important than the lesson itself.

Being able to focus and extending that experience to longer and longer periods is what I consider to be THE fundamental of learning to play violin. (For me this comes partly from learning much about this post college about myself)

And I feel it is perfectly appropriate at this age for the parent to be the one taking the class. Children learn from their parent, from experience, from the environment.

So, I would see this opportunity to Nurture with love, to happily remove the child when he becomes disruptive. Have someone video the entire class. Watch it at home.

Another possibility would be for the parent to do the activities, and the child leave with another adult and then return. I would make it a privilege to attend. When the child is taken outside simply say “I know pretty soon you will be ready to sit and listen. Pretty soon you will be as good as the 5 year olds at listening to directions! ” This Praise don’t scold approach is fundamental to Suzuki. And it works. Inputting into a young child’s mind what you want them to think and understand, is much more effective than trying to outwardly control them.

And I’ve worked with quite a few 3 year olds, and a few 2 year olds as well. Developmentally, “control” mentality leads to a “war” mentality. You can only fight so many battles as a parent. Bedtime, brushing teeth, out the door time, lots of other things are battles that MUST be won. What I see with parents is that if this becomes a battle, likely the energy it takes will leave the parents at a disadvantage and eventually when there are too many battles, the non-essential, like lessons will be dropped.

Just my 2 cents. Barb

Joanne Shannon said: Mar 6, 2018
Joanne Shannon
Suzuki Association Member
Los Angeles, CA
140 posts

I totally agree with you Barb. I think that the word control has possibly negative implications and probably overused.

Luis Oliveira said: Mar 6, 2018
 3 posts

2 cents that for me are 2 millions Barb.
Thank you 10x.
I’ll forward to my wife right now.

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