Staying “fresh” after 8 years of parenting a Suzuk

said: Aug 8, 2006
 5 posts

I have an 11 year old daughter who is doing quite well in her violin studies. She began Suzuki study at age 3 and we’ve committed to practice, extra supplemental work, and participate in group lesson opportunities and recitals. My problem is that I am tired and not really motivated to make her practice every day anymore. :oops: If I don’t say something, she won’t practice. We homeschool too and I can’t say I’m ready to start another year with that either. I am extremely proud of my daughter’s accomplishments and skill, but what does a Suzuki parent do when they run out of steam?

said: Aug 8, 2006
 32 posts

You are very much at the point where you should be “breaking away” from your role as Suzuki parent. At 11 years old, your child is probably already doing some of this pulling away in all aspects of life, and it naturally follows that in the Suzuki lessons, your role should be less.
I would suggest visiting with your daughter’s teacher, and explain that it seems she won’t practice unless you nag (gently persuade?:) her to do so, and that you need to be relieved of this role. As a teacher, I really think it is time for your daughter to take on more of this responsibility. You might try implementing some sort of incentive program (after so many days of practice, you get this…make it many days…), so that she can begin to take ownership of her own practice. (and I do not think it is bad to use “incentives.” 11 is still a bit young to really get that “sense of accomplishment for a task well done” that we adults feel.)

But do enlist your teacher in this, and hopefully she can come up with a plan between herself and your daughter, with role being minimized. There may be some bumps in the road, but it will ultimately be good for her and you to have you start to lose responsibility for her practice.

said: Aug 9, 2006
 5 posts

You are correct. Wish us well in our journey. My other fault is that I sometimes get too wrapped up in needing her succeed and that I’m a bad mom if I’m not aspersonally involved as I was when she was younger. Don’t we all have a lot to learn as parents ;-) .

Best regards.

said: Aug 10, 2006
 18 posts

Try making practice part of a morning or evening routine schedule. I found this very useful. Then it was not me saying it was practice time, it was just the next thing on the list of things to be done.

Betsy said: May 22, 2007
 3 posts

we have always made morning the designated practice time and it works very well. the kids are fresher, learn faster, and best of all for reluctant practicers—it’s out of the way! There is no nagging—it’s just expected and after 6 years of this, both our children just know they need to do it before school.

i agree with others—at 11, your child should be able to manage this on her own. maybe a discussion with her would help. you may be surprised.
it’s a tough time when they are moving from childhood to teenage-hood and some timely incentives might do the trick as well….good luck.

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