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As a parent the most important thing, we can do is let our children learn for the love of art and not to be mini-celebrities we see on television.
I heard a grandmother talking about how her 5 – year old is learning music and how..wait for it! The sentence did not end about how proud she was of the little one singing but ..again..wait for it.. about how her beats are uncoordinated with her tune and how initially her singing was off-tune as well. I unfortunately couldn’t keep quiet during this conversation and blurted out. It is a five-year-old ..FIVE YEAR OLD! And this is not the first time I heard such a thing. I have seen people around me having high standards, not for themselves but for others around and especially the next generation. It isn’t surprising because I have heard the same from my own mom, grandma and other family members while growing up.
Learning is equated to perfection and attaining celebrity status. Thanks to reality shows like Indian Idol, Super Singer and the like. Parents want their children and grand children to be on fast track and assume that their child is going to be the next super star in whatever they are made to learn and that is what every teacher should train them for as well.
But that is not the goal of learning. Teach your child to love what they learn, teach them to enjoy art and to explore different things and pick what they like. And all you people who criticize , you are mere spectators. Unfortunately, you are not an expert nor a critic. Nor are you putting in any effort in this learning which your little one is going through. No, please don’t tell me ,”I pay for it or I take time to take him/her to class.” Those aren’t good enough for you to judge them or criticize them.
Here are 6 healthy ways to introduce your children to art:
Set a path for them to really enjoy and learn it. Create opportunities for them to observe many things. Concerts, art exhibits, art workshops etc. show them and they will absorb whatever interests them.
It takes time to learn and master things. Child prodigies exist , but many successful artists who had no background learnt for the love of it. So you have to appreciate and encourage the learners and be patient. Don’t pressure them and keep checking on their progress. So, give them time to understand whatever they are learning, to decide if they like it and would like to move forward. And then give them time to actually learn. And if they decide not to master it or go on to be in reality shows, you have to respect that as well.
The whole reason why there are teachers/trainers/experts to teach are because..well they are the experts. So stay away from it. If you were one, you would be teaching yourself. Help the learner to develop a relationship with the guru or teacher and trust them. It is not just art but an inspiration/mentor who will enhance the process.
Love breeds excellence so if the learner loves what they are learning then they will strive to excel in it. So teach your child to love anything that interests them. If they don’t love it, then back off.
Do not force your interest on them. Your interest in music does not translate to your child liking it. So, again , let them choose.
Couldn’t help but say it. If you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything. I guess I have made that point clear already. Criticizing or ranking the singers on reality shows has become very common. But it cannot be done to the people around you. So, restrict your comments to people on screen who can’t hear you and not to your loved little ones. And do not compare them with stars or friends who are more talented. It is not fair, and that is just going to make them shy away.
Have you had such experiences? How did you deal with it? I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Cover image via Shutterstock
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