Kids, Parenting

My little shining star

A few years ago, Ka tried her hand at the piano/keyboard for a bit and she was doing very well. Her teacher was very impressed with how quickly she seemed to pick things up.  Then it started.  She would expect to get everything perfect on her very first attempt.  She would quickly get frustrated.  Then there would be a fair bit of fussing and whining that would turn into crying and more fussing.  We gave her the option of dropping it.  But she wanted to try it a bit longer. Then she assured us that she wanted to stick with it.  So we bought her a brand new keyboard that cost us a pretty penny and weeks after that she told us that she didn’t want to learn to play the piano anymore.  Needless to say, I was furious.  Mr. M was super cool about it but I am just not in the habit of throwing away my money like that.  Unfortunately, we were in India and the concept of returning merchandise just doesn’t exist there!  Anyway, we just had to deal with it.  We couldn’t possibly force a 7-year-old at something that was such an anxiety inducing experience for her.  So she gave up.  We gave the keyboard to my dad and that was that.

Once we moved to the U.S., we were talking to Ka about the benefits of learning to play a musical instrument.  Her eyes would just well up at the mention of a piano.  So, that was out the window.  We asked her if she would like to try a percussion instrument or a wind instrument.  She loved, at that time,  figuring tunes out on her recorder. So she chose the flute.  This time around we did the smart thing and rented the instrument.  A couple of months of classes and we were back at square one. She was frustrated and wanted to give up.  She said she hated it.  We told her she had two options.  The first was to rough it out and give it a few more months. We told her that unless she had given it her all, she couldn’t tell if she liked it or not.  The second option was obviously to go with her impulse and quit.  We told her she can pick either option and we would go with it; no questions asked, no judgement passed and no lectures given.  She continued going for classes, unhappy, frustrated, and torn between her options.  She struggled to make her decision and finally, after about a month, told us that she wasn’t going to quit.  She made me proud that day for two reasons.  I was proud that she hadn’t given up at the first sight of trouble.  I was also proud that it hadn’t been an easy decision for her.  She took her time, gave it a lot of thought, considered all the angles, talked to us about it, heard us out, heard her grandparents out (they were visiting at the time), thought some more and then decided to stick with it.  Once she decided to stick with it, she gave it her best shot.  And boy am I glad!! Here we are a year later…and she loves it!  She’s in the school band.  Wakes up before dawn to make it to band practice twice a week.  Definitely not an easy feat for the night owl that she is.  And what’s more. She now, sometimes, plays the flute to calm herself down…



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