Lil' Miss is in a Suzuki program. They use tiny instruments to teach tiny children how to make beautiful music. We had a rough first year - with Lil' Miss being disagreeable in her private lessons, uncooperative in her group lessons, and downright defiant in our practices at home. We did not want to throw in the towel, thus teaching her to quit, but by the end of the year we had definitely decided that we would NOT register for another year of torture.
Well.... over the summer, her private teacher assured us that Lil' Miss was on the brink of excellence. She apparently has a "natural talent" that is going to "take off at the speed of light" once she gets the attitude stuff under control. I certainly could not see this talent, but then again, I never played the violin. Clarinet from grade school through high school - but never touched a string instrument in my life.
We had a real heart to heart with Lil' Miss - as much as one can have with a five year old. She chose to continue and changed her behavior to show that she was serious. One of her little group classmates even said, "Last year she didn't do anything and now she's doing everything!" He received quite the formidable glare from Lil' Miss.
After half an hour of this, I gave up. Asked her to put everything away and I left the room to wash dishes. She happily skippped away, read through a bag of library books and then began playing with her baby sister. I wasn't really mad before, but now I am fuming. She thinks she can get away with not practicing and just go play? But what am I supposed to do? Trudge through the practice while she whines and draws it out for over an hour? Should I forget the whole thing and try tomorrow? Should I save my sanity and just quit altogether?
I finally calmed down, called her back in, and got her to finish the practice. It ended on a good note...but seriously, did it have to be so difficult? I pray daily for guidance with the kids, but maybe I need to begin praying before each practice. Maybe we should start each practice out by praying together! That would not only teach her a valuable lesson about prayer, but also hopefully put us in the right spirit to get through it successfully. Hmmm...it took me having to write this long post to figure that out!