Kids, Life, Parenting

A High/ Low & Challenge Day 6

High of this week so far:

TV.

Did anyone else happen to notice that the This is Us Season 6 premiere came out on Tuesday night???? πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

We watched Seasons 1-5 this past year and loved it, so I was very excited for this. This is probably the first time I have excitedly awaited a new episode of a show on “real” TV since like, American Idol 10 years ago. Hahaha. We just watch such little live TV anymore! (Not live, but you know what I mean- network shows, in real time). I also went through a stint ~5-6 years ago maybe where I watched The Bachelor for a couple seasons, mostly because my best work friend sucked me into it and wanted me to watch so we could compare notes about who would get kicked off.

There is something very fun though about waiting for a new episode! When it ended, I joked to Ivan, “Click next episode!!!! Come on!” Lol. Obviously couldn’t do that… We are so used to the instant gratification of “binge watching” things now that this honestly felt kind of funny, yet refreshing. It’s nice to slow things down sometimes.

Last night we finished the final episode of Atypical on Netflix. We blew through this (4 season) series in a remarkably short amount of time. I’m going to claim that it’s because the episodes are short- only ~28 minutes or so. But we also had some serious binge watching sessions over Christmas week. I think one day we watched like 5 episodes in one sitting! We both LOVED this show so much. Funny, yet touching and inspirational too. (But definitely plenty of adult humor/ kind of inappropriate type stuff too, just fyi. Not for kids.) I don’t know if they are making more?? I hope so. The characters are so great.

Low of the week:

I filled out a form yesterday to officially withdraw Asher from piano lessons. (CUE MASSIVE SOBBING FIT FROM ME.)

Yes, it’s true. After much, MUCH discussion as a family, with his teacher, and the music school director, we finally decided to pull the plug. (Or I should say, we finally agreed to let Asher pull the plug, as he has been begging to for months (maybe over a year?) now.)

I won’t get into all the details, but the gist of it is: He says he hates the piano. He doesn’t like practicing, he doesn’t like going to lessons, he doesn’t like his teacher…. πŸ™„, he doesn’t care if he gets better….

It has come to feel like a seriously losing battle, one that sort of emerged slowly over the last few years. He started private lessons right when he turned 5, so he has been doing this for quite a while! We went back and forth a million times- I feel like everyone knows an adult who “used to play piano, but quit, and now says, “I wish my parents hadn’t let me quit!!!””.

So we tried, and tried, to push him to continue. But it has just become too difficult for everyone. He just does not like it.

This is hard for me personally/ emotionally, because I LOVE the piano. Like, I LOVE LOVE LOVE to play the piano. Up there in my top 3 things to do with my spare time. It is soooooo fun. I love everything about it. So I can’t wrap my head around how he doesn’t?

But I have to accept the fact that he is not me. And, he is interested in many other things and activities, so it’s not like he is going to just sit around like a bump on a log. (He also plays percussion in the school band, so at least he’s still getting some musical instruction in somehow.)

It still is sad though. It’s hard to know if we’re making the right choice, but it was feeling like WAY too much of a struggle. It just didn’t feel…healthy anymore, almost. The idea is to learn and grow and flourish and enjoy it. It shouldn’t be a form of torture! So, we’re done. πŸ™ (Ivan told him that his one condition is that he still has to play sometimes. Just for “fun”. He can play whatever he wants, but he wants him to keep up the skills he does have. And who knows- maybe he’ll discover a love for it on his own, once the pressure/lessons are gone. ??)

(Also, the good news is- I think we’ve got Ethan in for the long haul. Score one for us.)

Gratitude Challenge Day 6:

Describe the last time you did something nice.

Eek, this was embarrassingly hard to think of!! I think I’d say though last week, when Asher was supposed to get picked up for swim practice in carpool. It was snowing a lot, and we live pretty out of the way from the mom who was driving that night. I realized I had to pick Ethan up from basketball practice anyway shortly before swim started (their school isn’t too far from the pool), so I texted her and said that I would just drop Asher off at the pool myself. (This added time to my night, plus driving extra in the snow, but it was less of an inconvenience for me than it would be for her.) Asher asked why I did that, if it was her turn to drive carpool! And I said, “Well, just to be nice! This helps her out, and anyway, it’s not that big of a deal.”

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11 thoughts on “A High/ Low & Challenge Day 6

  1. My parents finally let me quit piano (and flute) and i honestly don’t regret it at all. My parents said the same thing-they knew so many adults who quit as kids and regretted it. But I am not one of them, lol. It is hard as a parent to know when to push and when to trust the child to know what they need.

    1. Well, this makes me feel a little better! I feel like the “in real life” people I have chatted with about this all happen to fall on the other side, in the “regret” category. So I’m glad to know you don’t have any big regrets! It must just be a personal thing, I guess.

  2. What a hard decision about piano. As someone who kind of doesn’t like music (I know, I know), I played in concert and marching band through high school and have not picked up my instrument since then. Everyone’s interests are so different and it sounds like he has other things to do with his time!

    1. I played piano from very young and then also starting in 5th grade I played the cello (and ended up playing that at a pretty high level/ took private lessons/ did competitions/ etc.). And I LOVED being in the school orchestra too!! My best friend was a very big time violinist though too, and we did duets and quartets together, etc. so maybe that played a role. But I just found it all really, really fun and I have some great memories associated with my orchestra days (and piano, too, which was obviously just done at home on the side). I guess I keep waiting for my boys to develop this big passion for music, but it just doesn’t seem to be there. It’s sad, to me, but as you say, not everyone likes music! Obviously you don’t miss playing, or you probably would still play!

  3. I did grades 4-7 on the viola, my kids did 2 or 3 years of piano each. No regrets on quitting, and now an unused piano sits in the house. But perfectly described. And isn’t it helpful to know even the Pearsons question their parenting?

  4. I quit piano as a kid and have MAJOR regrets. It is definitely one of the things I regret the most; a few years ago my husband got my lessons for my birthday (I’m musically inclined; sing moderately well, love music)…and it was a lot of fun and I was picking it up quickly…but it was just too much work.
    My Mom plays piano everyday and my brother is an incredible musician…sigh.
    I don’t regret that my parents let me quit (it was definitely my own fault), but I definitely regret that *I didn’t keep going.
    That said, most of my friends kids are in piano and I don’t have either of mine in lessons. I just know my kids would NOT practice well (we tried with Abby for a while just with my Mom and she was enthusiastic for about a week and then never wanted to practice). I don’t have the energy to force it. Also, I know a classically trained pianist who doesn’t make her kids take piano. She used to give private lessons and was a very sought after teacher; if her kids drag their feet and she doesn’t make them, I figure I get a pass.
    In short – if the kid doesn’t love it, I would 100% let them say goodbye. If they have regrets, it’s not your fault at all. Gold star for hanging with it for so long and you never know – he might end up picking it up on his own later on (this happened with my brother and he is incredible at playing by ear).

    1. Well in your case, I vote that you go back to taking lessons!! It’s worth the effort! πŸ™‚

      I’m happy several people responded with varying perspectives on this, because it’s making me feel a little better that there just isn’t really one right answer. I guess I sort of had the fear that letting him quit would be stripping him of this great joy in life that he just doesn’t “realize” yet, but clearly it’s NOT a great joy to him, at least not now…. I’ll try to focus on the fact that he at least has learned a lot (he can play quite well by now, after all these years), so I feel like if he ever does get the interest again, it wouldn’t be too hard for him to pick it back up…

  5. So of the 5 kids in my family, 2 of us stuck with piano for quite awhile. I took lessons until I was 16 and then taught piano when a teacher in our community wanted to be done. My sister took lessons probably through senior year of high school? Our other siblings were allowed to be done around 5th or 6th grade. They didn’t enjoy it, some weren’t naturally inclined to do well, and it became too much of a battle. But everyone had to try for a good 5 years, I think. Phil was forced to stay in piano until he was 16 and he really wishes his parents had let him quit years before. He hated it and got nothing out of it, and now he won’t touch the piano. So I think letting him quit before he came to REALLY hate piano is maybe for the best? I think we will take an approach similar to my parents and require probably 5 years of lessons and then the child can have input on whether to continue or not. I’m glad that Ethan is still going strong!

    I watched TIU last night on Hulu. I was so happy it was back but am sad it’s the final season! We don’t have cable so don’t have a DVR so I have to watch it on Hulu with commercials which is kind of annoying but it’s still worth it to have access to shows! Phil watched half of it with me and made jokes about it along the way. It is NOT a Phil show. He finds it way way way way too over-the-top dramatic. Like last night he said, “of course she is teaching blind kids.” His joke is to say “tonight on a very special episode of This is Us…” in a really dramatic voice. Ha. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. But was like – Kevin, get the heck out of Madison’s house when he was awkwardly standing there when she was spending time w/ the book club guy.

    1. hahaha that scene with Kevin was hilarious!!! We were both cracking up at that!!!! Get out of there dude!! Awkward…..lol!! Ivan actually does okay with this show, surprisingly! He likes it. But yeah, it’s definitely over the top dramatic in many ways. I think Ivan just kind of looks past that. Haha. But we also watched all of Dawson’s Creek together many moons ago, so….maybe we are both okay with kind of sappy shows? hehe. But then Ivan also likes dramas and action movies, and shows like Narcos or Stranger Things and I think he watched Game of Thrones?…he’ll even watch a Hallmark movie. I guess he just will basically watch anything. Haha. I am definitely pickier about what I’ll watch. Usually needs to be fairly light, ideally involve some humor mixed in, but not pure silliness, either- I like a good drama that involves an aspect of “parenting” (I liked Parenthood a lot, also really liked The Good Wife (legal drama, but had interactions with her kids/ relationships too, we watched The Fosters in the past (lots of home/ family themes), and Switched at Birth we liked a lot too.

      SO interesting about your family and piano! I’m so glad you shared that about Phil. It’s very helpful to see some different stories about this. Like I said in a previous comment, I feel like the handful of people in real life I’ve talked about this with all happened to be on the side of “Oh, I regret quitting so much!” So, it does help to know that Phil hated it, still hates it and has no regrets! (Although, maybe I REALLY wish you had said, “Phil quit, then one year later realized he missed it soooooo much that he started up lessons again right away, and now happily plays the piano everyday!! πŸ˜†)

  6. I’ll check Atypical, need a new binge watch series. I love this is us but not sure I’ll find the place to watch it soon. it’s such a sweet series!!!
    sorry to hear about the piano. I know it’s hard for the parents, I can foreseen that happening one day, but I think you made the right decision. he’s old enough to have a say on this, if it’s now it will be one day. And think about the opportunity cost of those hours he practices when he could be doing something that he likes/enjoys more.

    something nice I did yesterday during my walk was to say “good job” to a girl who was running with her dad. she must be starting and I think some encouragement from stranger would help. πŸ™‚

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