An 8-Year-Old Hates Music Lessons But Is Forced To Take Piano. How Should Parents Handle This Situation?

Dr. Gene Beresin answers the question: 'Forcng 8-Year-Old To Learn Piano?'

ByABC News
December 22, 2008, 3:55 PM

— -- Question: An 8-year-old hates music lessons but is forced to take piano because mother thinks it's best. How should parents handle this situation?

Answer: Every parent wants what's best for the child. And sometimes we impose things because we think it's the right thing to do. In this case, it's piano lessons.

So, what I would do speak with the child, and think about a number of things.

Does the child hate the teacher? Does the child hate the piano because the child has a very low frustration tolerance and it's difficult, and that needs to be addressed.

Is the child interested in other things? For instance, his best friend is playing the guitar the child wants to play the guitar.

Or are you playing the piano, and the child feels he can't compete with you because you're so good. Or is the child rebelling against you because it's your agenda and not the child's agenda? And that's probably one of the most important things.

We think we know what's best, but hey, this kid may be interested in sports, may be interested in art, may be interested in working in the community. There may be a lot of things other than music lessons that are critical for the child.

So, talk with the child about this and put it in perspective. Think about whether this is really critical for the child or whether it's critical for you.

Music lessons are great and many kids will come back later and say I wish you made me take those lessons, but at the time, forcing kids to do something that they really hate doing without knowing the lay of the land as I've just described is really not a great idea.