This is one of the keys. Do they want it? Is it meaningful to them? Or to the parents?
Is it, "stick to these drills because when you are a geezer you are going to be so thankful, I promise"? ( Pardon the silliness.)
Or is it, like moominmamma's kids, "I see you really want this but are frustrated because to get there it's going to take some work."
What are we talking about?
I guess in our house, it is all of the above. You can want something and be frustrated with the work it takes to get there AND it can actually be good for you to do the work to get there instead of giving up and deciding you can't do it. At least, I believe this. Life is complex, no? I believe adults who can follow through their goals and stick to some of the stuff they need to do are better off. So, I suppose my parenting is colored by that.
If a perfectionist wants a painted scene and is living with a painter, the perfectionist may want the painter to do the painting, so that the scene will look well done. Is that really different from an adult hiring a carpenter to do build a custom bookcase? As adults, we sometimes choose to hire a skilled person, rather than work to master the skills ourselves. Are children so different that we can't believe they would rather have a good end result than new skills?
True. But there are basic life skills children must learn, no? I mean, there are skills that are not required for survival (like carpentry/painting) and there are skills that are prerequisite for a good life. At least this is how I see it. I suppose, when it comes down to it, I don't totally buy that children/adults (people in general) can always do what they want to do and only that. I have never seen it work that way.
To get back to pek64 example about a perfectionist wanting a painted scene, there are several outcomes there. 1. Perfectionist hires someone to do it. 2. Perfectionist does it herself. 3. Perfectionist is happy forgoing the painted scene until s/he is able to hire someone to do it. 4. Perfectionist is unhappy because s/he can't hire someone to do the painted scene BUT wants it badly AND doesn't want to do the work to get there.
The first 3 are good and fine. The 4th can lead to a lot of unhappiness in life, IMHO.
Edited to correct some typos :)
Edited by Emaye - 12/9/12 at 5:00pm