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Should you tell your child..

post #1 of 104
Thread Starter 
that they aren't very good at something?

(not sure where this belongs)

yes i was watching American Idol last night, and one of the girls singing seriously thought she was really good. She was absolutely devestated when she was told that she couldn't sing. She bawled her eyes out when she went out to see her parents.
I noticed with most of the kids that can't sing the parents are right there telling them that the judges are wrong, they can sing.

Now i have one son who sounds horrible when he sings (takes after me), he knows he can't sing. I haven't come right out and said you are a horrible singer but we do joke about it. He knows he is better at other things.

So are these parents doing their children a disservice by letting them embarrass themselves in front of millions?
Would you not at some point tell them nicely that they aren't very good or do the parents not hear what we hear??

I really felt bad for this one girl because she seemed shocked and devestated that they said she wasn't any good.
post #2 of 104
Personally, yes....I would tell my kid if I truly thought he wasn't good at something. Especially if he planned on embarrassing himself in front of the world.

But then again, there are things like art, in which everyone has a different opinion. I mean, lots of people thought that Picasso's paintings weren't worthy of being called art. What if someone told him that he sucked, and he stopped?

I think it depends on the situation. I prefer to compliment my kids on what they ARE good at than to point out what they're not good at. And I'll bet that this little girl on American Idol would never have gotten that far without her parents pumping her up. If she truly was a bad singer, then they were mean for giving her false compliments.
post #3 of 104
Hmmm... I've known since senior kindergarten that I couldn't sing well. I came home from school, singing Frère Jacques and my mom told me I was flat. So I tried again and I was apparently still flat.
Not wanting to be embarrassed, I mouthed the words whenever I was in choir so that nobody would ever be subjected to my attempts at singing. Now, I sing for DS -- and he sometimes screws up his face at me like "eww".
In many ways, I'm glad my mom told me that I wasn't a good singer, because I know that I have a pretty warped view of my abilities, and still am somewhat convinced that my voice is pretty decent (DH assures me, though, that it's not!). I know that I would have embarrassed myself singing loudly in choir or trying out for school musicals and whatnot.
However, I know I'd have a really tough time telling DS something similar. Ah, I just don't know.
post #4 of 104
I wouldn't say they suck, but we're a jokester family and would say something like, "don't quit your day job". I think it's downright mean to encourage publicizing a skill that they suck at
post #5 of 104
i wouldn't tell my young child that she wasn't a good singer, because kids take joy in singing.
post #6 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthea™ View Post
I wouldn't say they suck, but we're a jokester family and would say something like, "don't quit your day job". I think it's downright mean to encourage publicizing a skill that they suck at
that is kind of how we are.
post #7 of 104
I wouldn't tell them they were BAD at it, but I also wouldn't give them false hope by complimenting their talents, etc.
post #8 of 104
There are lots of role models for people without traditional singing voices that have done well for themselves and I would let my DS know that (Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, my crush Tom Waits etc - most rock stars wouldn't make it past AI first round auditions), but also be really honest about what his voice (or any skill) limits are, if he was old enough to think about entering a competition, and what a public audition (or private) entails and what a specific competition would be looking for. We mostly listen to ragged voices here so DS has lots of examples .
post #9 of 104
I think that some parents go around with rose colored glasses. They truly believe that whatever their children do, they are absolutely the best in the world at it. They really can't understand why others don't see it!

It's a thin line to walk though when it comes to parenting. I think there has to be a point when you talk to your kids about their strengths, then you tell them that they are much better at A than B. But lets say, like with my ds1 who is 7, that he loves to play soccer. He is not really good at it (OK, sometimes he can't remember what side he's on!), but he loves it all the same. It's good for him, he has fun, etc. Do I tell him and discourage him? I am not, because right now, it's just fun. But he's better at basketball, so I encourage him to do that. When I have to choose what camp to sign him up for, I would choose to send him to basketball camp, if he enjoyed that too. But if he really just wanted to play soccer, so be it. Now if he wanted to try out for the olympic team, I think we'd have to have a serious sit down.
post #10 of 104
My mom told me in the FOURTH GRADE that she didn’t think I was good enough to sing in the school talent show. I was crushed. I have also had my brother and sister telling me my whole life that I’m a terrible singer.

For the record, I can sing. I was in all-state choir in high school, as well as being in the hand-picked show choir and I’ve been singing solos since the eighth grade. A few years ago, I was offered a spot as the lead singer of a band, which unfortunately I had to turn down. To this day, I have no idea why they all told me over and over again that I couldn’t sing, unless it was either jealousy or just plain meanness.
post #11 of 104
Depends on the age. I think that after the age of 10, yes, I'd gently say something.
post #12 of 104
Good singing is often subjective and technique is not the be all end all, that's for sure. Children sing with heart and purity - what does technical talent have to do with it? Bob Dylan is a great example. Bruce Springsteen is another one - his voice is really getting rough lately.
post #13 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzharmony View Post
Bruce Springsteen is another one - his voice is really getting rough lately.
Ah, but it makes it just that much better, IMO. Whole lotta love for the way he sings it out. I have a huge crush on him .
post #14 of 104
in thinking more about this, I think I'd rather my child's story be:

"No matter what, my mom always believed in me. Noone else thought I could make it, but my mom always supported me."

than:

"my mom told me i was a lousy singer/soccer player/basketweaver, so even though I loved it, I never did it again."
post #15 of 104
I don't think I would come right out and tell her that she sucks. But I'd probably encourage her to concentrate on her hobbies that she was good at, and hope the singing took a back burner. If she really really loved singing, I'd put her into voice lessons and hope that 1) it helped her improve or 2) it made her realize that singing wasn't worth persuing. I love singing, but I know I'm not a pro. I'm glad that nobody has ever told me I suck. Because I know that although I'm nothing special, singing is something that makes me feel good. And I would have been crushed and embarassed if my mother had told me that I was a horrible singer.

I was in a band with a guy in highschool who seriously could not sing. He refused to let the rest of us sing, because he thought he was a rock star. Nobody would tell him that he sounded like hell, because he was our friend and we didn't want to hurt his feelings. I'll never forget the day that we had band practice at the guitarist's house. I went upstairs to get a break from the singing, and my friend's father was up there laughing about how horrible it was. He finally walked downstairs and said "Guy, you sound like a dying cat. Please stop." The band kind of dissolved after that. Probably a good thing, because our first gig would have been horribly embarassing.
post #16 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzharmony View Post
Good singing is often subjective and technique is not the be all end all, that's for sure. Children sing with heart and purity - what does technical talent have to do with it?
On a show like American Idol, it has a lot to do with it.
post #17 of 104
Yeah, I probably wouldn't come right out and say "You're absolutely awful". I would definitely point out things that he IS good at.

But, if it was a situation like American Idol...Where they wanted to fly out and audition on tv...I would not want him to embarrass himself. Maybe I wouldn't say that his singing is horrible...but I'd perhaps say that I don't think it's what they are looking for, etc.

So many people on American Idol actually think that they can really sing well. It amazes me that not even their friends have told them that they are not particularly talented in singing. I mean so many of them are absolutely horrible singers. I think it's actually mean to let them make fools of themselves. If that happened to me, I would ask my friends/family why they didn't tell me the truth.
post #18 of 104
I'd tell my children the truth in a loving way. I think it's mean to encourage a child to do something as a career if they're not good at it!
post #19 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama ganoush View Post
in thinking more about this, I think I'd rather my child's story be:

"No matter what, my mom always believed in me. Noone else thought I could make it, but my mom always supported me."

than:

"my mom told me i was a lousy singer/soccer player/basketweaver, so even though I loved it, I never did it again."
ITA. Also, maybe the parents think the child is wonderful? You know how love can blind people, I can imagine thinking my child is amazing at something, being able to see beauty in whatever she does, where others cannot. Who's to say it's the parents that are wrong, kwim?
post #20 of 104
I think it's important to do things for the joy you get out of it, and not for approval or praise. That's the message I try to give my kids.

I have seen parents that constantly heap praise on their kids for everything they do. I can see where this might give a child a false sense of their abilities, and place too much importance on the opinions of others--kids that always look for external approval.
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