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Should you tell your child.. - Page 4

post #61 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysideup View Post
I think you can be encouraging without judging--"you really love to sing!" "I love to hear you singing" doesn't have the judgment, it's just about your enjoyment.
Yes! Exactly! You don't have to lie to someone to make them feel good.

Personally, I'm a terrible singer and feel bad about my voice. I will always encourage my children to sing their hearts out at church, with family, friends, etc. Doing something for the pure enjoyment of it is one thing. However, if they decided they just HAD to be a pro and go audition, etc, I think I would be strongly encouraging voice lessons and leave it up to the voice teacher to tell them what's what. And for the record, I'll always encourage my kids in whatever they decide to do, but I'm not going to give them false hope or lie to them just for them to be crushed! I guess I'm saying it doesn't have to be either/or, ya know? If my kid was dead set on going to audition on AI I would be right there by them, but I'm NOT going to be one of those parents who says " I just don't know why the judges are saying you sound horrible - you're the next Kelly Clarkson!!".
post #62 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzharmony View Post
What if the parent is tone deaf? Why are parents automatically the judge of musical talent? Having taught music classes for families, let me tell you parents quite often sing loud and can't carry a tune.

It won't crush someone who loves music to apply and not be accepted to Juilliard, trust me.
No, trust me, it can be bad to lead someone on like that. I have a friend whose parents were always oohing and ahhing over his artistic talents and how he was going to be the most awesome and how he was better than anyone. Now he had some talent, true, but it was raw and undeveloped and nothing was ever done to help him improve it. He didn't NEED lessons, see, he was just THAT GOOD! Anyhow, he'd enter art in contests as a kid and not win anything and instead of just being like, oh well, his parents would throw a fit about how it was unfair, how he really was the best, etc.

Well up comes the end of high school and he decides, since he's an artistic genius, he's going to apply to all the big names. He sends in a COMPLETELY inappropriate portfolio--I'm talking tracings of comic books, crappy anime-style drawings of topless princesses, badly proportioned sci fi novel cover rip offs, you know what I'm saying. And the schools he had dreamed of going to since he was a kid let him down HARD. He didn't get into his LAST choice art school. And worst of all, while he was on campus for a scholarship application, he saw kids with appropriate portfolios and it dawned on him that he was in totally over his head and he was MORTIFIED. He was so humiliated. And down the toilet went all these dreams his parents had cultivated and he had built his whole identity on those dreams!!

He's alright now, but he's still a little irked that his parents didn't insert a little reality. Like I said, the talent was real; if they had reacted realistically he would have had a chance to cultivate it appropriately instead of being embarrassed to within an inch of his life.

And as for Juilliard, conservatories, etc, I've done the whole conservatory audition scene. I was prepared, I got in, I even got scholarships. It was hard, hard work with a lot of dreams riding on it. If you show up at Juilliard, a lifetime's worth of dreams of Carnegie Hall, etc, etc, dancing around your head...and play some tunes from the Lion King...you can see the looks on the faculty's faces. And when you see that the guy in front of you played Tchaikovsky, Bach, 3 octave scales, and an etude that made your head spin, YEAH that would hurt. Unless you're painfully naive.

Like I said I was prepared well and I WON a scholarship and I was intimidated. I can't imagine what it would feel like to basically show up and realize you're butt naked.
post #63 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
I have a friend whose parents were always oohing and ahhing over his artistic talents and how he was going to be the most awesome and how he was better than anyone. Now he had some talent, true, but it was raw and undeveloped and nothing was ever done to help him improve it. He didn't NEED lessons, see, he was just THAT GOOD! Anyhow, he'd enter art in contests as a kid and not win anything and instead of just being like, oh well, his parents would throw a fit about how it was unfair, how he really was the best, etc.
Parents often don't know whether or not their kid has "talent". Too much emotional investment, jealousy, unfulfilled childhood dreams of the parent, whatever. Or just plain tone deafness. Parents can make the mistake in either direction - so it doesn't really make sense for them to crush or elevate their children's dreams. Let the kid enjoy life and some artistic persuits along the way for goodness' sake.
post #64 of 104
I would not tell my child that she is bad at something, because of my experience.....

My mother always told me a lot of things when I was growing up. She always said that I wasn't funny, just like her. I was so self-conscious as a child to begin with, and now I knew that I wasn't funny..... so I wouldn't even try.

And guess what? Hey, I found out I actually AM kind of funny at times, I just have a weird sense of humour. And its not bad! I have had a lot of people over the years tell me that I am funny.

I think she may have been trying to help me, but really it just made me afraid to try.

She also told me other things.... about how I am selfish just like her, I'm introverted just like her, etc. None of those things are really true.... especially not to the extent that she said so.

Since growing up and moving away, I have been shocked in realizing what a different person I really am. I grew up with what I was TOLD that I was.... and it was wrong.

SO..... long story, short..... I'm not going to tell my child who she is.

If she wanted to a singer, and I thought she needed improvement, I would offer her the chance to take voice lessons.

Even though so many people on American Idol really sucked.... at least they made the effort to actually get on there and try to do something that the loved. It must have been important to them if they got on there. That's something in and of itself.


Also, I'm not going to lie to my daughter and tell her how GREAT she is at something, if shes not. I hope to offer constructive criticism and the opportunities to develop her talents. I'm not going to insist she is an amazing singer, if shes not.
post #65 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
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?
Actually Picasso was very skilled at naturalistic representation. He mastered drawing at a very young age. He knew he was good

I agree that people shouldn't be discouraged though.

Fred Astaire once got the evaluation from a Paramount executive who had reported that Fred Astaire: "Can't act. Can't sing. Balding. Can dance a little."

So you never know.
post #66 of 104
I can not sing and I know it, but I love to sing so very much. I am glad I know I can't sing - I am completely tone deaf. But I think that singing is very fun and healing and I think children should be encouraged to sing their hearts out. Not necessarily on TV though!
post #67 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by warriorprincess View Post
I usually wouldn't say anything, but if they were trying to get on American Idol and they couldn't carry a tune, well, I'd be kinder than Simon!
post #68 of 104
Y'know, I love to sing, too. I used to sing in choir. I can carry a tune (some of the time) but I know I'm not great. I KNOW I could never get into AI. Yet I still take enjoyment out of singing... I sing to my kid all the time. She loves it......writing this it dawns on me that this might be the crux of the issue for me. I get the impression from AI auditions that for some people, love of singing = they must be great! they're popstars!, rather than love of singing = enjoyment of the skill for its own sake. That's what I find unhealthy, and sad.
post #69 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."
MamaG- you are the bomb! I agree 100% with your other post, too!
post #70 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."
:

My mom also told me that I sucked at singing. And art, and music and ... My whole family is full of artists so this was tough for me to hear and as a result I never did anything like that again. Then I moved to Texas and I found that the lack of mountains and water was so depressing, I had to add some art to my life and although I will never go to art school, I'm not that bad at it.

I think it's terrible to tell your child that they suck at something because there are enough people in the world who will be more then happy to tell them they suck. As a parent, I think it is our responsibility to support them in their endevors. I also don't believe in lying to them so if DD is not such a great singer, I won't give her false hope.

Also, I can't really believe anyone would encourage their child to go on American Idol. If DD came to me and told me she wanted to go on that show, I would watch it with her and hopefully help her realize that a show that devalues someone so completely because they can't sing according to their standard isn't worth supporting in any manner. Am I the only one in America who thinks that embarrassing someone on TV is just cruel and shouldn't be supported?
post #71 of 104
It is not my place to place judgments like "good" or "bad" on anything my children do. It IS my place to support them. To feel joy at what brings them joy. To empathize with their disappointments. I can't imagine telling my child they are "bad" at what they love and that they shouldn't even try. How heartbreaking it would be to hear no matter how good my intentions.

If my child wished to audition for some ridiculous show even though he likely had no talent I would still encourage him. I would not fill him full of false hope, I would tell him how difficult it would be and that the judges may very well be mean and insulting if they didn't enjoy his performance, but I would never tell him he wasn't good enough. If he truly wanted to do it and understood what he was up against I would help and support him in his efforts. I would give him all the facts and allow HIM to make the choice and leave my personal opinion out of it.

That is what the people who love you SHOULD do. Offer unconditional love and support. They should see your dreams and encourage you along the way. And they should stand in the wings with love and empathy if things don't go the way you hoped they would.
post #72 of 104
It's so not either/or, though. I mean, I don't have to shoot you down to give you a realistic sense of your talents. I don't think it's either "believe in your child no matter what, even if it means they fall on their face to great humilation on national TV" or "tell them they suck and bash them so they never try again." I think the healthiest route would be to give age-appropriate realistic feedback. I'm not going to tell a 4 year old her drawings aren't done with proper perspective or her violin sounds scratchy. But if she's 18 and trying to get into RISD or Juilliard? I'd say something. Maybe, "I'm wondering if it would be good for your portfolio to try drawing some forms in perspective" or "I wonder if xyz piece is the one you should play at Juilliard, it sounds like you're really having to scramble to keep up with the notes. Maybe we should talk to Teacher X and figure out a different piece to learn." Maybe, if there was some true delusional behavior going on, sitting down and chatting about realistic expectations and how it's OK to dream big but most of us don't get to be the star and that's OK. Call me an evil, terrible, soul-crushing person, I guess. I'd just rather she hear it gently from dear old mom than get laughed at by people who don't care about her.

And I really don't think that constructive criticism given gently by a loving parent is going to stop a child from doing something they enjoy. If it does, well I am guessing there's yet another problem.
post #73 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
It's so not either/or, though. I mean, I don't have to shoot you down to give you a realistic sense of your talents. I don't think it's either "believe in your child no matter what, even if it means they fall on their face to great humilation on national TV" or "tell them they suck and bash them so they never try again." I think the healthiest route would be to give age-appropriate realistic feedback. ...
That's what I was about to say. It's a false dichotomy. There is a middle ground where you support them, encourage them to participate in artistic pursuits which they enjoy, whilst not giving them a false sense of talent which may backfire.

Nobody here advocated telling your child they "suck".
post #74 of 104
Our homes should always be a place where our kids can feel loved, protected, supported, and encouraged 100% of the time. The coldness and callousness of the outside world will become a realization soon enough. I try to be the soft shoulder for my kids to fall; not the person who pushed them over.

DC
post #75 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
It's so not either/or, though. I mean, I don't have to shoot you down to give you a realistic sense of your talents. I don't think it's either "believe in your child no matter what, even if it means they fall on their face to great humilation on national TV" or "tell them they suck and bash them so they never try again." I think the healthiest route would be to give age-appropriate realistic feedback. I'm not going to tell a 4 year old her drawings aren't done with proper perspective or her violin sounds scratchy. But if she's 18 and trying to get into RISD or Juilliard? I'd say something. Maybe, "I'm wondering if it would be good for your portfolio to try drawing some forms in perspective" or "I wonder if xyz piece is the one you should play at Juilliard, it sounds like you're really having to scramble to keep up with the notes. Maybe we should talk to Teacher X and figure out a different piece to learn." Maybe, if there was some true delusional behavior going on, sitting down and chatting about realistic expectations and how it's OK to dream big but most of us don't get to be the star and that's OK. Call me an evil, terrible, soul-crushing person, I guess. I'd just rather she hear it gently from dear old mom than get laughed at by people who don't care about her.

And I really don't think that constructive criticism given gently by a loving parent is going to stop a child from doing something they enjoy. If it does, well I am guessing there's yet another problem.
WORD! (do people still say that?? ) Exactly!! Being realistic and giving age-appropriate feedback is nowhere NEAR the same as telling a kid "you suck"!! : Like most things, there is totally a middle ground. And that's what I strive for with my ds.

I have a friend who's mom has always overpraised her...at the age of almost 30 she is just CRUSHED when someone doesn't totally appreciate whatever talent/thought/idea/whatever she has. I'm ALL for supporting and encouraging your kids, but her parents honestly took it to the extreme and it's actually become debilitating I think!!
post #76 of 104
The more I read this thread, the more I think it should be tied to the "no praise" discussions in GD.

In fact I think it's helping me understand why GDers advocate "no praise".
post #77 of 104
Well, I don't see why encouraging a child is the same thing as praise. If my delusional child wants to apply to Julliard, why shouldn't I say, "if that is what you want to do, go for it. Do you need me to write a check?" Why should I be the person to tell her she can't do it? I'd do that if she could only draw stick figures and was completely mute. I would probably also point out to her that competition is stiff and that she should have a backup plan if Julliard doesn't work out, but that is true with everything.
post #78 of 104
Boingo82, I was just thinking the precise same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaland42 View Post
Well, I don't see why encouraging a child is the same thing as praise. If my delusional child wants to apply to Julliard, why shouldn't I say, "if that is what you want to do, go for it. Do you need me to write a check?" Why should I be the person to tell her she can't do it? I'd do that if she could only draw stick figures and was completely mute. I would probably also point out to her that competition is stiff and that she should have a backup plan if Julliard doesn't work out, but that is true with everything.
I'm not saying a parent's role is to say "you can't do this" but I do think a parent should be realistic and not give "encouragement" meaning praise where what is really needed is "encouragement" meaning helping to change tactics and move on.

And hell yeah, if my kid is delusional I'm not going to support that. I mean if she declared she was Jesus Christ, what do you suggest I should do, talk her down or take her to parties and tell her to turn water into wine?
post #79 of 104
Quote:
I'm ALL for supporting and encouraging your kids, but her parents honestly took it to the extreme and it's actually become debilitating I think!!
Support and encouragement is worlds away from praise. It is the difference between saying, "Wow, singing makes you so happy. It makes ME happy to see the joy it brings you!" and "Wow, you are a fantastic singer. You could be on stage with a voice like that!". One encourages a child to feel good about something that makes them happy regardless of my opinion of whether or not they are "good" at it. The other focuses on a good/bad perception of their actual ability.

I strive to teach my children to do what they LOVE, not to do what they are good at. Two totally separate thoughts.
post #80 of 104
IME, if someone is actually delusional, you do neither. Confronting a delusion can make the delusion more strongly held and accepting the delusion as true is equally as damaging. Again, IME, you just keep talking and get them help from a qualified professional. But since we aren't talking about actual delusional people, I still say that I am not going to be the gatekeeper to my child's dreams.

There is another thread on the GD forum talking about protecting your child from every injury - the "people constantly telling DC they are going to get hurt" thread (paraphrasing). This seems to apply here as well.
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