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Should you tell your child.. - Page 5

post #81 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by boingo82 View Post
I wouldn't discourage my child from singing especially if he loved it, and I'd let him know that *I* liked to hear him sing, but I would not fill him with false hopes like many parents on AI and SYTYCD do. Everyone remember Dave Kenneth Soller?
Oh my. : Yep. Mom should not have given false hope. Painful to watch. Oh gosh. Now I'm going to have to save that to show DH. Oy.
post #82 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."
I think this can be achieved without lying to your child. I will be an honest person period and if that means saying something that stings....so be it. I also am a big cheerleader too, so if my son wanted to do something and wasn't that good at it yet, I'd encourage him to work harder at it and keep trying. For example, he loves to dance - loves it! He is great at tap, but started hip hop last semester and was okay. I never said he was bad or okay - I just told him that it seemed like he needed to put more energy into his moves and practice more. He auditioned for and made it into his school's choir recently and sometimes he doesn't sound so good when singing to me. I have told him that he has to practice singing from his gut so he won't sound so breathy. There is a way to give constructive criticism to your child without tearing down there IALAC sign. (I am loveable and capable) sign. We all have to learn how to digest constructive criticism or life will be really hard.
post #83 of 104
No, I am not going to tell somebody they are "not good at" something -- that has a finality to it. A mother telling her kindergartner that she sings flat, to me, is an ugly mistake. Helping someone learn to do something right is a much better solution. And of course there is a big difference between a 5-year-old and a teenager old enough to audition for American Idol! I feel pretty certain that if my kid were that age, wanted to do that, and wasn't up to par, I would encourage some voice lessons, etc. (it has been my experience that almost anyone can be taught to carry a tune and learn some vocal control and technique).

I think we tend to think that singing is some sort of innate talent that cannot be taught. I am fine with being honest (in an age-appropriate way) about current skill level. But I am a big proponent of letting someone try as hard as they want, while encouraging training/education. This goes for lots of endeavors, like cooking, acting, gardening, and athletics.
post #84 of 104
What strikes me most about the AI contestants -- the ones that truly do not know that they suck -- is their sheer self-confidence.

Like, it never even crossed their mind that they might sound other than great. :

I always think to myself that if *I* were to audition for AI, I'd video tape myself and pour over my audition relentlessly, searching for flaws. I'd make everybody and his brother watch it too, and beg them not to hold back with the criticism. Please, nothing they could say could be more hurtful than being humiliated by Simon Cowell in front of millions!

I'm fairly certain that I'd have a pretty good idea of whether or not I sucked before I got up there on AI. And if there was even the slightest chance that I wasn't *awesome* I'd stay home.

Yet, these people get up there and have no clue what they sound like. They are firmly convinced that they are amazing, despite there being plenty of evidence to the contrary. Their self-confidence levels are falsely and ridiculously through the roof.

And with lots of them, it's not even just the voice. It's the clothing, the haircut, the entire package -- there is no way in hell they could possibly become the Next American Idol. And anybody that had watched even *one* episode of the show could tell you that. Yet, there they are, devastated because they didn't make it past the first round. What EVER made them think they could win?

How does one's psyche get built up with false expectations like that? It's really fascinating to me.
post #85 of 104
I think a five year old giving up on singing is one of the saddest things I've heard in a long time. Only a few people are "born" knowing how to sing, but with the right exposure and training, there are very, very, VERY few people who cannot learn to sing quite well. While I might tell a five year old that she is flat, I would only do so if I was going to work with her on how to improve her singing. (I was considered tone deaf until 12. I went on to sing in professional level choirs and solos in church. I'm not great by the standards of people who are good, but I was taught how to become good enough to sing in high level choirs and be very good by the standards of the public. Singing well brings great joy to my life, and I consider it every child's birthright. Learning to sing and draw, I think, should be like learning to read. Approximately the same percentage of people can't be taught to do either.)

I do believe in encouraging areas of strength. And I would not encourage someone to go on American Idol unless they were really, really, REALLY good. I believe in telling kids the truth and I hate mindless encouragement. ("You are flat there; what if we sang it in a different key? Can you imagine the sound coming out of the roof of your mouth?") We all have things that we are naturally better at. I'm not good at languages; I have to struggle to learn them. I have a lousy sense of direction and abyssmal mechanical skills. I don't know how to draw. But all of those are areas that can be improved. I could learn and improve, especially if I was interested.
post #86 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
My mom always said "it's not HOW you sing, it's THAT you sing."
That's a good way to encourage kids to do something for themselves without being dependant on judgement. I like that phrase!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OdeToJoy View Post
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.
Yeah it's pretty appalling to me that no one would have told those people NOT to go on national tv and sing!


Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
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.
Yeah, your example says what I was thinking. Singing/drawing/whatever for fun is one thing. But when it becomes more, I think constructive criticism is a good thing. And you can do that and be very supportive!
Dp made a cd, and is doing another one. His voice was a little, um, off in some areas. Not a lot, he was right on for the most part. I told him that he had a very nice sounding voice (I love singers who have his type of voice), and that singing in tune can definitely improve with practice and experience. And it did, and I don't think he took it harshly at all.
post #87 of 104
What I would really like to know is......why the heck doesn't SOMEONE, anyone, tell Donald Trump that his combover isn't working for him????
post #88 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzharmony View Post
What I would really like to know is......why the heck doesn't SOMEONE, anyone, tell Donald Trump that his combover isn't working for him????
I think Rosie told him a few times over the past couple weeks but IIRC he actually came out and said that he likes his hair.
post #89 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamma Mia View Post
I think Rosie told him a few times over the past couple weeks but IIRC he actually came out and said that he likes his hair.
Ahhh yes I heard about their scuffle on the news. But seriously, all these years and no wives or friends have asked/begged him to do something decent with his hair. Not like better hair would change his personality. Oh well.
post #90 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.
I disagree wholeheartedly. I had toyed with the idea of being a music major in college, though at a less prestigious school and closer to home. That changed after my senior year all-state auditions. I was prepared and was certainly talented enough. I came out of the prepared room with the highest score.Then I went into sight-reading and choked. I ended up not making the all-state band by 14 points (out of a possible 3000). I wascrushed and spent a good week crying about it. That was the turning point for me,and I decided how much I enjoyed it, I didn't want to have to deal with the auditions and competition and rejection for the rest of my life.
post #91 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post
I wouldn't tell them they were BAD at it, but I also wouldn't give them false hope by complimenting their talents, etc.
ITA
post #92 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikel1979 View Post
I disagree wholeheartedly. I had toyed with the idea of being a music major in college, though at a less prestigious school and closer to home. That changed after my senior year all-state auditions. I was prepared and was certainly talented enough. I came out of the prepared room with the highest score.Then I went into sight-reading and choked. I ended up not making the all-state band by 14 points (out of a possible 3000). I wascrushed and spent a good week crying about it. That was the turning point for me,and I decided how much I enjoyed it, I didn't want to have to deal with the auditions and competition and rejection for the rest of my life.
So should your parents have told you that your sight reading wasn't good enough?? Should you have not auditioned?
I don't understand your point, but perhaps my exhaustion is to blame.
post #93 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzharmony View Post
So should your parents have told you that your sight reading wasn't good enough?? Should you have not auditioned?
I don't understand your point, but perhaps my exhaustion is to blame.
By point was that you said that someone that loves music and auditions to Julliard and doesn't get accepted won't be crushed. I disagree. My parents are/were musically clueless (my mom can't even find the beat while listening to a march), so they're opinion wouldn't have mattered. However, it would have been nice to be prepared to deal with the rejection. Even though the judges were nice, I wasn't prepared to handle failing at something. And no, I wasn't constantly praised as a child.
post #94 of 104
I'd offer to pay for lessons, so that they could maximize their ability.
post #95 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikel1979 View Post
By point was that you said that someone that loves music and auditions to Julliard and doesn't get accepted won't be crushed. I disagree.
But not crushed enough to give up something that they love. In your case, your parents could not have prepared you (besides sight reading specific lessons maybe) for failing at an audition. Rejection is part of life experience.

I'm not sure parents can prepare a child for failure without crushing their spirit. I guess it also depends on the age of the child.
post #96 of 104
Depending on the age of the child--I wouldn't tell my 3 yr old singing and dancing around the living room, "honey, you can't sing worth a darn and your attempts are painful to listen to," but neither would I encourage a vocally-challenged teenager to go on American Idol and tell her that she was going to be famous. I do strongly believe that parents should be honest with themselves, if diplomatic with their children, about their children's strengths and weaknesses, rather than falling into the "my baby is good at everything" mindset. I think, at a certain point, kids really need honest feedback about their abilities, and parents need to recognize this if only so that they can better provide help with problem areas and/or gentle guidance towards more appropriate paths, as the situation may dictate. My parents tended to take a "my baby is good at everything" attitude (or, to the extent they acknowledged my lack of aptitude for certain skills, it was only because I was a misunderstood genius and so it wouldn't make any difference anyway), and, while I am incredibly grateful for their open-minded confidence, I think I would have benefited at least from more recognition that some areas were not for me.

What I'm saying, I guess, is that, while I wouldn't criticize a child's performance, if my kid could see that her natural abilities weren't in a certain area, I wouldn't deny her reality or give her false hope by saying "No, you're really good! You can do anything if you put your mind to it!"
post #97 of 104
Have you ever listened to Bruce Springsteen or Paula Abdul, for that matter? The first can't sing at all, but he's still great to listen to. Paula Abdul is like nails on a chalk board, to me. Yuck! I bet her parents never told her that, and I don't think it was their business to do so.

I was an awful singer as a child, but, with practice, I sing passably well. I'm glad my parents did shut me down telling me I wasn't very good.
post #98 of 104
Quote:
How does one's psyche get built up with false expectations like that? It's really fascinating to me.
By the time we see contestants on AI, at least, they've already been through something like two or three pre-screen auditions with other producers. The judges only end up seeing something like 10% of the original auditioners, maybe fewer - the producers screen for the really good singers and the people who will make "good tv." (read: the crazy ones who will embarass themselves and curse at the judges, that the show can make fun of for weeks and weeks).

Quote:
These “contestants” have been selected by the preliminary panels in a negative sense, a typical combination is lack of singing ability combined with vanity regarding their “talent.” Others are selected for human interest potential, the 2005 auditions featured a “cannibal” who had sampled human flesh in an anthropology class and an aspiring female prize fighter.
(from "All About American Idol")

So by the time we see them, these poor talentless kids have already been followed by cameras and given interview profiles, been invited back for more than one audition, and probably been buttered up by the producers to think they're a shoo-in to go to Hollywood. Why shouldn't they be confident? They're built up just so that they can be broken down for our entertainment - it's bread and circuses entertainment, like the gladiators in Ancient Rome.

That doesn't excuse the parents who really should know better, but it at least explains some of the ridiculous cockiness.

And of course, I still can't help watching the darn show.
post #99 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikel1979 View Post
By point was that you said that someone that loves music and auditions to Julliard and doesn't get accepted won't be crushed. I disagree. My parents are/were musically clueless (my mom can't even find the beat while listening to a march), so they're opinion wouldn't have mattered. However, it would have been nice to be prepared to deal with the rejection. Even though the judges were nice, I wasn't prepared to handle failing at something. And no, I wasn't constantly praised as a child.
Imagine if the opposite had happened and your parents told you not to apply because they didn't think you were good enough. For the rest of your life, you might be saying, "my parents are so clueless about music and they told me I wasn't good enough to apply to Juilliard. If they only had believed in me, I could have followed through on this dream."

Failing is hard. I have failed spectacularly at a few things in my life but I don't regret trying because now I know. I also tend to believe that if someone doesn't fail, they aren't trying that hard because then you aren't pushing your boundaries. I do think you have a good point about helping our kids deal with failure and that is an important skill to learn.
post #100 of 104
No. I think that telling someone that they "stink" at something, or joking about how they shouldn't quit their day job does them a disservice. For one thing, it doesn't encourage them to work to get better -- it totally discounts the fact that a little (even so tiny that no one else can see it) talent coupled with a lot of determination can overcome many things. If you think that your child wants to do something that they don't excel at naturally, help them by signing them up for lessons, or by hooking them up with an understanding mentor. They may quickly find that the amount of work outweighs the joy they receive from it, or they may rise to the challenge and get way better. Even if they don't make it their career, they may find a life long hobby.

If you don't think someone is good, don't say they are, but it's not cool to tell someone that they stink. It's rude, and does them no favors. The words of criticism (because that's what they are) have the potential to rob them of the joy of expressing themselves. With children, you may even be wrong. The quality of a person's voice changes over time, and with one's ability to modulate it. However, the voice of someone they trust saying that they can't do something will stick with them forever. Seriously.

I truly believe that life is about progress. And there are many different levels at which we can enjoy an activity. How many of us would tell our children that they are terrible at baseball or soccer or running? Wouldn't we rate their enjoyment of the sport over their actual proficiency? Perhaps concentrating your comments on much they enjoy singing or what have you is the best approach. I think we are far too quick to usurp any talent a child shows and try to turn it into a career -- the flip side of that coin is discounting anything a child likes but isn't good at.
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