DH, DS and violin sadness - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In time like this, I wonder if I am losing my mind.

I am so sad about something that happened this week. I need to talk it out as well as some perspective.

The following is silly/trite but has filled me with overwhelming sadness.

A few weeks ago, we went to an orchestra concert. DS (3.5 years old) absolutely loved it and has watched the DVD we purchased many times.

This weekend, he asked for a violin so he could act out the parts.

We “made” a violin out of an old paddle from a paddle ball game and searched the yard for the perfect stick for the bow. This was a big production and we all participated.

DS loved his new violin so much; I don’t think he put it down all weekend. DH, DS and I played concert for at least 3 hours on both Saturday and Sunday.

Last night DH told me that he bought DS a real violin. This absolutely saddened me. I am actually somewhat depressed about it.

His intentions were 100% good. I know he thinks if DS loves his pretend violin so much, a real one will be even better.

I see it as - why can’t DS have fun with his pretend instrument for as long as it interests him?

I tried to explain my feelings to DH but he doesn’t understand.

I might be making too much out of this but I wonder if DS’s feelings will somehow be hurt because his beloved “violin” is now not good enough? (this is the “am I losing my mind part?)

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#2 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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As long as buying the violin didn't keep food out of our mouths.. I'd say "great".

One of my kids begged for a violin at 2. At three, she got the violin and lessons. The Suzuki teacher gives them a butter box violin to practice with for a month or so before giving the the real thing.

Yes, your dh should have talked it over with you. But he's a parent, too.
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#3 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 01:35 PM
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Just my opinion, of course, but I think 3.5 might be a bit too young for a real violin. I'm only saying this based on my own dd (sme age)--she would probably love playing around with it, but would likely destroy it after a few days. And I don't think she would have the patience to try to learn to play it (I did Suzuki violin as young child, so I could probably show her the basics, but I really don't think that would fly with her at this point). But your kid could be TOTALLY different from mine. Who knows. Still seems a bit young to me.

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I might be making too much out of this but I wonder if DS’s feelings will somehow be hurt because his beloved “violin” is now not good enough? (this is the “am I losing my mind part?)
I think you're over-thinking this. Again, just going by my dd, she LOVES upgrades on toys and clothes. She really doesn't analyze the "this isn't good enough" thing. Again, your kid could be TOTALLY different from mine--but mine would probably be excited to get something better. In general, she prefers "real" to "fake" and can tell the difference pretty quickly. She likes to demonstrate how "grown up" she is, so she always goes for the thing that seems more "real" and "grown up" to her.

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#4 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 01:56 PM
 
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I think your child is lucky to have you both as parents.

I think your approach was delightful and playful. I think your partner's was kind and encouraging. I think there's room in your child's world for both.

My husband is always managing to acquire real instruments for my son - first it was a drum, then a harmonica, and I'm thinking a violin is next. My son's absolutely loved them so far. It's really neat to see the encouragement. With a delicate instrument (like MY guitar note pronoun ) we just make sure our son is supervised. When we're not right there with him, or when he's in a mood for something more... active, or fanciful... he uses his imagination.

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#5 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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i can see why you might feels sad. you creatively helped your ds make a violin, and he was ecstatic with it, which must have made you feel really good. you two did a nice thing together and it sounds like you feel that your dh kind of disregarded the specialness and legitimacy of the violin you made and just got him a 'real' one.

i'm sorry you feel badly.

however, your dh was probably just trying to be nice! and, if your ds has such an articulated interest in a specific instrument, this is a great time to cultivate that and facilitate him exploring that interest.

i decided when i was two that i wanted to play the violin, and we had a tiny one that my mom gave me some instruction with. i started taking suzuki lessons when i was three.

i have taught little kids violin for several years - three and four are perfect ages to begin! obviously, depending somewhat on each specific kid...

let your ds have fun with both violins. you can help him learn that instruments are not toys...and how to be respectful of the real violin, and maybe allow him to be more playful with the one that he made?

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#6 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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I think what your dh did was really nice. I guess I'm not understanding your point. Are you upset that your ds might like the real violin better than the pretend one?
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#7 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 03:44 PM
 
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At this age, a real violin still is a pretend instrument in many respects though. And if he prefers the homemade one, he'll just choose that one ... I have never in all my life seen a child hurt by getting a new version of an old toy. Kids are pretty straightforward little beings ... they like what they like and ignore what they don't, even if what they don't was their favorite just yesterday. They don't exactly tend to agonize over the inadequacies of the things that have fallen out of favor.

It sounds a little like you prefer the more rustic and homemade and just badly want him to too.
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#8 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Ackray View Post
I think what your dh did was really nice. I guess I'm not understanding your point. Are you upset that your ds might like the real violin better than the pretend one?
Yes. I guess I feel that he should be allowed to enjoy the pretend one since he had a hand in creating it and shouldn't be pressure to like the real one more than the pretend one.

It isn't a DH's present vs. me thing, DH had an equal hand in pretend one.

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Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
At this age, a real violin still is a pretend instrument in many respects though. And if he prefers the homemade one, he'll just choose that one ... I have never in all my life seen a child hurt by getting a new version of an old toy. Kids are pretty straightforward little beings ... they like what they like and ignore what they don't, even if what they don't was their favorite just yesterday. They don't exactly tend to agonize over the inadequacies of the things that have fallen out of favor.

It sounds a little like you prefer the more rustic and homemade and just badly want him to too.
This is helpful and yes, I think I do want him to like our project better than the real thing. I believe my feelings are tied to wanting him to hold onto the magic and wonder of new things.

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Originally Posted by katiesk View Post
let your ds have fun with both violins. you can help him learn that instruments are not toys...and how to be respectful of the real violin, and maybe allow him to be more playful with the one that he made?
Good idea! It didn't cross my mind that there was room for two in DS's life.

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I think your approach was delightful and playful. I think your partner's was kind and encouraging. I think there's room in your child's world for both.

This is the view into the other side I needed, thanks!

The cost wasn't a factor, it wasn't anymore than any other toy we would bring into the house - found it cheap on Ebay.

Although I gently guilded DH's to maybe lower his expectations, I do think he hopes to take this thing home tonight and DS will actually get notes out of it. Sounds nuts but DS can get several notes out of two horns we have so who knows?

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#9 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 04:06 PM
 
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We went through something similar with banjos. DH and DS made a banjo. I found a kid-sized banjo-tam and bought one. The most upsetting moment for DS was when he found out that DH had modified the home-made banjo w/out DS being in on it.

But having two banjos? Having two banjos is great. DS has two guitars too, plus one plastic one, plus our "real" ones. One instrument is great but more than one is a band. Or, if you notice (and DS certainly did) musicians in concert very often have more than one instrument on stage with them at once. Banjos at least can be tuned differently so you might actually want more than one - though I don't think that's true for violins.

Anyway, despite being the purchaser in our home, I was a bit worried about displacing the home-made instrument but that was completely w/o reason. I doubt very much that the homemade violin will fall out of favor.
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#10 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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I think your child is lucky to have you both as parents.

I think your approach was delightful and playful. I think your partner's was kind and encouraging. I think there's room in your child's world for both.
:
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#11 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 04:11 PM
 
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I
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might be making too much out of this but I wonder if DS’s feelings will somehow be hurt because his beloved “violin” is now not good enough? (this is the “am I losing my mind part?)
No i don't think so, at that age, if he likes the pretend one he will play with it, if he likes the real one he will play with that one. If he does not like one of them, he will ignore it. I doubt very much he would play with the new violin, just because daddy bought it, when he really really wants the old violin instead. Kids are not that perceptive to play with soemthing just because someone bought them a gift, he will play with the one he likes, regardless of the parents feelings. I think it is great your husband bought it! what a great way to expose him to music. Sure you won't have the level of imagination that you had to make the pretend guitar, but you will have the level of imagination to create your own sounds on teh real one.
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#12 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 05:17 PM
 
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I understand your sadness.

My DD has been using blocks, Lego's, and shoe boxes to make her Barbie dream home. She's cut windows, wall papered with wrapping paper and carpeted with fabric.

She very proudly showed off this creation to my FIL and I swear he sneered and dismissed it. I really don't think she noticed but I certainly did. My heart broke for her. I should mention that my ILs like to spend and buy to show their love. DH and I have spoken to them to be sure that a "real" doll house does not make it's way into the house because we are thrilled a the level of creativity DD is showing and her pride in her project is just so wonderful.

I think that the expedience and joy of creating something and then loving it and using it is one that parents are perfectly justified in protecting.

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#13 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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I do like my ds to finish enjoying one thing before being presented with another thing so I think I understand. I'd probably encourage dh to hold on to the real violin for a bit. The cardboard one will eventually suffer a sad demise or interest in it will be lost which would be an excellent time to bring out the real one. But having both available to use in different ways is also a fine idea.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#14 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 06:04 PM
 
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I bet that he will have fun with both. We have a keyboard, an electric drum set, and a guitar that my younger kids will "play". They love the noise that they are able to coax from the instruments. But they also still love to play with pretend instruments.
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#15 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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I know the feeling. When DD#1 was maybe 2 1/2, she had her first imaginary friend. She had seen the movie Charlotte's Web (the old, 80's version) and fell in love with Wilbur and thus, this was her imaginary friend. She'd talk to him, feed him, put him to bed. And then one night DH proudly came home with this little stuffed pig - a beanie baby type thing - to "replace" the imaginary one. I was crushed. I was so excited that she was using her imagination and could "play" with this invisible pig. And DH had to go and riun it with a real one. LOL. He had only the best intentions, but I was sad that is was crushing this little spark, yk? Anyway, it turns out she loved this new and improved and actually visible Wilbur.

Anyway, I do think your son will go back and forth between playing the homemade violin and real one. It is a great way to encourage that musical side, if it pleases him. But I do understand your sadness.
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#16 of 23 Old 05-27-2009, 11:18 PM
 
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Just regarding the violin, not the other stuff- I wanted to say that I went to my older sister's violin lessons with my mom when I was a baby and toddler ( I remmeber it a bit!) and got my own little violin around age 3 or 4- and started lessons around 5- anyway- I am so grateful to my parents for starting me on music young and I still love playing it now as an adult.
I only read the Original post so sorry if my answer was irrelevant!
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#17 of 23 Old 05-28-2009, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The violin was presented last night.

I asked DH if he would like me to wrap it so DS could open it when they arrived home. (DH picks DS up from preschool.)

DS was very excited about it and had to watch an Andre Reiu (sp?) DVD twice so he could "play" along. He did get a few notes out of it.

I feared the violin would nedd to go to bed with us but I convinced DS it would be happier sleeping in it's case.

I am ok about it now.

DH's intentions are always good but because of how he grew up (sad situation) he sometimes over compensates and charges ahead when I would prefer to let DS enjoy what he has at the moment.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#18 of 23 Old 05-28-2009, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know the feeling. When DD#1 was maybe 2 1/2, she had her first imaginary friend. She had seen the movie Charlotte's Web (the old, 80's version) and fell in love with Wilbur and thus, this was her imaginary friend. She'd talk to him, feed him, put him to bed. And then one night DH proudly came home with this little stuffed pig - a beanie baby type thing - to "replace" the imaginary one. I was crushed. I was so excited that she was using her imagination and could "play" with this invisible pig. And DH had to go and riun it with a real one. LOL. He had only the best intentions, but I was sad that is was crushing this little spark, yk? Anyway, it turns out she loved this new and improved and actually visible Wilbur.

Anyway, I do think your son will go back and forth between playing the homemade violin and real one. It is a great way to encourage that musical side, if it pleases him. But I do understand your sadness.

I think I know EXACTLY what you mean!

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#19 of 23 Old 05-28-2009, 03:56 PM
 
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I understand somewhat - I was a kid who enjoyed improvising EVERYTHING instead of having a ready-made 'real' toy - like doll houses, doll clothes, everything but guns (I liked those to look as authentic as possible )

But a musical instrument? Being able to actually produce actual sounds? I mean, that's the beauty of music, isn't it? I'd be ecstatic! I always wanted a violin - a REAL one - when I was a kid, but it was too expensive. I got to play the piano because my grandma had one, though, and that was neat

As a PP said, you're both lovely parents.
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#20 of 23 Old 05-28-2009, 06:34 PM
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It will be useful down the line, if not now. That IS different about a musical instrument vs other toys.

We do have to remind ourselves that we don't have to provide real toy versions of all the things DD likes to imagine, so I get your point.

We ended up with two "guitars" this Christmas-- my brother's old ukelele and a Plan toys banjo. I thought it was total overkill and was upset that the ILs bought the banjo after I told them my little (broke) brother was gifting DD his currently unused instrument, but it turned out well-- because DD loves for us to play together! We strum together and sing songs... and if friends are over, it's easier to take turns with two. Maybe it is a bit overkill but we have the room I guess

I think it's a good problem to have to be worried about lovingly made imaginative instruments and useful engaging real instruments
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#21 of 23 Old 05-28-2009, 08:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Caneel View Post
The violin was presented last night.

I asked DH if he would like me to wrap it so DS could open it when they arrived home. (DH picks DS up from preschool.)

DS was very excited about it and had to watch an Andre Reiu (sp?) DVD twice so he could "play" along. He did get a few notes out of it.

I feared the violin would nedd to go to bed with us but I convinced DS it would be happier sleeping in it's case.

I am ok about it now.

DH's intentions are always good but because of how he grew up (sad situation) he sometimes over compensates and charges ahead when I would prefer to let DS enjoy what he has at the moment.
I have that version of a dh as well. It's hard, because he is the "go big or go home" kind of guy. It makes me crazy, but I know it comes from a place of love. He wants his son to have the best, to see and do everything possible. I just try to keep him reigned in when possible.

Ds has a great love of music. He plays guitar, listens to music constantly and has a few bands that he loves. Dh got concert tickets, but didn't stop there, he got meet and greet passes and turned it into a huge 8 hour long "thing". Ds would have been thrilled to just go see the show, but dh almost takes some of the fun out of it by making it a big huge event. He means well though and he does it from a place of love. He's present in every other way so it's fine, if he was trying to buy love I'd have issues with it.
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#22 of 23 Old 05-28-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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I think you are over thinking this. he is three. let him explore the real one. pluck the strings. hear the sounds. he won't magically be able to play and it doesn't sound like anyone is forcing him into lessons. so he will be able to live out fantasies of being a great musician while exploring the sounds and feel of the real thing. this is actually really great.

and it may seem silly to worry about the feelings of a grown man but please be sure you dopn't make you dh feel bad about getting such a sweet and thoughtful gift for your son. he did an amazing thing.

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#23 of 23 Old 05-29-2009, 01:34 AM
 
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I guess I'm not sure what the problem is. As a professional musician, I can tell you from personal experience that few things are as magical for a child as "real" creation- making the imagination come to life. I remember the first time I had a real instrument like it was yesterday- I felt like I was charged with electricity! The time before I could make music is a void in my life, like I couldn't really feel or speak, and until I could express myself musically, it was like I was bound or gagged.

Pretending to play violin can never compare to the joy of making real music on a real instrument! Wow! It's like comparing air guitar and real guitar. I'm sure your DS doesn't think of his toy violin as this emotional, symbolic manifestation of your love for him, neither does your husband, and neither should you. Think of it this way: you and your DH are manifesting your love for DS by encouraging his imagination, creative and emotional development, and intellectual boundries, by providing him with the passionate satisfaction that music can bring into his life for the rest of his days. What a precious and beautiful gift!

Besides, 3 years old is the standard age at which the Suzuki method is started. The younger a child is, the more valuable a musical education can be for his/her development. The method teaches children how to respect and care for their instrument, which they can in turn apply to other areas of their life. Music is learned by rote at first, so he'll be making real music and creating original melodies very soon.

I say encourage his musical habit as much as possible- sadly, few children have parents that expose them to the arts as thoroughly as you and your DH have, and even fewer act on their child's intrests by providing them with the means to musically express themselves. Maybe you'll have a little Mozart on your hands!
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