Building self esteem in children is so important--it impacts every aspect of their development and their lives. One way you can build self esteem is to encourage your child to learn a musical instrument. However, you have to be an integral part in his or her learning process, or else your child's self esteem could be crushed. Here are three mistakes some parents make when their children are learning a musical instrument and how you can avoid them.
Telling Your Child to Practice Without Engaging in Practice with Him/Her
This is like telling your child to clean his or her room without actually monitoring your child's progress. You do not know if your child is practicing what needs to be practiced, nor is there anyone present to help your child read through the music and understand what the practice sheets are asking for. When you want your child to build self esteem through music, you have to be there learning the instrument and music right alongside him or her so that he or she gains confidence and confirmation for well-accomplished practice time.
Criticizing vs. Encouraging Words
You cannot build self esteem in anyone, least of all a child, if you criticize them negatively. When learning a musical instrument, children are bound to play wrong notes, squeaky notes, and even skip notes. They often have trouble playing the correct rhythm and speed. When they practice, they improve, and then the music sounds like it should, and your child feels so proud of him- or herself for playing well. As difficult as it may be to hear all of the mistakes your child plays, be more encouraging and less critical and praise your child abundantly when he or she can play a piece through perfectly.
Attend Every Performance Your Child Has
A major self esteem builder or self esteem destroyer is the performance. When your child has practiced so hard, the performance is the reward for all of his or her hard work. It is an exciting moment that showcases your child's abilities. If you are involved with your child's practices and rehearsals, it is so important to be present for his or her performances too. It is that extra pat on the back that lets him or her know how proud you are, and if your child should happen to not play so well, you can be there to lift his or her spirits and encourage him or her to do even better next time.
If you do not attend, your child may be crushed and wonder why he or she is making any effort to play an instrument at all. Additionally, if your child has a rough time at performances and you are not there to smooth over the hurt, your child may feel even worse after the show. Avoid the hurt and plan to be in your seat, on time, for your child's performances because it really makes an impact on his or her self-esteem.
For more information about building self esteem in children, contact Aikido Northshore or a similar organization.