Dear Future Selves

I’m constantly struggling with “forcing” my child to do something, and letting them exercise their own freedom to choose.

Zach came to me at the start of the school year and informed me he didn’t want to do guitar lessons anymore.

Last year he begged me for them. He took them, then did really well.

Now, he’s done with them.

“Why”?, I asked.

No reason really. “Guitar is boring”.

I went through all the reasons as to why I wanted to him to keep taking the lessons: commitment, learning music, good for your brain, discipline etc.etc.

Rob just smiled  and said “Ok Tiger Mom” as Zach and I debated fiercely (by then the tears had come out).

Thanks for the support Robbie.

I am NOT a Tiger Mom I told them both,

I just fear my children’s “Future Selves”.

I imagine them coming to me and saying “Why didn’t you make me stick it out and play guitar?”, “Why did you allow me to quit”.

We all know those people who say “I wish my parents had….”.

I told Zach I worried his “Future Self” would resent me for not encouraging (read: forcing) him to stick with the guitar.

He reassured me that he would tell his “Future Self” to not ever say a word to me.

We compromised on him taking lessons until Christmas and reevaluating (and he made me promise I would not lecture him on quitting something halfway through the year). I figure he had a break over the summer, so maybe he’s just gottne out of the routine and once he’s back in it, he’ll like it again!

I not-so-secretly hope he will want to keep going.

I think that with many things, it only becomes enjoyable at a certain level. You have to buckle down and do the work before you can enjoy it.

But it feels like a very fine line I am walking: being the Tiger Mom vs being the Pushover Mom. Not always sure which way to go.

I just want my kids to have as many opportunities to develop as many skills and talents as they possibly can. At some point, I guess we turn the reigns over to them, I’m just not so sure when exactly.

To cover my mothering butt, I want my “Future Zach” to know that whatever you end up doing about guitar in the near future, your loving mother tried to convince you to keep going as I thought you had some good musical talent. I hope, dear future Zach, that you listened to your wise mother:)

And if you didn’t, your “Past Zach” promised that your “Future Zach ” would not give me any grief over not forcing you. I hope I made the right choice. Maybe your payback will be a kid just like you:)))

Love, Your Mom (past, present and future).

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