We had such a precious time at Parents Circle on 18 Feb. Thank you to the parents who came ready to participate and share their experiences, challenges, tips and words of encouragement.
It was a thoughtful Friday night where we reflected a little longer and looked a little deeper into our role as the practice parent and how daily music practice presents us with the daily opportunity to practise our relationship with our child.
In framing our relationships as something to practise, I think that we inadvertently set ourselves up for moments of failure. Why? Because we are always seeking to improve what we want to make better. Truly strong and deeply rooted relationships are not built overnight - nor are they easy to build. They are built over time, strengthened through continuous rounds of conflict and resolution, stagnation and progress, failure and success. This is what practice involves; this is what it means to practise something. You have to have moments of failure in order to emerge stronger.
So you may have expressed impatience and frustration during music practice today (I definitely yelled a lot yesterday - in less than 2 days after conducting Parents Circle. Applause please.) Don't fret if you feel that you're not being the best parent and role model in times like this. Approach music practice as an opportunity to practise relating to your child through working on both the fun and tough stuff together. Just like how we tell our children: the next repetition or next day's practice is a new chance to practise "right" and to try our best to remember to avoid practising yesterday's mistake.
Getting the practice assignment done is great - but it is but a medium to teach us about being human.
Building a deeper relationship with your child is the true and more noble assignment.