The theme of my e-book, “Your Child’s Most Important Teacher,” is that our parenting decisions really matter. An hour ago I was waiting at the high school for my youngest child, and remembered waiting in the same spot for her older two siblings.
One specific thought that came to mind was one specific decision about the middle child, now a senior in college. He is a music major, with a partial scholarship. Things might have been very different. He started playing music in elementary school, the same as our other children; it was a rule that each child play an instrument and do a sport. Because of finances he inherited the viola his older brother played, which was a hand-me-down from their mother.
After our son’s first week with he viola, he proclaimed that the didn’t like the viola. He wanted to play the upright bass. We didn’t have money for another instrument, and my wife and I weren’t sure a bass would fit in the car. We also knew that this child had a history of not staying with things. We told our child to use the viola and see if it grew on him. It didn’t. We decided to talk to his orchestra teacher, a young, new teacher, to try to get him to help change out son’s mind. He was courteous, but told us that our son had a better chance at a scholarship if he played the bass. Reluctantly, we searched for and found a bass that was small and cheap enough.
We doubted our son’s interest in the bass would last long. We were wrong. This child had a solo in a junior high competition, wrote a piece his high school orchestra played in competition and another they played before graduation, and got the scholarship. There were many other bass related memories for both our son and us.
My wife and I really sacrificed to get the bass, and haul it to many practices and competitions. But we followed the advice of the young, new elementary school orchestra teacher. How would things be different if we hadn’t?