The question “Why”


As we see other kids, the question “why” would sometimes pop up.  You might think that it is more about comparison and competition, but I would like to think that it is just an innocent question of why.


Is the behavior that our kids show merely genetic, or is it more of a copy of the parents’ behavior or simply a result of our parenting style? 


This question popped up again when I attended my son’s music recital last Saturday.  We were impressed by the two siblings playing piano.  Their mom told us that her son who is now fourth grade has been playing pianos for over 5 years and he also plays piano twenty minutes a day to have such great performance.  I thought that she is another tiger mom but she told me that her son does that out of his own will.  It turns out that if they don’t practice playing piano every day for twenty minutes, their dad will sell the piano.  That is a good incentive; however, it doesn’t seem to work on my son.  We can only force our son to play the violin for as little as 10 minutes and only on the day before his violin lesson.  That is a pathetic 10 minutes of practice a week. 


I do believe that my son has some talent as for the little time he practices, he is still able to memorize the pieces and plays in tune.  I also believe that he did exceptionally well for his first violin recital for the big applause he got from the audience.  By the way, he started playing violin last fall.  We didn’t enroll him in MacPhail Center for Music like many others or send him to any famous Suzuki violin teacher who performs with the Minnesota Orchestra for private lessons like some others.  We are selfish parents who adopt laissez faire parenting style as an excuse.  He goes to his school’s afterschool instrument program where he takes the violin class for 45 minutes a week.  This program works great with our schedule as it is after school during weekdays and before the time we pick him up.  The only classes for which we have registered him outside the school on the weekends are ski and swimming lessons.  Both my husband and I work full time, so we have avoided classes outside the school and in the evening.  This means that he doesn’t get a chance to take Karate, Kung-Fu, Soccer, Tennis, and etc.  This is also another reason that he is not enrolled in the Chinese language class on Saturdays because it conflicts with his ski lessons.


Anyway, back to my question of why.  Why wouldn’t my son learn to have more discipline?  Why couldn’t my son do things of his own accord and spare me from turning into a nagger?  Am I asking too much?  Why couldn’t our kids be more like the mellow cat?  


Written by Elisa English

On May 20th, 2011 


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