My son has started speech therapy, he does really well in his sessions - paying as much attention as he can, joining in the games and generally being a cutie pie. At home it's a different story. When I try and get him to do his homework, we're talking armageddon but like, worse. I find it so frustrating, why can't he do at home what he does so well in class and we're only talking a few minutes of flashcards - could it really be that hard?
So for this week's mission I decided to practice what I preach. I've been trying to learn ukulele for a year and after 365 days I've only got one full song and it don't sound pretty. I'm gutted because I'm going to a festival soon and how cool would it be to be the chick that busts out the uke? So I decided to do 15 minutes practice a day because we all know practice makes perfect...
DAY ONE: I decide that I need to invest some time in theory I spend a long time watching other people playing ukulele on Youtube. That counts right?
DAY TWO: I do some more research and learn about chords.
DAY THREE: I completely forget.
DAY FOUR: I think about it but by the time I get round to it I think it's too late to make noise and also I'm tired.
DAY FIVE: I have to go to work, I decide that it's probably not a good idea to take my uke to work, it might get lost or damaged.
DAY SIX: Still at work, ukuleleless.
So I had the potential for 90 minutes practice and I did zero, nothing, nada. What did I learn that I can offer to my son...
You can learn indirectly: On the day I watched videos I still picked up something. Roscoe still has lots of learning opportunities when playing with his trains.
You have to put your practice first: I treated my music like an afterthought. If I had time or energy at the end of the day I would do it but bettering yourself should be something you prioritise. With my son, rather than waiting for late afternoon when he's already overwhelmed by toddlerlife, we'll try doing it after breakfast.
You have to be flexible: I didn't take my ukulele to work when there's really no reason why I couldn't have. I could also take Roscoe's homework to the park or to grandma's house when we visit.
You may just need a break: It's okay to have a day or a week or even a whole summer off from learning as I demonstrated, sometimes you're just not feeling it.
You need to practice what you preach: I really need to go easier on my boy. How can I expect him to do something I won't do myself. Kids have an inbuilt fairness gauge and if I want my son to be committed to something I need to show him that I'm willing to commit to something too.
So why not think about if you practice what you preach? And if you don't maybe the kids can get a break from their piano scales.
photo credit: practice via photopin (license)