Children do amazing things when they feel that you are behind them. Self-esteem is a delicate part of human character. It is like a balloon that can deflate with just one sharp comment. Though some people have tougher balloons of self-esteem than others, I don’t think anyone is impervious to negative or belittling comments. Children who have a healthy view of themselves are more likely to trust their instincts when faced with decisions in life. They are more likely to try new things, to reach out to others and to feel a sense of pride in their accomplishments.
Often times if a child has low self-esteem, well-meaning constructive criticism can be perceived as a put-down. For learning to occur in any subject, students must be able to learn from their mistakes. A negative self-image makes learning/trying anything new terrifying. If you look for it, there is a way in which a child can be “built up” regardless of the situation. As a parent in the music classroom if your child is struggling with a piece or having a hard time with a certain skill, you can look for something the child is doing right. Make a comment such as;
- “Wow! Great spider fingers!”
- “You are sitting perfectly at the piano, good for you”
- “I love the way you waited for Ms. Aimee to count us in before you played.”
Positive feedback that is specific helps your child to see that you are noticing what they are doing and that it is important to you. Your support fills your child’s balloon of self-esteem. Constructive criticisms can then be accepted and even embraced as opportunity for growth. Not every child who takes music lessons will become a virtuoso, but I believe every child should feel like one.
Watch this clip to see what a little encouragement can do……