My hormone-filled teen is having a meltdown about a coming exam. He does not think he is ready, but, I know he can do it with a little help.
He wants to pull out.
I find myself steering him towards sitting the exam even though he is not sure if he is ready for it.
I am worried about being a pushy parent if I just insist on him taking it.
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Thank you for getting in touch; being a parent is tough, add hormones and teenage-angst and you are now officially in HARD MODE.
You have reason to be concerned; as a parent, you care deeply for your son and his future. You desperately want to help him avoid mistakes that he will undoubtedly regret. Unfortunately, this is part of life; we learn from our many mistakes, ultimately making us stronger.
Remember, we will never be completely ready for a performance, whether that be an exam, concert or competition, only more prepared. The only way to overcome this feeling is to actively pursue opportunities to build up a tolerance. However, this should not be forced.
No one would enjoy a forced bungee-jump.
It is never too late to change course; if you feel this will benefit your son’s learning (the exam, not bungee jumping!).
You can only be a pushy parent if you are a pushy parent; simply by you saying these words means that you are self-aware and can avoid this path.
Personally, I have dealt with a lot worse as a teacher; what you are saying is ‘pushy’ would not even register in comparison to some I have experienced in previous years.
My recommendation is that you trust in your guidance up until now to know that your son will make the right decision, for him, even if it is not the one you would make. In the next few years please prepare yourself for more circumstances like this as he becomes a young adult and starts to branch out to find his independence.
I hope this helps you.
All good wishes,
Dylan completed his music training with honours at Colchester Institute, where he studied piano with Australian pianist Lesley Young, and composition with British composer Dr Mark Bellis. While studying, in 2009, Dylan won Colchester Institute’s Canon Jack Award for Solo Piano adjudicated by Andrew Ball. A composer, promoter, and advocate of contemporary classical music, Dylan joined the membership of Colchester New Music in 2014.
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