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Thursday, February 2, 2012

To crush a dream or not?

I loathe the audition shows.  I'm having a hard time skimming through them on my DVR, let alone mustering up the strength to comment about them here.  

They have, however, sparked a conversation that I find very interesting:

You have a child whose dream is to become a star, a musician, the next American Idol.  

When they sing, however, it is painfully obvious that they will not, in fact, be any of those things.

Are you honest with that child?  "Darling, you are so very talented at so many things, but singing is likely going to be an impossible dream for you to follow" - even though you know that you're crushing their only dream, and probably subjecting yourself to years of resentment and them to years of bashing you as a parent to their therapist.

Or do you drive that child to the American Idol audition, wear a shirt that says, "my kid is the next American Idol", insist that they are the next best thing?  And then when they don't get a ticket to Hollywood, you say, "Darling, those judges are idiots"  - even though you know deep inside that those judges are so very right yet your encouragement is dooming you to cheerleader status at multiple other (fruitless) auditions.

P.S.  Don't you LOVE the new blog format?  Well done, Auntee!

1 comment:

  1. My vast parenting experience says this:

    Unless a kid wants to be on Toddlers and Tiaras (in which case the dream should be immediately crushed), give the kid lessons in what they show an interest in. At some point its going to be evident even to a child in deep denial, whether they are exceptional, good, average, or completely useless at the talent they want to pursue. (It was pretty clear to me that I wasn't going to be Cathy Rigby on the paralell bars when I could barely turn a cartwheel..and that after months of practice). And if the child is STILL in denial, despite being placed in the back row of the ballet recital, playing *My Little Pony* at the piano recital while the other kids of the same age are playing Mozart, or being placed between the two loudest singers in the choir...then have a professional assess their talent and break the bad news to them gently.

    But, just because your kid is rather uncoordinated at age 5 doesn't mean you should not let him or her take dance or go out for sports if they want to try. They can learn something from a few years of lessons even if they will never be a star at it. And LISTEN to them. I wanted to take ballet but had to take piano instead. Now I would be awful at ballet but I might have had a good time for a year or two dressing up in a tutu and may have learned a bit of gracefulness in the process. Auntee's mom knew she had a very unccordinated child on her hands so chose piano instead. I hated piano lessons and just pounded the bejesus out of the keyboard in resentment. But Auntee's mom also saw her drawing all these little people and signed her up for art lessons.

    If for some reason your child gets to go sing before Randy, JLo and Steven and you know they are mediocre at best or horrible at worst...you still have to go. I would just steer myself and them clear of the pre-audition camera crew so they don't say *I'm the next American Idol* before they fall flat on their face!