Last week, we had an appointment with Dr. Steven Curtis. He strongly believes that our son needs to develop mastery around something other than video games. He feels that my TBP must experience the struggle, persistence and success felt only after going through this process. Starting at a novice level and reaching expertise, will bring him self-esteem and confidence that will benefit him.
I agree with this 100%. So what’s the problem?
The problem is that my precious boy is currently obsessed with Mine Craft and video games and isn’t interested in much of anything else. He is an excellent reader, creative thinker, and enjoys creating detailed drawings. He doesn’t like to be told how something should look or be, so although he is interested in art, he is not interested in outside instruction. “Why do I want to go to a drawing class when I already like how I draw?”
My TBP has shown interest in fencing, archery, and computer programing but when we go to sign up for a class, he says that he is no longer interested. We know that he is highly introverted and is hesitant to perform on command for others so we suggested private options and were surprised that he was still against it.
A few years ago, he took over a year of piano classes. He was very good and the teacher said that he had a natural talent that she was excited about. Once the selected pieces became challenging (but within his reach with practice) he refused to play. He would not come out of his room for the lesson and argued about practicing. To be honest, once he was determined NOT to play piano, trying to make him play and attend to the lesson was torture for me!
Right now, I can hear you through the screen! Some of you are saying, “If he doesn’t like it, don’t make him do it.” The other camp is loudly saying…”Why don’t you make him! Just say, ‘Because I said so!’ If he was mine I would…” Because of the piano situation, we waited for him to show interest in an activity, making frequent suggestions and getting turned down each time.
Dr. Curtis believes that it is time for a firm approach. He suggests that we give him two or three choices and insist that he picks an activity that he will practice consistently and work to his fullest potential. As the doctor spoke, I pictured Ralph Macchio with all the “wax on” and “wax off” practice and his unwavering focus. I know that success through practice and determination is motivating and fulfilling! I want that for my son, but I only see that kind of tenacity when he plays video games.
So now…share with me your wisdom smart readers! What would you do? Should I force my child to participate in an activity that he has little or no interest in?