We all know as parents that often it can be so tricky to get our kids to practice. We can try threats, bribing them, even asking them in the nicest way possible! Sometimes our children are just defiant about practicing - they don’t want to do it, and therefore they won’t! Today we will be providing some advice for parents to help their defiant children get practicing in no time.
Set a few non-negotiable rules and enforce them
Often the reason why our kids like to play up so much is because there is no consequence if they continue with their behaviour. In order to make sure they practice, try setting a few rules. Keep them simple so that the child doesn't feel completely restricted. Some rules could include: Keeping practice at a minimum of thirty minutes, asking three times or they will have to miss out on something, and ensuring that children can only respond in a way that doesn’t involve yelling or shouting.
We definitely don’t want to encourage severe consequences as this will only deter students from practicing more. Try having a few consequences and be sure to follow through, so that habits become a norm that your child will eventually adapt to. Some simple yet non-dramatic consequences could include: If you don’t practice, there will be no screen-time for the night, no practice, no dessert and so forth. These sorts of consequences are helpful as they almost make the ‘consequence’ an incentive and will most likely motivate your child to want to have these things!
Create a working environment
Is the environment the child practices in too distracting, too noisy or maybe even uninspiring? Why not try and create a healthy, fun and clean working environment? You don’t have to completely renovate a room in the house either! Some simple ways to revamp a working environment for practice include creating a corner of a room that is clean and maybe even has some quotes or photos from inspiring musicians. Creating a nice environment is more likely to compel the child to practice.
Celebrate their success
As much as it is important to enforce the consequences, it is just as important to make sure that the child’s success and efforts are rewarded. All that is needed is a simple “I’m very impressed”, “Good job” or an “I’m proud of you!”. This will help your child realise that you recognise their efforts and they are more likely to want to try and achieve the goals you set.
We hope this helps all parents who have defiant children when it comes to practice (don’t worry, there’s a lot of you out there!)