Category: Articles for Parents (English & Spanish)
Beamer, Sharron: The Parent-Child Relationship
‘I know how to nurture my child by love. But how do I get him to practise?’
Parents often feel that these two requirements of the Suzuki Method present them with a contradiction. ‘What do I do when he refuses to practise? Do I force him? Is that nurturing him with love?’
The basis of the parent-child relationship, or of any human relationship, should be mutual respect. For too long, respect was a one-way street. Parents demanded respect from their children, but didn’t feel obliged to consider the child’s feelings or wishes.
Today the pendulum sometimes swings too far the other way. Parents feel they have to follow the child’s every lead and indulge every whim for fear of repressing him or losing his love.
The ideal is for the parent to respect what is highest and best in the child’s character, not to indulge what is petty and capricious. Parents who are firm and give their child loving guidance earn the child’s respect. They also have a right to insist that the child treats respectfully the serious and noble work they are undertaking together; the development of the child’s character to the fullest and best, enabling the child to realise his potential for achievement and independence. The ultimate aim isn’t to dominate the child, but to liberate him.
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was introduced to the Suzuki Method through her four children who started Suzuki violin lessons at their school. In 1978 she became a Suzuki teacher and was among the first intake of students to do the Suzuki teacher training offered by the BSI. In 1987-1988 she spent 6 months in Matsumoto, Japan studying with Dr.Suzuki himself. Dr.Suzuki called his method "Ability Development" and Sharron has always been inspired by his message that ability is not something one must be born with, but that it is something that everyone can develop. Her primary concern is to help her students to realize that they can develop ability, and to demonstrate how to go about it.