View Full Version : Advice from a teen please

02-06-10, 01:15 AM
My son is about to turn 13 and wants to quit playing the cello in the orchestra as well as wants to quit swimming. He says he likes both of them but 1, he is bored and 2, he hates to practice. He has started his growth spurt and is interested in a girl at school. Both of these activities he has been doing for 3 years and he does have another sport that he does not want to quit....yet. Plus grades are starting to creep down.

I suspect he has my brand of 'inattentive add' but he has not been diagnosed. I want to help him stick with his interests to develop his talents. Should I let him quit? Do you wish your parent had not given in so easily?

I thought perhaps I would let him cut back on swimming and get a private tutor for cello to help it stay interesting. Or maybe change something else to add novelty. Or even hire a college student to work with him on either. Teens, if your parent had done any of these things, would you have stuck with your activity?

I'd just like some advice from a teen who made it through that super hormonal year of 13.

02-06-10, 11:31 PM
I played trumpet in our school band. I never really enjoyed it, and didn't enjoy making music until I started doing it outside of class. For me it was the rigid practicing and learning pieces that made me dislike it, so I quit. I started playing piano and taught myself from the internet and got help from a few piano players I know.

I started getting into improvisation and I've been learning some pieces alongside that and it has been going well. I haven't lost interest yet! :)


02-07-10, 12:53 AM
Pushing your teen too much will backfire if he's "bored" with what your pushing him to do.
If you think he might have ADD then make an appointment to diagnose him, seems like a good idea.
Hormones are crazy at this age and it's normal. Not doing well in school and going after the girls is what teen males usually do.

02-09-10, 05:24 PM
Although you wanted some feedback from a teenager, I did want to offer my support. And while I do encourage you to seek different perspectives, I also want to make you more confident in your parenting skills. I'm sure you have the ability to make the best choices for your child.

First thing first, I do encourage you to seek a diagnosis from a qualified professional. It could be the 'bordeom' may be related to the ADHD. Perhaps if his attention and focus could be re-directed, he could get more satisfaction out of these activites. Naturally he could just be plain bored of them, but you never know. More importantly, ADHD could be the reason his grades are starting to fall and you absolutely must address this issue. Otherwise, it could negatively impact his future.

As for your decision to drop his activites, jave you talked to your son about what exactly he finds boring about the activities he's in? Is it too slow, not fast enough? Is he more of a competitve guy and that's not what he's getting at swimming? When he did find swimming fun, what exactly made it fun? Ask similar questions about the cello. Is it the music is harder to pick up? Does he like going to concerts? Encourage his love of the cello by getting some classical CDs of his favourite composers..

Before you make any choices, make sure you have all the information.

I don't know what your own thoughts are about dating, but now is the time to have a talk to him about that. And if he does have ADHD, then state clearly what is acceptable and what is not. Don't beat around the bush, expecting him to read between the lines.

By the way, I personally would keep him in swimming. Physical activity is very important towards managing his ADHD. Even if it doesn't, it's good to stay active. Unless of course he wants to go into another physical activity.

Go to it mom!:D

02-10-10, 01:19 AM
I'm a bass trombone major in college. I hate to practice, but the feeling I get when I play a piece correctly and beautifully is wonderful. The incentive of a positive feeling still is not a strong enough motivator for me.

As an inattentive ADDer myself, I know the most conflicting thing a parent can do is to force their kid to do something. It makes many people like myself do exactly the opposite of what their parents want. For whatever the reason may be (likely some sort of adolescent independence struggle [btw I am a double major in psychology as well :-)]), it puts you in a difficult position.

The thing that will improve his playing the most, whether he is ADHD or not, is to get a private instructor, whether it is a college student or some random adult teacher. The drastic improvement in playing that is associated with private tutoring may be enough to keep him playing. But, it is ultimately HIS choice. The only role you play here is to encourage and facilate, not to force. Like I said before, the worst thing you can do is take away his choice in the matter.

You may also want to look in to (with him) community orchestras. They usually accept players of all skill levels, and that would give him a concrete outlet for his practicing, rather than simply practicing for the sake of practicing.

02-10-10, 04:16 AM
I took piano starting in 3rd grade. I hated practicing. I begged to quit, but my parents wouldn't let me. I'm so glad they didn't. Music has inspired and saved me countless times. In addition to piano, I taught myself guitar and sing. Music was my minor in college.

Do what you think is best for your kid, always take his wants into consideration, but sometimes people need to be pushed.

I like your creative thinking, by the way :)