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#924725 - 02/20/04 12:24 AM Power Struggles Between Parents and Children
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 857
Hello. I wondered if anyone would like to share tips for piano teachers when dealing with a power struggle between mothers and children. One of my teenage students tells me she is enjoying her pieces, and then tells her mother she is not. I have told this student that all further communication about pieces should be with me directly. Her mother concurs.

Does anybody have tips on how to avoid power struggles early on? I have a beginner of a mere two months who has shown me unbounded joy in studying piano. Her mother says she has to work to get her to come, and bring her to MacDonalds afterwards!

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#924726 - 02/21/04 07:32 AM Re: Power Struggles Between Parents and Children
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Hi Candyman,

The problem doesn't seem to be in your court.

However, it must be a worry to register the pupils enjoyment of piano lessons at your end and hear the about-face at home for the McDonalds reward.

Without wanting to advise losing a pupil, why doesn't the mother call the bluff by threatening termination of the lessons?

Genuine dislike of the lessons will be met with welcome closure. However, equivocation will be exposed. If the child comes clean and really wants to continue lessons, McDonalds is likely to be sidelined.

Whichever way it goes, the lessons will improve if the truth is out.

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#924727 - 03/06/04 05:39 PM Re: Power Struggles Between Parents and Children
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 857
Thank you for your tips. With the first student, I've considered suggesting the mother call her bluff but she is very talented and I need the money. In the case of the McDonald's student, I doubt she would quit for some time, since she just started. It just seems so unfortunate that music is connected with bribery.

Thank you.

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#924728 - 03/06/04 05:53 PM Re: Power Struggles Between Parents and Children
Dwain Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 2419
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
I'm not a piano teacher, but I do have a daughter who has done the same exact thing.

I agree, the problem isn't in your court; it's between the student and the parent. But I wouldn't advise calling the kid's bluff. Kid's aren't famously rational thinkers, and if this one is as stubborn as it sounds (and like my daughter, Seven, is), the kid could very easily agree to no more lessons just out of bull-headedness. If anything, I suspect that now, it's become a lot more about getting some personal, undivided quality time with Mom, and getting a cheeseburger, than it is about piano at all.

If I were Mom, I would quietly but firmly get the kid to the lesson, and refuse to talk about it outside of the teacher's earshot. Then, if I were going to resort to bribery, I'd make it a decent bribe, but only at the end of a month or two of proven good behavior and performance - not every single lesson.

But I'm serious, I think the issue is more the kid needing quality time with Mom than anything else.

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#924729 - 03/07/04 03:13 AM Re: Power Struggles Between Parents and Children
benedict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 2519
Loc: European Union
_________________________
Benedict

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#924730 - 03/07/04 05:45 PM Re: Power Struggles Between Parents and Children
Dwain Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 2419
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
I've heard of someone being a man of few words, but that's ridiculous...

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#924731 - 03/07/04 05:51 PM Re: Power Struggles Between Parents and Children
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
I would have a talk with the mother and daughter together. I would tell them that you are not to be included in the struggles of their relationship.. you are a piano teacher. Daughters and sons will assert their independence as they mature. Maybe you can capitalize on that, suggesting the daughter set the parameters of her time with you...
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

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#924732 - 03/07/04 06:16 PM Re: Power Struggles Between Parents and Children
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dwain Lee:
I've heard of someone being a man of few words, but that's ridiculous... [/b]
Dwain: \:D

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#924733 - 03/07/04 08:54 PM Re: Power Struggles Between Parents and Children
Dwain Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 2419
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
\:D

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#924734 - 03/08/04 09:29 AM Re: Power Struggles Between Parents and Children
benedict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 2519
Loc: European Union
Sorry Dwain Lee,

As there was no answer to my post when I came back, I thought it might have been better to delete it.

Maybe I was wrong.
_________________________
Benedict

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#924735 - 03/11/04 11:47 AM Re: Power Struggles Between Parents and Children
starmender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 461
Loc: Australia
It's none of your business. Feed back is useful if it gives you something to work on, but this is all nonsense. Take no notice.

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