Sometime ago, I wrote that J's primary love language is words of affirmation. Further evidence for this was provided yesterday when I picked him up from school. During our conversation in the car, he revealed that his teacher had commented he was one of the angels in class and his eyes twinkled as he said it. After that, he said that he really enjoyed school a lot, despite proclaiming on Monday that he did not like school.
I thank God that J's teacher is one who uses positive and affirming words. I am also prompted to rethink how I should get J to practise the violin. Just yesterday, I was barking at him to play a piece over and over again as the high E did not sound right. Then, he slipped in the middle section and I had him replay the whole section again. We both were frustrated and while I would prefer a more peaceful practice session, I ended up giving instructions relentlessly and the volume of my voice increased by a few notches every time J complained about having to practise more.
I guess the lack of motivation to practise an instrument is not pertinent only to J. In fact, a friend just commented that she had to nag at her daughter to practise the piano. However, I would like J's learning of the violin to be an enjoyable experience. I thought about his reaction to his teacher's praise as well as other occasions when he responded sweetly to affirming words and came up with the following steps:
1) Instead of only highlighting J's mistakes, I will praise him for the positive aspects of his playing.
2) I will also try to make the practice fun by varying the speed or emotions of the piece as his accompanist.
3) I will try to add in humour during the practice as far as possible as J loves a good joke.
I hope these steps would work. Otherwise, a lot of precious time is wasted on arguing about why the piece has to be played another time, rather than on playing. Stay tuned for the update. :)