Your Inner Tiger Mom

Battle Hymn of the Tiger MotherI have been thinking a little bit about the “Tiger Mom” that is within each of us.  I’m sure you’ve heard about the book from the asian woman who thinks Americans are too easy on their children.
Its a post for another day.

And I haven’t even read it, because we know I can’t read books.  I can barely read short blog posts without falling asleep.

But I read on someone else’s blog, that tiger moms know that nothing is fun until you’re good at it, hence you have to practice a lot in order to have fun at it.  It isn’t going to be fun as you’re learning. 

This week we have our annual primary talent show and Conner was given the options of piano or trumpet.  He chose trumpet, and chose a piece with piano accompaniment.  Insert mom doing the piano for him.  Now, I know before you all start raving about how I can’t do EVERYTHING well, I try to be the jack of all of the trades.  In fact, I took piano for about 9 years growing up and I teach both boys piano.  But this piece has a lot of low notes and I lost my ability to read low notes once I became a flute player.  The bass clef is nothing to me, it could drop off the face of the planet for all I care (other than that it would truly hurt my husband, the bass trombonist… seriously, we are the ying and the yang).

So I’m mauling this piece to death this week.  I have given myself 5 minutes to practice in each day.  In truth, I am an amazing practicer.  It’s truly one of my spiritual gifts, I’ve always thought.  I could practice in a short period of time and perfect something while my counterparts in the flute section would slave for hours and hours.

It has buckets of chords wit lots of notes to be played at the same time.  I’m sure it’s somewhere in the realm of a 3rd to 4th grade piece… but i-yi-yi…

But then I realized once I got it down how fun it was to pound out the majestic chords and while it wasn’t fun in the beginning it was fun now.

I think my kids also learned a little something watching me struggle to pluck it out.

On Thursday, Conner threw down his book and said he wasn’t going to do it.

insert: {growl, roar, bite}

He’s playing it today.  We actually worked on it together and I think I may have improved his trumpet practice a little too (as a reminder to anyone, I gave flute lessons for a LONG time… so I’m not just blowin’ smoke at him… we did a little diaphragm work… as i used to have abs of steel back in my flute days).

Anyway, life isn’t always fun, but you can find the fun in it.  I guess I need to do that with our current little predicament…. not sure there is fun hiding anywhere… but I suppose I’ll go look. :)  If only I could practice it away….

** I should say that I disagree with a lot of what the Tiger Mom talks about, at least what I hear second hand.  But that is a post for another day, isn’t it?

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Comments

  1. says

    My inner tiger mom comes out all the time! I think most of us have it. To different degrees. I struggle to keep mine in check.

  2. says

    I talked with my girlfriend about this one. I think – wait, let me get on my high horse – Ok, I’m up. That it is more about balance and teaching the right attitudes. There are so many things that I am not good at – dancing, cooking, roller blading – but I could do them all for a long time (not just free dancing, but in a structured class) because I like it, and want to be better. Paige also likes to do a lot of things she is not good at. She is a very average writing, but she loves it, and writes every day. She is not a skilled swimmer, but practices doggedly. The other week, she did want to quit dance because she felt behind. She is not very coordinated or flexible. She was very, very upset. The teacher and I both talked to her about just having fun and relaxing. She now enjoys it again. O.K., getting off my high horse. That said, sure, things can be MORE fun when you are good at them too. But tiger mom’s quote is that ‘nothing is fun until you are good at it.’ And I have to disagree. : ) (Again, because there are so many things I’m not good at – ha!)

  3. says

    Loved this little story.

    Is it possible to transfer your practicing ability to me? I’m more like your flute friends when it comes to piano.