I’ve been teaching guitar and working with kids for quite some time now, and through all these years teaching them how to rock, I’ve noticed a lot of different types of kids. There are those who struggle to those who are instant rock stars, and everything in between. Some are very outgoing and willing to learn, while others are shy and hard to teach. But no matter the type of kid, I’ve come to realize that there are 3 traits that I think are essential for kids to learn at a young age – sharing, willingness to learn, and self-esteem.
Sharing – This trait is important in my eyes not only because kids should share their toys or their things, but because it goes deeper than that to the point that kids need to be able to share themselves with others. When I first start teaching a kid, I want to know all about them in order to get a better understanding of how they learn and what drives them. If kids are willing to share these things and open up to me, I have a lot easier time finding out how they learn. If they close themselves off, it’s harder to crack them and give them what they need.
Willingness to Learn – Sharing leads to the second trait, which is a willingness to learn. Once they open up, they need to have desire and passion to learn in order to really help them progress. Successful people become successful not by thinking they know everything, but by being open to the possibility that there is always more they can take in, thus progressing themselves daily and knowing they can always get better at what they do. An open mind opens doors, while a closed mind shuts out any potential for growth. I think kids need to learn to learn at a young age because they absorb so much in youth that it is essential they are willing to listen to others rather than stay in the same state of mind without ever really growing mentally.
Self-Esteem – With an open mind and a sharing heart stems growth. By sharing who they are, kids open the teacher up to a much easier way of teaching. By being open and willing to absorb that teaching, kids can learn a lot about themselves that they did not already know in what they share. With this learning comes confidence – confidence in themselves that they are learning the things they need to grow.
If a kid believes in his or herself, they are much more likely to believe that they can accomplish and learn what is being taught to them. A negative image of oneself gives the kid the idea that they cannot learn or are incapable of being successful. I’ve seen it a hundred times, when a kid fails at something and immediately begins considering his or herself not good enough and tries to set down the instrument right there and quit. This is why we must encourage kids every single day, whether it’s in playing an instrument or playing the game of life. Confidence is a key to any door that leads to the attainment of one’s hopes and dreams, and without it, the previous two traits lose their power.
With that being said, I think it is essential at home for parents to be actively participating in their little rock star’s lives, using the 3 traits as a simple guide. Share things with your kids, and let them share with you. By listening to them and letting them tell you their ideas, you will understand more of what he or she needs. Furthermore, be as willing to learn as they are, and encourage them to try new things. By doing this, you will earn their trust, and they will start to trust themselves and build a high sense of self, and self-esteem. Giving them love and encouragement is the biggest thing a parent can do to turn a timid little kid into a full grown lead man or woman in no time.
- Louie G. (RockHome Writer/Blogger)
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