Most parents of teenagers know, that pop and rock music becomes very important when the teen years hit. But how do you as a parent, deal with your own kid wanting to become a pop or rock star?
As parents we may dread that time when the hormones hit and suddenly our sweet, fairly nerdy kid, almost overnight seems to become an obnoxious scowling teen, who is suddenly towering over us. Coming along with this sprouting, scowling stage, very often, is the sudden desire to become a famous pop or rock star, and strut about on the stage in front of shrieking fans.
Drums Or Guitar?
A kid who is interested in school work and sports, may suddenly spent huge chunks of time locked in their bedroom learning the guitar are begging for a drum set. Relatively pedestrian ambitions, like being a scientist, lawyer, carpenter or hairdresser are swept away with the urge to be a world famous singer or musican. In the blink of an eye, delsuion seems to reign supreme. Or does it?
Teenagers are besieged by hormones, which change their body, voice and brain. Suddenly the teen becomes very aware of themselves as sexual beings and subconsciously their need to compete in the marketplace, looking for a mate and romance. If you are looking to improve your mate value, that is your powers to attach a romantic partner, then it makes sense to model yourself on people who are universally hailed as being "hot" and "sexy" i.e. pop and rock stars.
All this is well and good, but what about the problem of the plans to throw the plumbing career down the dunny and pursue the rock and roll life style, which has exceedingly high chances of coming to nothing or bringing about a painful crash landing? My answer is, to communicate to your teens, that they can have it all.
But how do you know, you may well ask? I know, because currently my teen son is both attending university, and pursuing a career as an electronic artist.
The best way to deal with your teenagers aspirations, is to respect them, and to help in any way you can, without actually really getting involved. What I mean by this is, that you need to allow your child to express themselves in their own way, without offering your (quite frankly) outdated opinions. Also, fundamental to this relationship, is the expectation that your teen will also continue with their education, which may facilitate another or related career path.
By simply conveying the message to your teen that they can pursue a range of goals and that there is no need to limit themselves to one field, you can bring about a situation where everyone is happy.
As a parent, encourage you teen to find a balanced lifestyle, by brainstorming together how they can best use available time to do school work and play gigs, or whatever they need to do to get their musical career jogging along nicely.
Discuss the importance of sleep and the craziness of taking drugs. Never preach or make threats, this turns most people off and ruins your credibility. Also always allow and encourage your child to think for themselves, and make their own decisions, while emphasizing that you love to listen and to offer ideas. In other words, open the doors of mutual communication and respect.
A couple of years have passed now, since my son started on his musical career and while he is still a teenager, he is also a signed artist, who has been interviewed on radio and appeared on music video channels. I don't know how long this will continue, but at the moment everyone is happy.
Whenever my son is composing, he asks me to listen and offer my opinions, which I do.....but carefully (music has changed since I was his age). He also knows that education is important too, and it is something that will bring benefits in years to come.
Kids go through many stages and teenagers especially do so, but instead of criticizing or despairing, convey to your teen the words of the great poet Horace, Carpe diem, which means basically "seize the day".
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