Since When Is Respecting Children’s Decisions A Thing?

I was pretty shocked by a parent’s decision this afternoon.  I’m playing the piano for a new children’s chorus this summer and today was our second to last rehearsal before our concert – our last one before our dress rehearsal.  We only had 12 kids enroll total and shortly after two of them didn’t show up today, the dad texted to say they didn’t feel like doing it anymore and he was respecting their decision.

Since when is respecting children’s decisions a thing?!

I say this half jokingly.  Of course we allow children to make decisions, but do we let them break commitments, especially when people are counting on them?  One of the children had a solo.  This meant we had to cut into what precious time we had left to audition children and decide who was going to replace him on short notice.  We needed to be polishing everything instead.

My response to my children would have been, “I’m sorry you’re not enjoying the choir as much as you thought you would or that you’re missing out on (fill in the blank) because you committed to this, but you’re going to stick it out and you’re going to do it with a good attitude or else you can expect consequences x, y, and z.”

It was disrespectful to my friend who started the choir.  She does a wonderful job and goes the extra mile, planning educational games at each rehearsal.  She has a beautiful voice and any child is lucky to learn from her.

I don’t think this dad realized that when he said, “I’m respecting my kids’ decision” he was sending the message, “I don’t respect you.”  Today he taught his children a poor lesson, bad musicianship, and to be flakes.

The show will now go on with ten adorable kids.

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4 comments on “Since When Is Respecting Children’s Decisions A Thing?

  1. Couldn’t agree more… I’ll respect my daughter’s decisions when she makes decisions that deserve respect.

    • Well stated! I’ve never met this father, but I would be very curious to have a conversation with him about his decision or even just in general. Maybe I’m judging him, but his reason just isn’t acceptable to me.

  2. pljnw says:

    The mother could have stepped up to the plate and taught her children an important lesson in life. Instead, she did the opposite. Not okay.

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