Rus Articles Journal

Whether to force children to be engaged: free time or circles?

“One of the main distinctions in perception of happiness adults and children are a control of time. Adults often complain that they lack time eternally, children face other problem. As mother, I exert huge impact on how my daughters, having returned from school, dispose free time“, - American Gretchen Rubin tells. Also gives 2 most harmonious advice.

Protect free time of the children

Thinking over the house schedule of Elisa on a new quarter, I was literally broken off: it is so much opportunities! She could study anything: from Chinese to chess and a violoncello. Similar occupations could be pleasant and useful - including, and by drawing up future summaries! Like many parents, we wanted to give to our children everything that only in our forces. We were lucky: we can send the children to any courses. Well, and if Elisa does not want to be engaged in it? I, for example, awfully wanted that she learned to play the piano. If once it is also possible to learn it, then just now. But Elisa did not want to play the piano. Perhaps to force?

From - for piano lessons we quarreled with Elisa more than once. Of course, acquaintance to classical music, discipline and ability to play a piano would enrich the girl`s life. We had no tool, but Jamie`s parents had a grand piano, and they lived absolutely nearby - round the corner. (Eleanor counted: exactly 106 steps.) My mother-in-law Judee adores music. I knew that it will be pleasant to it if Elisa comes to them and to be engaged.

Ya discussed music lessons with the girlfriends.

- When you are engaged in something long enough, skill grows, and begin to derive pleasure! - one spoke.

- Perhaps, - I thoughtfully answered. Whether this is true?

- If parents do not force, children will give up occupations. I hated a violin, and parents allowed me to throw. And now I am sorry about it.

- you Think if long you hate something, then then you will be able to fall in love with it? - I was surprised. - It did not happen to me. It does not seem to me that the person is arranged quite so. Besides, skill is gained by practice. If you do not like to play a violin, you will never reach such level when occupations by music give you pleasure.

I did not convince the Girlfriend, but it was valid so: long hours of conscious rehearsals - here that distinguishes great musicians from fans.

Persistence is more important than

for skill, than talent because the most important element of true art is a readiness to train.

to Force
the child it is possible to rehearse, and here to want to rehearse - it is impossible.

Yes, what we succeeded in, begins to give pleasure, but neither in work, nor in game it is impossible to guarantee it. The prosperity in something sometimes hides for itself full hostility to this occupation. I was quite successful lawyer - and it slowed down understanding that I should be engaged in something in another.

- But if you really want to play a violin, - I told, - that could take lessons. I know adults who learn to play musical instruments.

- I am not going to study it now, - she objected.

Aha, it appears, it is very easy to regret for efforts which we did not want to apply in the past, but the prospect to use the similar efforts seems not so attractive now.

- Rehearsals stimulate discipline, - other acquaintance said to me. - And if rehearsals are not pleasant to you, then they stimulate discipline even more.


Ya it is very disciplined, and I consider this quality extremely useful. But at the same time I see all risks of self-discipline. I am able to force to do what is not pleasant to me. But sometimes it would be better than it not to do. Self-discipline for the sake of self-discipline - occupation vain. As Samuel Johnson noticed:“ Any deprivations which do not bring good and do not prevent the evil, are senseless and empty“. Anyway, at school Elisa had a mass of opportunities to cultivate in itself self-discipline. Whether it is necessary to continue the same practice and houses?


Ya that lessons of a piano will be useful, but, on the other hand, I understood also the value of free time - especially for children! Important even that time which seems spent aimlessly. The philosopher Bertran Russell so remembered the childhood:

“I got used to wander about park all alone, gathering bird`s eggs, indulging in reflections that there is a running-away time. How many myself I remember, the important, defining children`s impressions cleared up in consciousness somehow by the way when I played or was engaged in the children`s affairs, and the senior I never it blabbed out anything. I believe that minutes and hours of spontaneous saturation by life when nothing is imposed to a young being from the outside, and are most for it important, seemingly superficial, and actually vital impressions are put then“. (T. Kazavchinskaya Lane, N. Tsyrkun).

As the typical parent of type A, I wanted that my daughters used the time most productively. But I also understood that useful occupations not always seem useful. The famous sound technician Walter Murk remembered: “Now, in 58 years, I do in accuracy what admired me in 11. But I long time thought: “Sounds cannot be the real work. Perhaps to become the geologist or to teach history of arts?“ “. My friend always with enthusiasm played with doll lodges, now she is interior designer. Other girlfriend long studied on faculty of law, but much more she was carried away by video games. Eventually she threw law and got a job in the company making video games. What was for it waste of time - games or faculty of law? Elisabeth with a sigh told once:

- Ah if in the childhood I could watch TV more!


I it is unsurprising - she scripts TV programs! In the childhood I wrote out quotes from the read books in a notebook, illustrated them cuttings from magazines - I am engaged in it in the blog today. Many consider that children need to offer the most different occupations that they could develop versatily. But whether really these occupations develop new interests which children do not have? Whether we smother the arising interest in a germ, forcing the child to be engaged in the fact that to it it is still uninteresting?

Parents want

that their children used time efficiently and chose what will make them happy. We want to provide them the reliable place in this world. But I understand that the similar aspiration can be and dangerous.

- it is better for p to become You professor, the lawyer, the accountant, the teacher, to marry, - parents advise. - It less risky.

Ya I know many who took the safe, approved by parents way, but subsequently left it - voluntarily or not. These people for nothing spent a lot of time, forces and money for what never attracted them. Now I am mother and fully estimated that support which was given me by parents when I decided to give up career of the lawyer and to become the writer. it is sick p to see

how your child is mistaken, fills cones or is engaged in the fact that it seems waste of time, forces and money.

But whether always we know that it is good and that - waste of time.

So with Jamie to do

to us: to insist on that Elisa studied playing a grand piano, or to allow it to arrive at discretion?

Perhaps Elisee will be pleasant to play grand piano if we force it to take lessons, or perhaps and is not present. Perhaps she will learn self-discipline, or perhaps and is not present. But it is necessary to consider also one more factor: the price which should be paid for this opportunity. If to argue logically, any choice means refusal of alternative. The school hours playing a grand piano mean refusal of all other occupations. What would Elisa if she has free this hour be engaged in? She learns only if we allow it to solve most.

of Thought of the future was forced me to wish that Elisa accumulated baggage of achievements from early age, but my more reasonable part went on: the best lesson of the childhood is an understanding of in what you want to be engaged. If before revenues to faculty of law I analyse what devoted all the free time to, then would become the writer earlier. I do not regret that I made. I was pleasant to study and work of the lawyer was pleasant. But this experience could be much less pleasant. But also, I could never take courage to take up the pen.

I to children, and adults cannot be engaged in anything special. And then ourselves choose occupation to ourselves to liking.

- Maturing, I terribly missed, - one my friend, very creative person remembered. - But, thanks to it, I had extremely rich internal life.

- Yes, - I nodded. - The boredom can be important too. At such moments you understand, than you want to be engaged.

After a month of disputes we with Jamie decided to conform to the rule “Protect Free Time of the Children“. We wanted that Elisa was oneself even if for this purpose it is necessary to refuse a piano. We wanted that free time became for it a possibility of researches and the choice.

the Saying says: “It is necessary to understand the child who you have, but not that whom you would like to have“.

Ya it completely agrees with Montaigne:“ The finest movements of our soul are least intense and its most natural movements“.

Than Elisa does in the spare time at home? Whether she plays chess whether does chemical experiments, whether writes sonnets or will organize charitable evenings in favor of a homeless animals shelter? Not at all. She for hours draws or films herself, and then spends a lot of time for viewing of removed. And it is unimportant whether it is pleasant to me, but she is engaged in it.

- You do not want to go to video filming courses? - I asked. - You will be taught installation, special effects and any it?

- Not - and, - Elisa shook the head. - I do not want to study with other people. I like to understand everything most and to work alone.

- And about it you do not want to read the book?

- Very much!

Ya bought it the book on video-tape editing on “Macintosh“. And the book about Cindi Sherman!

Suffer from

for 15 minutes every day

In vain we so abuse routine! Yes, something brand new makes us happy.

Those who break routine try something new, goes to new places, are happier, but also the routine can bring happiness.

should not underestimate pleasure from an opportunity to do same every day. In my daily occupations there is beauty. They are an invisible architecture of my life. Andy Warhol wrote: “Either only once, or every day. If you do something once, it is fine. But if you do something every day, it is fine too. And here if you do it twice or nearly an every day, then in it there is nothing good“.

From the book “It Is Happy at Home“