Do It Now

As I begin my day of appointments and my Big Three for the day, I have to remind myself that I need to Do It now.  Getting started is an area that needs attention.  I have found that when I give it that attention with an attitude, I need to do it now, then I get started right away and it is done.  I believe today that I am writing for both kids and us adults when I say, Do It Now = Just Did It.  Teaching our kids, and ourselves the value of commitment and completing what we say we’re going to do is definitely a lifelong skill that pays great benefits.

I really hate getting up early in the morning.  I know there are people who do enjoy getting up early, but it is difficult for me.  But I also dislike making a commitment to myself and then not following through.  If I say that I am going to get up at 5:30 a.m. and complete my morning routine before everyone gets out of bed, and I don’t do it, then I’ve let myself down more than anything.  If I get up only 2-3 days a week then I either need to change the commitment or complete it.  If it is good for me, such as stretching in the morning, then I need to do it right away because once the day has started, I am less like to complete it.

The same with kids as well.  As a band director for many years, I had a chance to work with elementary kids through high school kids.  I would notice that in the later elementary years a student may want to play an instrument.  So the parents come to the band night that is held at the school along with the local music vendor and they go about the process of selecting an instrument.  The child is excited and eager to learn how to play an instrument.  However, there are no shortcuts to learning a musical instrument and soon the drudgery sets in and the child realizing that hey, his is difficult and it is going to take time.

Right at that moment as parents, we have the chance to teach kids the lifelong skill of commitment, of sticking with something. So often I would hear parents say, “Well, if you don’t like it, then you can quit.”  There are so many things that I didn’t like, like practicing the piano all those years.  But now I am extremely grateful for my parents encouraging me to stick with it and do it now.  Each day I would ” do it now” and before I knew it, my friends were coming up to me and saying I started the piano but I quit.  I wish I could play like you.

Arthur Rubenstein, a famous classical piano performer tells a story about a woman who came to him after a concert and said, “Oh, how I wish I would play as you do.”  He replied, “No you don’t, or you would.”   Which is a way of saying, Do it Now – every day for years and you can play very well too.   That long-term commitment is best served with a Do It Now attitude and it is one that teaches kids such a valuable life skill that will set them apart from others around them in adulthood.

Yours for better parenting,

Rich