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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 16, 2010

Don't sweat it if child refuses to perform on stage

By John Rosemond

Q. Our normally very obedient 5-year-old son flat out refuses to get up on stage and sing at his preschool's spring musical. At last year's musical, he made a huge scene by clenching his little fingers on the door jamb and refusing to let go. The teacher sat him on her lap while she directed the other kids. This year, he's told us that he'd rather be punished than get up on stage. My husband is all about making him do it. By the way, our older kids love getting up and performing. Your thoughts?

A. You can't. While one can argue that the coach's style is not the best, I don't think he's doing any harm. It would be a different story if he was yelling at and humiliating one child, but he's not; he's yelling at all of them. Such is the nature of highly competitive athletics. I have to believe that the kids know the coach wants them to do their best, that he wouldn't become upset with them otherwise. So, since this is painful for you to watch, my advice is for the two of you to stop going to the practices. Drop your son off, go indulge in some retail therapy, and then go pick him up.