Some parents believe that first and foremost learning guitar should be enjoyable for their children. While enjoyment of music and practice are certainly important I think there is a common misunderstanding. So I want to pointed out a slightly different angle on the importance of enjoyment when it comes to learning guitar.
Leading psychologist Martin Seligman (and others) believe there are potential long term consequences to the idea of focusing too much on enjoyment. When we are led to believe everything must be enjoyable we stop trying anything that is even slightly uncomfortable but here is the problem. Almost anything that is worth achieving takes effort. No pain no gain as they say. Children need to understand that success comes from hard work and persistence and that they should not give up just because something is not enjoyable in the moment. We all know this instinctively but for some reason we want to protect our children from this important lesson. I know when I took up guitar as a child I was often frustrated and felt like giving up. I did not enjoy much of the practice. I would happily have bypassed the practice if I could have but I really wanted to play guitar. I think there were definitely some critical points where without the support of certain people I would have given up.
My message to parents is to not get too hung up on whether your child enjoys every practice session. Instead talk to them about the reality. Explain that we achieve through persistence in giving up is not a good option. In fact it’s rarely good option. The best time to give up is before you even start that way you won’t have wasted any time. The bottom line is not whether or not you or your child enjoys the practice, it’s whether or not you want to be the play guitar.
Finally let me direct you to a blog called
How do I get my child to practice guitar without forcing them?