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How to Keep Your Teen Involved in the Arts


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keeping teens interested in the artsParents of young children in the arts understand the commitment and sacrifice needed to support their endeavors. As children grow, those same parents will face the challenge of keeping a teen engaged and excited about the arts. While some teens will naturally follow their artistic bent, others may need support and guidance to stay on track. Parents can help, but it’s most effective to do it in a positive way.

Adolescence is a confusing time for parents and students alike. Trying to force your teen to continue lessons or increase his artistic activities can cause friction that will push your student away from his art—and from you. As much as you might want to, you can’t make decisions for your teen the way you did when she was younger. Your parental role as arts advocate is changing; it’s less about control, and more about understanding and offering advice.

Respect competing interests

Especially in the early teen years, it’s important to take a step back to try to understand the many other activities competing for your teen’s interest. This will help you define and communicate the reasons why she should stick with her artistic pursuit.

As a music educator and a parent of teens, it’s a joy for me to see how uniquely each teen student develops. Some will struggle, some will soar, but most will discover new interests that directly compete with the arts. Sports, academics, dating, and other social activities can rob time slots formerly earmarked for practice, lessons, or rehearsal. It’s a time of discovery that, much as we try, parents cannot control. However, we can continue to provide good information, facilitate artistic experiences, and advise our teens.

Keep their eyes on the prize—>

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