Who am I being that my children eyes are not shining…

One of my favourite TED talks. Really worth listening to, all brilliant but the second part is especially moving. It is more of a life lesson that just a talk on a classical music and its power…

‘The job of C is to make B sad’ 😉 said Benjamin in his talk.

‘And the job of us as the parents is to make our children happy’ 😉 says me.


Benjamin Zander (music conductor) describes what a revelation it was for him when he realised that the conductor of the orchestra doesn’t make a sound. He entirely depends on his power to make other people powerful. To awaken possibility in other people. You look at their eyes. If their eyes are shiny you know you are doing this. If their eyes are not shiny: who am I being that my children’s eyes are not shining?

How many shiny eyes I have around me? It really makes a difference what we say, the word which come from our mouths.

He recalls a story of his friend who survived Auschitz and made a vow  to never say anything that couldn’t stand as a last thing she will ever say. Can we do it… His answer is ‘not quite’ but it is a possibility to live to…

So many wise thoughts and equally so many opportunities for us to shape the mindset and choices of our children.

Why is it that we all start with a really high hopes, really high aspirations, really high quality choices only to find ourselves on the sliding scale as the years go by… The children needs have not changed but somehow our attitude has and the older they get the less harder we try…

Sorry, I know it is totally unfair on all of us (the parents) as most of us would still try our best, it is just that the ‘novelty’ of a new baby and the new vows slowly worn off and there are so many other things we need to make space for and incorporate into our lives…

Fair enough and I agree, there is nothing harder than a parent trying to juggle it all however… despite of all this, and maybe even because of it all, we still need to remember to make time and space for these quality moments with our children… be it one-to-one at the theatre or looking into their eyes and properly listen as they tell us the stories from their day or just cuddling together and reading their favourite book for the tenth time with the same excitement in our voice.

And every time we get this little spark in their eyes it tells us we are doing it right.. it tells us we are giving them the quality time they need to feel valued and understanding, we show them they are unique and important to us and that is how their self confidence is being built. And one day they will stay in front of other people, our little ‘music conductors’ 😉 and if they can pass on this positive message on to others and creatively inspire others in whatever area they choose to be in then we have succeeded. And more importantly they have succeeded as found the strength and passion in their lives.

And how do I go about it all in our family every day life?

Well it is certainly not easy but the key to it is to make it part of your ‘life routine’ if you like and simply get on with it ie make some conscious choices.

I play some classical cds at home and we listen to Classic FM in the car (our car cd has been broken for too long and we simply got used to it now ;-)). I often take them to some local churches for the classical music concerts (cheaper than cinema tickets) and we will have family fun trips to Southbank or Wigmore hall in London. They both organize Family classical music concerts periodically and these are so much fun, very informal and animated (our favourite are Southbank ones run by Chris Jarvis from Cbeebies!! ;-)).

I think it is a bit like osmosis. You think nothing is happening, ‘these things’ don’t make any difference to our children’s lives and then suddenly you realise that something has actually been happening throughout all this time… something almost so subtle and delicate that it is difficult to even capture into the words… And it is this sensitivity, this inner understanding of things, this state of being attuned to the world and its surroundings that gets develop along the way…

These ‘certain values’ which come with it… they are ‘invisible’ if you like but they come to life when you talk to your child, when you watch him conducting yourself and referring to others, when you experience his sensitivity.. when you look into their eyes and they are there wide open and shiny, as they just discovered another greatest pleasure of life, they now know and understand and are not afraid to listen to the classical music! I call it a ‘tiny little victory’;-).

The below is a what Giselle drafted last night only. She was designing a new instrument…



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