DEAR ABBY: My wife and I disagree about how to handle a problem with our 6-year-old daughter, "Emily," who has not been practicing her piano lessons as diligently as we would like. After her last lesson, I told my wife that I didn't think Emily did very well.
My wife thinks we should deny Emily her bedtime snack. I disagree. I feel that practicing the piano is a responsibility, and Emily should not be punished. Failure to be responsible has its own consequences. What do you think? -– AT ODDS IN AUSTIN
DEAR AT ODDS: Piano practice should not be turned into a power struggle. Denying food to a child who is hungry is not, in my opinion, appropriate. What Emily may need is help from you and/or her mother to structure her schedule so there's enough time for music practice.
You should also have a talk with your daughter and ask her why she hasn't been practicing as she should. It's possible that she dislikes the piano and would prefer another instrument, or activity, if given the choice.