There’s no easy way to build confidence in kids, but that doesn’t stop us from trying pretty much constantly. From being their biggest cheerleaders to showing interest in things they care about, the opportunities for empowerment are endless. That is, if you somehow managed to have a kid who highly values your opinion (what are you, some kind of wizard?). Most often, encouraging kids is a practice that requires superhuman levels of patience and impeccable timing.
A dad named Peter Blandford crushed the art of encouragement two years ago in the crowded Geneva Airport, and he’s been riding that high ever since. Ok, so he’s almost definitely had countless peak-dad moments since, but two years after that fateful success, he decided to share his son’s touching win with the world.
In a TikTok that’s been viewed nearly three million times in under a month, Peter gently encourages his 15-year-old son to show off his piano skills. Anyone who’s sat through even one piano recital is likely less than enthusiastic to hear someone else’s kid play – the choppy, barely-recognizable rendition of “Hot Cross Buns” still haunts our darkest nightmares.
But 15-year-old Christian clearly hasn’t been skimping on his piano practice, and nobody knows that better than his proud dad. After spotting a piano at the bustling airport, Peter seizes the opportunity to push Christian out of his comfort zone. After floating the idea of playing the neglected piano for passersby, Christian is initially reluctant.
“They’re bored, it’s some free entertainment, okay, trust me. Go and do it,” Peter says.
@shawwellpete2 years ago in Geneva airport I persuaded my 15 year old to play the public piano. Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone reaps rewards ##piano♬ original sound – Peter Blandford
Christian nervously plays with his water bottle, considering the possibility. He glances around, takes a swig of water, and just freaking goes for it. The wildly talented teen starts with Beethoven, completely stunning the previously silent airport.
The server at an airport restaurant is an instant fan, staring in amazement as Christian moves on to Rachmaninoff. Christian barely notices his audience, his face buried in the familiar keys. Fortunately, his dad got the whole thing on camera so Christian can fully appreciate his impact when the nerves aren’t so overwhelming. The server soon returns with a (non-alcoholic) cocktail for the talented young pianist, a drink Christian won’t soon forget.
“2 years ago in Geneva airport I persuaded my 15 year old to play the public piano,” Peter captioned the touching video. “Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone reaps rewards.”