For as I can remember, I've never really enjoyed practicing my instrument. (Blasphemy, I know!) Since the age of eight, I've always struggled with having meaningful practices until i began my undergraduate at TSU a few years ago. There I was able to learn new skills that would help me have purposeful practices. Now that I am teaching, I hear many of my own parents express the same issues my mother faced with me. I've shared some of our war stories with them in the past, but I just recently discovered an article that articulates exactly what it takes to coax children into developing their own meaningful practice.
NPR released a series of articles to promote music creativity in young musicians, and their article, "Getting Kids To Practice Music — Without Tears Or Tantrums" provides great strategies on how to gradually get young children in the habit of practicing more frequently. In short, the article lists the benefits of self regulated practices and then goes in depth of different practices the writer and her associates have tried to promote more frequent practices in their young children. What I really appreciated about this piece is how it promotes working around the child's sensibilities and painting a realistic picture of practicing; comparing it to how an athlete practices.
I remember in my younger days, my mother did not fully understand that my attention span was not developed enough to sit for long periods of time in the beginning, and I believe this was the start of a rocky relationship with practicing. Overall, this article promotes flexibility in the parent, but also brings it to reader's attention that the end game is to leave the responsibility of practicing on the child. I highly recommend you take a look at this article and see what strategies you can implement in your child's everyday practice.
Getting Kids To Practice - Without Tears or Tantrums