Tags: tae kwon do
Liam had a rocky start to his new Tae Kwon Do class this week. I had a PTA meeting to attend on the same night, so James reluctantly agreed to take him to his first class.
When I got home, I was informed that, “It was a complete disaster.”
First Liam complained that the floor was too hard and it was hurting his feet. Then he proceeded to accidently-on-purpose fall down every time he had to execute a kick. The teacher had to move him to the back row so he wouldn’t get kicked by the other kids. Halfway through the class, a very embarrassed daddy ushered Liam out the door and to the car, at Liam’s request. James didn’t ever want to go back.
I reminding him that Liam’s first few tumbling classes went very much the same way. “How do you do this?” James asked me. My reply? “I’m the awesomest mom ever, of course!” Yes, I’m embarrassed. Yes, I’m tempted not to bring him back. But I’m a tenacious mom, and I know that given enough time, Liam will warm up to his new class. And he’ll be better for it.
I don’t think James quite believed me. But this was a new experience for him…not for me. I took Liam to his second class on my own, and I talked with him all the way there about what to expect and what I expected of him. I even sweetened the deal – if he followed along with the other kids in his class to my satisfaction, he could pick a prize out of his prize basket when we got home.
Lo and behold.
First he marveled that the floor no longer hurt his feet. Told ya, kiddo! Then he stood at attention in line with the other kids and did his best to punch and kick. Mind you, he did a fair number of accidental-on-purpose falls. But after the first break I reminded him of our deal, and whenever he acted like he was going to fall, I’d point at him and give him “the look.” And it worked!
Best of all, because we were able to stay for the entire class, Liam discovered his favorite part. Pairing with a partner, he got to kick a punching bag ten times. I was a little nervous how he’d react when it was his turn to hold the bag, but he actually kind of giggled when the boy kicked and almost knocked him over.
He certainly wasn’t the best in the class. But that wasn’t the point. I think it’s important for him to learn new skills and to understand that practice makes perfect. We’re going back Monday, and I told him I would expect less accidental falls in order for him to earn a prize. In the car on the way home, completely unprompted, he said, “You know what I want to be when I grow up? A karate teacher!” See, James? Momma knows what she’s doing.