J.R. asks from Bay City, MI on September 15, 2009
Should DS Take a Break from Sport or Tough It Out? Will It Promote Quitting???
I would like some advice - here's the scoop: My DS has been attending a TaeKwonDo class now for over 1 year straight that's held 2 nights a week. He has attended even through his baseball season as well. He has done really well and won 1st place in a sparing tournament. I know another belt test is coming up soon that he is preparing for and also another tournament. So the Master made us purchase for this new event all new sparing equipment ($150 worth) so that he could practice with his own equipment instead of borrowing the schools - which I completely understood. Plus he would have his own at the next tournament.
Update to today - for the last 3 classes my son has broken down crying before attending the TKD class stating he no longer wants to attend. I inquired to see if there was something wrong (ex. did the master yell at you and now your mad/embarrasses to go?) those type of questions inquiring the source of being so dramatically upset when 1 class earlier he was fine. I picked him up from school today and he broke down in the parking lot before we even got to the car since he knew class was in an hour.
I personally think my son should take a break from the class for a bit - take a month or 2 off and start fresh. My husband however thinks he should work through it. He thinks that our son just wants to come home and veg after school. Together we are all for sports but I think we could pick something else up - like we just got a flyer today about a bowling season starting for little kids. But DH doesn't think of bowling as an active sport - he wants him exercising. Also - all the sparing equipment we just bought has never even been used - even for practice - so if he decided to give it up for good we would be out that $.
What are your thoughts? Should I pull him for a couple of months to let him take a break or do you think that's giving him the impression that it's ok to quit?
L.R. answers from Detroit on September 18, 2009
I would let him take the break. I would also ask him if he'd like to continue at a different gym. a yes anwer might indicate something did go on at that gym that he's just not comfortable talking to you about. You can always sell the equipment.
N.W. answers from Detroit on September 17, 2009
Is he okay once he gets there? After class? do you stay and watch so you can see if something is going on?
I'd follow my gut...there may be a reason (other than wanting to watch tv) that he doesn't want to go.
W.D. answers from Detroit on September 16, 2009
If it was just the current son wanting to quit, I would agree that he should stick with it through the season, cycle, whatever they call it in TKD. It wasn't until I read you "about me" part that the pieces fell together--a sibling on the way. He's in 2nd grade? School is getting more intense and he's had a baseball season on top of 2 days a week of TKD. The kid is burning out. In addition, when the new bundle comes, are you going to want to be cab service? If the sparing equipment has never been used, can't it be returned? If it stresses him out this bad, it is, of course, putting stress on you and the baby to come. Kids need to try different activities to see what fits for them. Maybe this was good for him for the last year, but not anymore. I say, give him a break.
1 mom found this helpful
D.N. answers from Detroit on September 16, 2009
We were in the same situation with our son, we made him stick it out and continue to go. ( I wanted to give him a break, husband said no , he goes.) I'm glad we made him go. He continued all the way through high school. Made it to 3rd degree black belt! He started at the age of 5. Once in high school we let him make the choice.He went until his senior year when life got hectic for him (part time jobs and social life along with the pressures of senior year)! If he stops for a month or two he won't go back! Good luck from a Mom that's been there!
E.J. answers from Detroit on September 16, 2009
I completely understand what you are going through. The same thing happened with my 8 year old son. He too was doing TKD. In the beginning he really enjoyed it. Then soccer season started and it was too much with soccer practice and TKD 2-3 times a week. My son started crying one day because he was stressed out and did not want to go to TKD . At that point I told him we would take a break from TKD until soccer season was over. When the soccer season ended he had lost interest in TKD (actually he probably had lost interest before that but soccer was a good excuse for him not to go anymore). He was a gold belt senior. I too do not want to promote a quitter mentality. However, it does not make sense for you to continue to pay money for something that is making him miserable. As fas as the equipment goes, you can probably sell it and at least recoup some of the expense, especially since it has not been used yet. Your son only has one chance to be a kid. Let him participate in something that he enjoys whether it is bowling or basket weaving. You, your husband and your son will be happier for it. Good luck!
E.M. answers from Detroit on September 16, 2009
I remember as a little girl my parents making me stay in track even though I hated it. I just joined to be with friends. I was okay at it. Well needless to say I made up every excuse not to run, it seemed a waste. I was also doing a million other activities and I think I was just burnt out.
I still tell my husband how much I resented the fact that they made me stay in it - no lesson learned.
H.B. answers from Grand Rapids on September 15, 2009
i agree with your husband....although, i think 7 is too young for martial arts. if he is going to quit, it should be at the end of the lesson, not in the middle when there is work to be done. Lessons look easy before the work starts. You want to teach him the lesson, if it gets hard quit, your husband wants to teach him the lesson, if it gets hard, work through it....who does he have to fight at 7? why would you put him in such a lesson to begin with?
M.C. answers from Saginaw on September 16, 2009
J., here are my thoughts after reading about your situation. Your son may be emotional about this due to feeling to much pressure to succeed. Even when we don't apply this pressure, they can apply it to themselves. He has won in the past, and has a test & a tournament. He may be very frightened of not "winning" again and disappointing himself and his parents. Added to it is the pressure of "if I quit, dad (and likely the Master) will be disappointed" and he also likely realizes the money that was spent & feels guilty about that as well. I agree that this can be a learning experience...but I don't think it has to do with "vegging". If you can help him understand that the pressure he feels is normal because he wants to do well...and that no one will stop loving him or be mad at him if he doesn't "win"....he may feel some relief from the pressure and be able to enjoy an activity that he has done very well with. Best wishes. M.
C.V. answers from Grand Rapids on September 16, 2009
It's funny because we are going through the EXACT same thing. My son is 6 and in Taekwondo. He too has his yellow belt and hasn't wanted to go for the past 2 weeks. Did this start happening after school started? With my son it's his first year of all day schooling and I think it's just to much for him right now. Last class I picked him up from school and then zoomed home for 20 minutes to give him a snack and back in the car we went. When we got to TKD he was half asleep in the van. Of course his class was not great because he was too tired. So I think that we are going to take him out for 1 month so he can adjust to school and then try again. I'm not worried about him thinking it is ok to quit something because he liked it for the past 2 years but now it's just to much. Not to mention maybe your son wants to try something new. If your son is excited about trying something new (not just sitting at home in front of the tv) then why not. Maybe he'll try something else out and realize how much he misses TKD. Good luck.
K.S. answers from Detroit on September 16, 2009
My son is almost a black belt in Tang Soo Do, so I understand. Usually when school starts we take a week off to get back into the routine of school and homework then see which days his classes fit into best (he is at a big school so there are classes 6 days). Your son just might need a bit of a break to process all the changes that have come with starting school. I know my son would miss all the friends that he has made at his karate school so that might be another incentive for him to stay if you remind him of that.