Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Do I Say or Do Something?



I took my youngest son to a Tae Kwon Do class the other day for the first time. He had never been involved in the martial arts. We won a gift certificate for him to attend. As we go into the building, he seemed rather calm, taking in all of the sights and sounds of the other classes that were going on. My wife and I had been thinking of putting him in a class to help teach a greater level of self-discipline. So this should be good.


The master asked everyone to come into the room and get in place. My son, being only five was a little antsy, but that was to be expected. I sat in the far corner of the room, just enough out of the way so he could not see me and just enough for me to catch a glimpse of what he was doing. I paid careful attention to my son as the instructor gave directions on what to do next. He ordered them to run around the mat until he said stop.

“Go!”, he said.

As all the kids began running around the mat, I hear this little kid yelling at the top of his lungs. Guess who I am praying that it is not? This was one of those unanswered prayers. I wanted to go in the room and ask, no…tell my son to stop yelling, but I couldn’t. He was in the hands of an instructor that I had just met. My son had to follow the orders of someone else in their space. I sat back, trying to use self-control…seething!

As the class went on, my son began to settle in to the routines.

I always want my boys to do their best. Yet, it is challenging not to intercede when you see something not going right. My friend, Mr. Scott, is great with this control. He has a son and daughter who play basketball. I have watched him as he sat at his children’s games. He isn’t yelling at his kids, or even giving sideline advice. Instead, he leaves it to the coaches. Patience and self control are so key here. I had to exercise this self control at my five year old’s Tae Kwon Do class.

How do you feel about this? Should we (as dads) leave it to the coach, or should we give our suggestions and advice? Let’s face it, we know our children better than anyone. And we don’t want to be embarrassed. Lend me your thoughts. I have no off season for learning…