|My little kung fu fighters!|
My kidlets, like every other kidlet I know, have loads of energy. They love to run around the house, jump off of things, wrestle each other and climb anything and everything. Typical kid behaviour which has become even more crazy now that both of them are in school all day, every day.
So Brad and I thought it was high time we enrolled both of them in some sort of sport based activity to help burn off all of this amazing energy and perhaps save the structure of our home because even though they are very little, they sound like a herd of elephants when they are running around upstairs! The natural choice was kung fun seeing as Little Miss had already been doing it for well over 2.5 years and Brad and I both have seen the benefits of children participating in a martial art.
The only stumbling block to this little plan was the kidlets themselves. While they come by it honestly, their one Grandfather is pretty much the dictionary definition of a home-body, both kids have a tendency to never want to leave the house once they get home. I understand, they have had a long day at school and they are happy to be at home. That being said, they both needed something to get them moving after a very long, very cold winter. So kung fu it was.
I had my suspicions that it was not going to be an easy sell to the boy, at least not the way it was with his sister. In fact, when I asked him if he wanted to go and try kung fu he said no. So I asked if he wanted to give soccer another go and he said no. I tossed out a few other options and each one was soundly dismissed. The Little Man was not interested in doing anything.
While his response was not all that unexpected, let us remember he is a chip off the old home-body block, I found myself locked in an internal debate over whether or not a 4 year old really needed to be signed up for an after school activity or if I was somehow bowing to societal pressure. I had all but decided that I was bowing to societal pressure when I noticed that the boy had found something that did interest him and that he was more than willing to put loads of time into. Unfortunately this activity was less on the active side and more on the when the hell did my 4 year old turn into a teenager side . . . you see, the Little Man would be more than happy to play video games all evening, every evening if we let him.
So I said to hell with societal pressure and signed him up for kung fu. I also created his very own calendar on which we marked the days when he was allowed to play video games. I am so not ready to have my 4 year old turn into a gamer . . . so not ready!
Now came the task of telling the boy that he was going to kung fu. The home-body gene in the kidlets means that if given the option, to go to kung fu or stay home, 9 times out of 10 they will chose to stay home. So I no longer give them the option.
What I have discovered along the way, at least with Little Miss but it seems to be true for the Little Man as well, is that once they get to kung fu they love it. I worried that playing the heavy would backfire and that they would resent that they "have" to go and do this but I think that we made the right call.
|Showing how to punch!|
I think that this little push on our part will only be a benefit to our rather shy kidlets. Certainly the physical aspect is a huge plus but I am hoping the biggest benefit will be to their self-confidence. We have already seen Little Miss blossom to the point where she can stand in front of the group and lead the other children, some of whom are up to 6 years older than her, in the warm up. She will not back down against a bigger kidand she will continue to try until she is no longer able to. She is strong and she is proud of herself. My hope is that the Little Man will blossom in a similar way. In the few classes that he has already attended I have seen glimmers of growing self confidence and it makes my heart swell. He will now look his Sifu in the eye, no longer staring at the floor. He runs with a smile on his face and he has figured out how to properly bow. He is becoming a little kung fu fighter who wears his uniform with pride.
I suppose that time will tell if we are making the right decision in pushing the kids into some sort of after school activity. I hope so but if not, at least we have given them something to talk to their future therapist about!