Posted by: Hannah | 09/28/2011

Lord Baden-Powell can suck it

After much discussion and hand-wringing, we decided to withdraw Thing #1 from Beavers. It was just going to be too much of a commitment, what with the baby coming and all, and frankly for nearly $200 in registration, dues, and uniform costs we were looking for something that was already organized and didn’t require anything else from us.

Instead, we decided to enroll him in Tae Kwon Do.

No, we are not crazy enrolly-pants parents – right now both boys are in swimming lessons (which is safety issue, frankly) and Thing #2 is in preschool. But they both like a lot of stimulation and learning new things is cool, so we agreed that the school-aged child can be in two things (no more!) if it lies within our powers of money and not-going-bonkersness.

I was always rooting for TKD. It builds self-confidence, and self-control. It will burn off some of his insane! infinity! intense! energy. And it won’t precipitate any uncomfortable questions about God, like Beavers will (an atheist and a lapsed Lutheran walk into a Boy Scout meeting and…)

Plus, we’re having some issues this school year with Thing #1 being… not exactly bullied, but certainly pushed around. He was playing with younger kids he didn’t really want to spend time with because he felt sorry for them. His hair was cut in class one day because he couldn’t find his voice enough to tell the wanna-be hairdresser to stop. And he nearly missed out on his end-of-season baseball banquet because he knew hubby didn’t want to go, so he told us what he thought we wanted to hear rather than his actual wishes.

Birth of a people pleaser! It’s so hard to realize that the character trait that has made me miserable more often than any other – my desire to keep everyone around me happy even at the expense of my own joy – has already imprinted on my beautiful boy.

Given all that, this sounded really good:

“Carleton University, in a study reported in Psychology Today, found that children in martial arts have a lower level of anxiety, an increased sense of responsibility… a higher sense of self-esteem … [and a] higher level of social intelligence.”


And so began my research into something I know very little about. Man, it’s a jungle out there. In our small city there are at least a dozen private options, plus various programs through the city rec department. There are good websites and bad websites, cutesy names, philosophies and pledges and wild promises. There are accredited dojangs and non-accredited guys with belts in school gymnasiums. I had to become an expert, and fast.

I finally found a place I really liked the sound of. They are accredited, so they’re teaching the ‘right’ stuff. They are close by. The class schedule is reasonable and workable. For younger kids just starting out, they are placed in a three-month class where they learn the basics (and also how to listen!) If they like that and pass their three ‘stripe’ tests, they can then enroll in a family class where the adults & kids learn together. So, if this all pans out, dad & son will be suiting up once a week to go to class together. Which is AWESOME, because I have zero objection to participating in things with our kids if it will be fun & beneficial for all concerned.

They’re going tonight for the free intro class; if all goes well he’ll be registered and get his uniform, and I will put his picture on here because between his cut-by-a-six-year-old-hair, the newly-acquired toothless gaps in his smile, and the completely adorable TKD ensemble, he will be just about the cutest thing on the internet.



  1. I love the post title! HA! I hated Brownies, so I’m very suspicious of Beavers PLUS my agnostic husband keeps referring to Scouting as a paramilitary organization. So your comments are EXACTLY what I want to hear. TKD sounds great!

    Like you, I’m grappling with seeing personals trait that I don’t like popping up in my kids. It’s humbling and frustrating.

  2. TKD sounds like a great option! That really sounds good, especially for self-esteem, etc. I was a Brownie and a Girl Guide, and while I did like it, I have no desire to put my boys in Beavers. Heh. Just SAYING Beavers makes me giggle. I need to get a life, apparently.

    My kids also display personality traits a lot like mine, and sometimes I think it’s cool; sometimes NOT.

    PS I’m a lapsed Lutheran too!!!

  3. GAH! I need to edit my comment to “I’m grappling with seeing my personality traits — that I don’t like — popping up in my kids. It’s humbling and frustrating.” ie failure to proofread, and habit of posting comments before sufficiently caffeinated.

  4. I think TKD is a great move…which you already know cause I told you so on Twitter, but it can’t hurt to say it again here, right? 🙂 Yay for martial arts.!

  5. It sounds great. My two girls took karate for a few years each. (Not my son. He didn’t want to “have to hit people”. How could I argue with that?) They all went to Sparks/Brownies or Beavers/Cubs for a while as well, and enjoyed that, too.

    The very popular/successful karate dojo closest to me GUARANTEES that your child will have their black belt within a certain time if they attend so many classes. Good enough reason for me never to send my kids there… There is a lot more to a black belt than a series of physical skills and memorized movements. We have a heap of 9-year-old “black belts” in our neighbourhood. Honest to pete.

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