Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Me, My Daughter and Tai Chi

It has been a few weeks since I attended tai chi class. The Northeast had its fair share of winter weather...especially on a Tuesday. My plan was to go the gym and drop my daughter off in the child care room for an hour.

My daughter has been surrounded by karate since she was born. I have pictures of her when she was an infant sitting in her bouncy chair in the dojo. I think she was even holding foam nunchaku. We brought her along to tournaments. When she was a baby, I remember Tom being called for his weapon division holding her instead of his bo. He was quickly reminded "There are no live weapons." :)

My daughter has probably worn every size gi from 000-2. She starts taking classes then stops a few weeks later. I made the decision a long time ago that I would not force her to learn karate. I have seen many karate kids walk through the dojo door. Some stay for a while and earn a black belt. Others stay for a few years until school, sports or jobs pull them away. I know kids who were forced to come to class and hated every minute of it. Some return after a long absence and continue as adult students.

I am not going to lie...I want my daughter to take karate. I believe one day she will start the journey...when she is ready.

Instead of going to the child care room as planned, my daughter asked if she could take a tai chi class. My instructor granted permission. During the next hour, she practiced the Yang long form with the rest of the class. At one point she whispered in my ear..."tai chi is so relaxing...all the stress of the school day just melts away".

She wants to go to tai chi class next week.



Rick said...

My experience with my own kids was to expose them to a lot of things and see what stuck. If she like taijiquan (for now), she could do worse.

I had an extraordinarily stressful date at work today. Not bad, just active.

After a round of the square form, then round form all that's left is an echo of the shadow of a vague memory of that stress.

Michele said...

Hi Rick,

I agree...expose kids to a lot of things. Whenever possible, we allow her to try different activities. She has been pretty consistant with community theater and soccer. My sister and her husband (no kids) often take my daughter along on their day trips.

My daughter was telling some of our dojo black belts about her tai chi class. She remembered a lot more that I expected. We shall see...

Thanks for commenting,

SueC said...

Don't give up hope that she may take up karate one day. My youngest son (15) has just returned to the dojo with us after a 3 year break! I'm really happy and hope that he sticks with it this time. We've never pressured him to come with us but finally he decided on his own accord to join us.

Michele said...

Thanks Sue!

I honestly feel that she will practice some form of martial art...someday.

Best wishes to your son on his return to karate!

Britt said...

She's also outside of her home environment when she's at Tai Chi. The instructor isn't you or her dad. She may feel better about it because of those differing dynamics.

Journeyman said...

There's no easy answer to whether or not to pressure or force your kids into martial arts, or any other endeavour, for that matter.

There are times I wish my folks made me stay with certain pursuits, but at the time I hated the activity and begged them to let me quit. So I guess I just wanted the results without the work. Wouldn't that be nice? Well, actually maybe it wouldn't. Do we really appreciate anything we don't work for?

We can only try to lead by example, but I guess everyone needs to find their own path. I must be feeling pretty zen today...