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DWx
KF Sensei
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6418
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:13 pm    Post subject: What to do about students (kids) that don't want to train? Reply with quote

I have a child in my class, let's call her Jane, who I've long suspected really doesn't want to be in my class. Jane is constantly asking to "play a game" rather than do anything Taekwon-Do. Not that what we're doing is boring, often we're playing TKD themed games with the kids to disguise repetition or doing things they like such as padwork or partner work.

Jane's older brother Bobby (also made up name) clearly loves it but Jane can be a distraction when she really doesn't want to take part as she'll then try to get his attention instead.

What to do? I actually asked the whole class last week who enjoyed coming to Taekwon-Do and all but Jane put their hand up. I honestly don't think I'm going to reach this kid and at this point she's better doing something she actually wants to do. But what do I do? Do I speak to mum and dad and tell them not to bring her? On the one hand that feels like I've failed her but on the other I can't force her to enjoy my classes and the whole class is suffering because of it.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28921
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the best thing you can do is address it with the parents. You are correct, there is no point in wasting her time or their money for them to pay for something she doesn't enjoy doing. They may have an ulterior motive that they want her to be in there to learn some discipline, respect, etc. However, I don't think that would be a good enough reason for her to stick around, especially if she tends to be a distraction to the class.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15424
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How old is Jane? Age oftentimes means everything.



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Zaine
Black Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1770
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Shorin Ryu, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Mantis, Schola Saint George (HEMA)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I think Bushido has it here. My guess is that Bobby wanted to do it and the parents put Jane in there out of convenience.
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Himokiri Karate
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 308


PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make her do 60 push ups on her knuckles!

Lets see if anyone gets the reference...

Anyways as far as "Jane" goes, she is a kid who is not in to Taekwondo. This is one of those difficult moments were you have to take of your teaching hat and put on your baby sitting hat. I mean no disrespect by calling it baby sitting. But truth is, we come to martial arts to teach the best techniques we know so we produce the greatest martial artist. For us, our student is a reflection of what we want to represent and put out there in the world. Meanwhile, for their parents, we are looked at some pseudo-day care workers. Make no mistake, this SHOULD be unacceptable view but sadly this is how business floats.


I just had this talk with my Taekwondo/Karate teacher and this is the least favorite part of his job. This is also a reflection of modern generation and sadly, we are in the "I want it NOW" era. I can tell that you care about your student and their progress and you will not lax things for just one student. I recommend speaking with the parent and let them decide if Jane should stay at your Dojo/Dojang or if a different activity best suits her needs.
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Patrick
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Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27942
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that forcing someone to do something they don't want to do has to do with someone having a lack of patience or wanting instant gratification. I don't want to skydive. Being forced to do it isn't going to make me any happier about it.

Patrick
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15424
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If "Jane" is forced on to the floor now, then she'll never ever want to return to the floor. Every student should be given the chance to walk on and/or off the floor for whatever their reasons.

I'd sit down with the parents and "Jane" to explore this issue, keeping an open mind across the board. I'd ask "Jane" straight forward if she wants to do Karate at all, yet, reminding the parents and "Jane" that this is about "Jane" and not the parents and the brother.

She might not open up, but the question will remain in the parents, and hopefully they'll get to the bottom. Meanwhile until "Jane" decides one way or another, I'd advice the parents to not force "Jane" onto the floor. It's "Jane's" decision and her MA journey, no matter how short or long it might be.

With this being the issue, I'd not allow "Jane" back on the floor until "Jane" decides. Why? If I allow her back on the floor prematurely, then I'm forcing her, and at the same time, supporting the parents wanting to force her onto the floor.

The floor will always be there waiting with open arms.



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DWx
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6418
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
How old is Jane? Age oftentimes means everything.



She's 8 and been with us 2 years now
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DWx
KF Sensei
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6418
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies so far all.

I totally don't want to force her to do anything as she clearly doesn't enjoy it. She did back in the early days but I think once she got past the first couple of belts things got a bit hard for her and she needed to work. Quite honestly I think she lacks any self-discipline and is a bit lazy. From watching her with her parents she gets her own way all the time and has never worked for anything.

It's a hard one as my sister hated TKD at one point around 3rd kup and my parents made her do 6 months more before she was allowed to quit. She got over it and has now been in it 20 years.
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Zaine
Black Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1770
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Shorin Ryu, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Mantis, Schola Saint George (HEMA)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She might just have ADHD. My ADHD made me act similarly and my mother had a similar policy about being in it for a certain amount of time. I ended up where I am now, 19 years later and still obsessed.
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