Life has been quite crazy since I decided to return to school and towards the end of August I decided to do a crazy thing and add putting my son in Tae Kwon Do on the list. I am far behind on my talks of all of the benefits that I have seen come from these months of having him in class as opposed to before class. I know part of it has to do with him turning 4, and coming into his own.
Nothing could have prepared me for how amazing his Tae Kwon Do instructors have been. The patience that they have each shown for all of the children and Liam in particular (because let's face it, I'm a little biased). During this time, Liam has had to undergo 3 testing period, from going from his white belt to his yellow stripe, onto his yellow belt and now be awarded an orange belt and moved from a beginner to an intermediate class.
Liam has come so incredibly far, and I have seen him blossom as a person. He shows more confidence, he is more outgoing, and he has learned further references and uses in core discipline and courtesy lessons taught within Tae Kwon Do.
Liam was blessed to become part of the Team Chip of San Angelo group of Little Dragons. Little Dragons is an amazing (and I'm sure patience trying for the instructors) experience for the younger children age 3-6 to be able to learn the basics of martial arts, as well as the values that come hand in hand in any martial arts training.
Liam's instructors are amazing in a large part to the fact that you can see them with the children and know that they LOVE what they are doing. All of this credit must go to the instructors that have helped to shape a large part of Liam's social life skills outside of daycare. Each of them, Seraiah, Lexi, Kyle and the owner Chip, has had a direct impact on my son. Liam has learned how to respect them and others and also how to find confidence and accomplishment by working hard at his martial arts skills.
I am so happy that I was able to walk through the door for information about Tae Kwon Do classes, at the exact time that a Little Dragon class was starting and to be whirl winded in (in that special way that Seraiah has) to have Liam try out his first class for free.
On this journey we have gone through struggles where Liam on his 2nd belt was no longer wanting to go to class. Even that early on, I had seen what a useful skill and how important this was in his life and I forced him to talk to his instructor to tell them himself and to take responsibility for quitting, although he was convinced to stay awhile longer, he wasn't as involved. Constant fighting to put on his uniform and come to class on top of all of the other stresses in life had me question whether or not it was worth the trouble. I wondered if Liam was really this miserable if it was the best thing for him. I remember the day that I walked in and told Miss Deja that Liam would no longer be coming and we actually drove away as I explained to Liam the finality and the implications of his decision. I explained that if he couldn't work hard and make an effort and push through even when it was hard than he could quit, but that he would lose the privileges that he had gained from his hard work, to include usage of his computer. As a four year old mind, I'm sure he didn't hear much other than "No Take Kwon Do = No Computer" but as we were driving home he suddenly yelled "Stop Mom, Go Back, I want to Go" and I told Liam that if we went back, that we would not fight about it again and he would have to continue going the next day and the next week without any arguments.
Needless to say, I did turn the car around, he ended up going to class that day. I can't say that he was really into it for at least a week after that, but he found the excitement again and now we have reached a point where sometimes I have had a really long day at work and it is raining outside and I just want to go home and relax and Liam will beg for me to go to Tae Kwon Do because he can't miss class. It always makes me laugh when I think about how I used to be the one begging him to go. With his orange belt, he is determined to obtain a black belt like the instructors that he looks up to. I never cease to be amazed at all of the things that he has accomplished at such a young age. I know that he is establishing life skills and values that will never leave him no matter what age he is. We look forward to working for as long as it takes to get closer to the accomplishments that will result in him being awarded a black belt. My only complaint is the inability to join myself due to scheduling conflicts with adult class time.
I never been so proud in my life as I am each time he stands there and is awarded his certificate and receives his next belt on his journey to being the best version of himself that he can be.