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What does it take to get teenagers to help lay mats I wonder. There's definitely a difference since I first started aikido 4+ years ago. While there were always those who didn't help out, I did notice there were distinctly more who did come in to help from young kids to teenagers. Now there's only one very young shodan who comes in each Sunday morning early and helps lay mats.
The young 13 year old who comes early with her dad never steps in to help even when politely invited and she has been given special permission to attend adult class during weekdays and she clearly hero worships our Sensei. Same pattern but in this case, it's clear she's there because she wants to be whereas I do have some sympathy for the kids who are dragooned into it and don't blame them for not helping out much.
I'm actually quite happy helping with mats before class and as long as I have time to do so, I will...it's also in our dojo, I do try and come to lay mats because in general it's the guys who do the heavier work of lifting and stacking them back after class so I figure it's only fair I try and do what I can before class when many others are delayed because of work.
But yeah, you know when you're getting old when you start grousing about the next generation .