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Old 03-13-2007, 04:45 AM   #3
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 608
Re: Eat Your Veggies

Valdez Sensei,
Interesting post. This should generate some heat because your post goes against the trend of current thinking and delves into areas where the idea can be extended. For example, the first response was that you could drive your child to dislike Aikido or be a thing that is a negative. My response is "So? ". Everything in life including the eating of vegetables is that way. I haven't enjoyed many of my jobs but because I had a family to support, I went anyway. Sure, I tried to get better jobs but a lesson that I taught my children is that even if you don't like your work, you have to fulfill your responsibility until you can get a better situation. My son never has liked taking his vitamins but he got them anyway. The other day, I was remembering so many things my mom did for me that were her way of doing something for us. I remember that every day we had to take cod liver oil. Boy, did I hate that. I am 50 years old and I had forgotten that. I have never done that for my kids and it was with some affection that I remembered my poor little mother doing that. Back in the early 60's, people could not have known how good that was for you. That was the day before fish oil pills and some of the knowledge about Omega 3's that we have today. Candy was prohibited and regular visits to the doctor and dentist were made and we hated it all. As a child, I used to cry before going to school. I hated school but for some reason, she sent me anyway. I always hated school. I graduated 563 out of a class of 600. In high school, I skipped classes and didn't do homework and I rebelled against school in every way I could. Then I went intro the real world and went through every low end job and cruel boss imaginable. When I realized that I was never going to be able to do anything in life without a good education, I went to college at the age of 34 graduating at age 38 and I graduated with honors (now I was trying) and what did I become (?), yes, a school teacher (one of my many jobs) ! In fact, I married one too.
The other aspect of this truth is that some parents are weak and their flaws also come into play. One of my jobs is to teach Spanish to all grades. Everyone wants to give the gift of a second language to their kids. I have two kinds of parents. I have those that support me, and encourage their kids but if the child says I want out, that is non negotiable. I have a larger amount that as soon as little Burferd decides he doesn't like it, out he goes and they never check with me to see if he is even gifted for language in any way. Some of my best students have been pulled without the parent even consulting me. These were kids that were going to learn. I have so many students that waste every year in classes that are fun classes and avoid Spanish but when they get to high school and have foreign language requirements, they are lost and struggling and I get phone calls from parents needing instant tutoring for little Johnny but it is a bit late for that.

I know that there is another side to this coin and we will hear it. This is just one perspective. The question is how much choice and freedom do you give a child. There will be strong arguments in favor of letting children decide for themselves within a parameter of choices. There is something to be said for that. What ever kind of responses come, the posters should reveal if they even have kids and how old those kids are. We may have a theory but if it is unproven, then how much weight do we give it? I raised two kids. I took both to Aikido since their childhoods. At age 18, I let them make their own choices. My daughter is a brown belt and stopped practicing when she went to college (there was no dojo in her small town in Virginia). She is working on her doctorate now (she is 27)and is married. Yes, my grandkids will do Aikido. My son is 24 and is in college and still practices. He is a Nidan and works in as an undercover security person and has to "fight" with people he has to apprehend almost every week. His skills have saved him many times. He sometimes has encountered people with weapons, people on drugs and large violent people with criminal records and once, even a highly trained martial artist with paramilitary training (It was on his police record). Yes, Aikido does work in a fight and no, he has never been on the ground in any "fight" in 3 years at this job. He has had his ups and downs with Aikido over the years. The balance has been that as he has gotten older, I gave him more choices within a certain parameter. After age 18, I let him decide for himself when he would go or if he would go at all. I will say this though, I never took him to baseball, soccer, or any other sport. I took both my kids to Aikido classes and Seminars. We had great times in Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and many other cities doing Aikido. They have never complained to me about missing anything. We have a great relationship to this day.
Thanks David Sensei for an interesting post. Better get your raincoat on!
Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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