Expect What You Accept.
I think this is a true statement in all areas of life, but especially when training children. It is so easy to write off a child in your mind, oh well that’s just the way he is…He is strong willed, or lazy or whatever. And you know, maybe it’s true. But if we simply decide to accept that, then we’ve have lost the ability to impact that child’s life.
Accept: to reconcile oneself to, and to regard as normal, suitable, or usual. I guess the question becomes…just because something is the norm…should it be? It may be normal for a child to talk back to us, but should that be the case? Why not decide to make a difference this year and expect something better?
When I walk into a Kid's taekwondo class, I expect kids to show me respect by listening to what I am saying. I expect to be obeyed when I tell them to do something. Now don’t get me wrong I spend an hour or so a day planning how each taekwondo class can be the most fun, learning experience ever. I’m not planning on being a drill sergeant. But I do have a clear expectation when dealing with the kids.
So what happens when a child’s exuberance for life gets ahead of their self-control? I show surprise! Gasp! Why are you being disrespectful to me, by interrupting me?
Usually that’s all it takes to remind them that there is a time to talk and a time not to talk.
Occasionally we will have kids who want to test us to see, well what are you going to do if I don’t do what you say. And that attitude is what brings on a more severe correction, because I do not accept attitude. I think the hardest thing about parenting or teaching is deciphering attitude. Rebelliousness, that nope, you cannot make me do this, in my opinion requires swift consequences. I will remove them from class, or remove a stripe, or their belt. But I will not back down.
As a parent I clung to the Bible verse, Ephesians 6: 1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”a
So my goal for correcting the rebellious attitude is not so my life will be easier, but so the child's life will go well and they will enjoy a long happy life. I expected my kids to treat me respectfully and did not accept disrespect. For example, eye rolling. That is a tiny thing, but it shows an attitude problem. Yep, if I see a child eye rolling at our school, I will make sure they apologize to the adult involved. So I expect respect and will not accept disrespect. The two need to go hand in hand, because it does not make sense to expect one thing but accept another