Let me introduce Teen, Enthusiast, and Mouth

Three sisters came to try out classes at the dojo yesterday, all different age groups.  Each had their own very distinct personality, and each made the day very interesting, and at times very challenging.

The eldest sister (Teen) was relaxed and happy before class, but didn’t seem to realize she was going to have to sweat and run and generally get a workout, so I had to keep an eye on her to make sure she wasn’t walking instead of running during warm-ups.  After that though, she seemed to have a good time.  She seems smart and coordinated, so I’m excited to see her progress (and it always puts a smile on my face to see a teenage girl do some martial arts).

The middle child (Enthusiast) seems happy, energetic and ready to have fun.  She’s a listener and a doer.  She’s going to have a blast.  Can’t wait.

bipolar

she had two states: placated, and "mouth"

The youngest (Mouth) is very overweight, has trouble taking direction (I chatted with her mom about this; it’s because she speaks only Spanish at home, which isn’t uncommon with our Hispanic contingency, but kids learn fast so I think that will be a short-term issue), and is what’s generally known as a brat.  She screams “no” repeatedly every chance she gets, no matter what’s happening, accompanied by copious amounts of crocodile tears (see picture).  She cries and loses her mind at the drop of a hat (I saw her throw three separate tantrums).  But she got all the way through the class without a single outburst, mostly because her family did a great job of watching the class without interacting with her, just like I asked, and I didn’t give her any positive attention when she misbehaved, or comfort when she fell (which happened a lot, and she said “ouch!” every time, lol).  She’s adorable, overweight, and totally spoiled, but she didn’t have an outburst during class because I didn’t let her speak without raising her hand (which she refused to do), and demanded a level of independence from her that she enjoyed but is clearly not used to (her eldest sister, mother, and aunt seem to do everything for her).  My goal for her is to teach her respect for her classmates (I lost track of the number of times she said, “My turn now!” and cut in line), respect for her mother (who she defied at every turn, seemingly without consequence), and to instill a sense of healthy independence that doesn’t involve mouthing off, but rather enables her to do things like put her own shoes on, etc.  I think she could have a huge social growth spurt at the school.  I’m really looking forward to working as a team with the family to invoke a positive change in her approach to others and herself.  She is exactly the kind of child who should be in our program.  I’m glad she’s there, even if it makes my job harder.

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About Toph Beifong

www.tigerlilytoph.com View all posts by Toph Beifong

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