Thursday, October 6, 2011


Probably one of the hardest lessons a child can learn is how to deal with disappointment.

Last night at karate both girls were gently told that they weren't ready to test. In the year we've been going to karate this has never happened to them... so needless to say they were shattered.

I wasn't there. I was at home considering getting ready for Peter's Open House (which I did not make it to) and nursing a massive migraine. My sister was there with them. I hate that I wasn't there... but I know I wasn't in a position where I could have handled that. I handled it as best I could by phone.

Let me be clear about something before I go on.
The karate studio made the right decision. I firmly believe that a child should not be promoted until they can handle the material. My children are no exception to that. At no point was anyone at the studio mean or harsh with my girls. They handled everything with the grace I have come to expect from them.

When I first talked to Beth on the phone she was hysterical and kept sobbing "I'm so upset, Mommy" and "I'll never get my confidence back, Mom". (The fact that she could, and did, express that pleased me to no end). I wasn't going to put her through this... we weren't going to quit karate but I was going to have Holly take them home but my brave girl didn't want to go home. She wanted to stay and I was leaving that choice totally in her lap. I think just knowing that I was going to support her decision either way helped her be strong.

I talked to Jolie on the phone too and although upset she was calm and she wanted to stay too. Holly had told me that she cried a lot but did calm down (it didn't hurt that one of the staff gave her Cheez-its). They decided to stay and one of our favorite teachers, Mr. B, worked with Beth for a little bit on her material.

When they got home I was greeted by two little girls with puffy and red eyes. I hugged them both tight and Beth was still disappointed but she understood. Jolie, on the other hand, lost it. She started sobbing and yelling, slamming doors, and swearing she was done with karate and never going back... just downright hysterical. I called the girls therapist to let her know what was going on and she asked me to have them draw a picture of how they were feeling about the events of the evening.

The results of that activity:

{image removed due to child's name on it}

Beth identified her emotion all by herself. She said she felt better after drawing it, which I know was part of the reason for the exercise. I know it was to help them get the emotion out. 

When I asked Jolie what feelings her picture was showing she said "mad". She isn't much better today. It's her 6th birthday and she's been complaining of a stomach ache. She said she's still sad and that her heart hurts because she just wants to be good at karate. She doesn't want to quit anymore.

My heart breaks for my babygirl. Beth handled this so well and I told her how proud I am of her for sharing her emotions, for talking it out, and for not giving up. She seemed to glow under my praise and I'm positive that helped her understand that it's perfectly alright to be upset and that we are here for her to help her through these hard moments in life.

Joelene is still struggling. She said she doesn't want to quit anymore, which is a good thing considering that I wasn't going to allow her to. I don't want my children thinking its alright to quit something when it gets hard or doesn't go the way you want it to. As hard as this is for them, and for me, I want them to remember that it hurt but they overcame it. I want them to be proud of the work they put into it and to know that they may not succeed on the first attempt at something but that they can succeed if they don't give up.

The girls are off to school now. 

Jolie's parting words as she walked out the door....

"Hopefully I don't get hurt today."

No comments:

Post a Comment