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    Parent Advice

    Ok all you Mom;s and dad's I need advice.

    My daughter, who is 14, is a second degree blackbelt in Taekwondo. She has multiple State, District, National championships and has been world ranked as well. She is about 8-9 months away from testing for her third degree. And she "wants to take a break".

    I have tried to reason with her. Push thru until August, earn the third degree and take a break. If you never go back you never go back but continue till you test for the third degree. As a point of information once a child achieves 3rd degree they can not move up to 4th until they are 18 so many kids do take a break after achieving 3rd degree.

    She has been doing this since she was 8 so I can understand the desire to take a break, try other things. She is the fastest girl at her school, middle school, at running the mile. In-fact her male chauvinist pig of a gym teacher who tends not to give girls a second thought for sports actually asks often about how she is doing in Taekwondo and would like to see her participate in Cross Country and Track.

    My parents have zero interest in my athletics so I have no personal experience to draw upon. (I used athletics as a way to be out of the house as much as possible).

    So, do we allow her to stop now? Or are we doing the right thing by pushing her to keep it up until 3rd degree then what happens happens?

    If anyone has had a similar situation, could be sports, a musical instrument you name it. I would appreciate opinions on this. Thanks. Phil.
    Phil, Vicky, Ashleigh & Sydney
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    Well Phil this is hard to answer for a child I don’t know nor did you provide her position to taking the break. I’m assuming you discussed with her the pros to see it through, what was her response? While I agree it would be great for her to see it through it may drive a wedge between you and at her age girls are going through changes physically and emotionally. Also what does you wife think? Are you alone in this position? Your signature says a family that plays together stays together, if it drivers her away you lost.
    1997 Silverton 362, 7.4 Crusaders
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      As a father of two adult men, one a professional lacrosse player in the NLL and the other an avid motocross racer, I have been witness to situations like this many times. Many many talented athletes have dropped their sport over the years because the parents lost track of who the kid is playing the sport for. I watched Dads on the sidelines giving their kids heck for not racing their motorcycle fast enough and I have seen parents in the lacrosse arena pushing the kid beyond where the kid found it enjoyable. I didn’t and both my boys went far in their chosen sports. BTW both took breaks over the years and then came back better and with more passion when they were ready.
      This has zero to do with what you want and everything to do with what your daughter wants. And your daughter wants to take a break.
      Here’s the kicker.....if you really want to see her go all the way in any of her sports - the best chance you have of realizing your goal is to back off and let her find her path.Maybe she will go back to Taekwondo or maybe she won’t. The important thing is that she is being allowed to choose her passion and then pursue it.

      Yes it is hard to do, and yes you will watch other parents pushing their kid and wonder if maybe you are not doing enough .... but the bottom line is that she will be the most successful if she is pursuing her passions, not anyone else’s.

      Good luck
      2014 Double Eagle 176EXL. But we are not done with Bayliner yet…this is just to get us to and from our cottage in the Gulf Islands.


        Phil, I completely understand your point about achieving the third degree if possible then a break. However, my experience as a dad of two girls, is if you try to force her to participate chances are very good she’ll just rebel by purposefully failing or not trying her best. One thing you can do is offer an incentive for achieving her third belt. What is very important to her that she really wants? That’s your bait. YMMV.
        Jim Gandee
        1989 3888
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          We strongly encouraged both boys to engage in an activity outside of high school, and excel at it. The oldest achieved his goal,1st degree black belt in TKD, and before he reached 2nd degree, went into the USAF. The youngest was in Boy Scouts. He rose up through the ranks to Life, just below Eagle, his goal, then lost interest. He needed one more merit badge, and to finish his Eagle project. He fought tooth and nail to quit, but we wouldn't let him. As Jim said, we found his bait, a drivers license. We told him he could quit, and wait until he's 18 to get his license, or finish what he started (Eagle) and get it at 16 or 17. When he realized we were serious, he buckled down and finished. Today he's glad he did.

          All that said, you have girls! She has achieved probably way more than anyone hoped for, so I think I would let her make the decision. As I'm sure you've noticed, her mind and body are going through hellatious changes, which I'd bet is part of her reasoning in this, conscious or not. Bottom line, I think I would push just a little, but be ready to understand if/when she pushes back. Again, she is quite accomplished, maybe she just needs a breather...
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            I have had several conversations with ,my daughter about this and have tried to remain neutral. I know my wife has been a real driving force the past year and a half. When she ended the tournament season ranked number one in the world for her age group and rank my wife really began being the driving force in more tournaments, seminars etc.

            With that said we have scaled way back over the past few months. What was practice 5-6 days a week is now about 2. She is no longer a part of the demo team. That alone was a few additional hours of training a week. She is no longer a member of team sync with not only took those few hours a week of training away but also the additional gymnastics training she was doing as well.

            I was all for doing a break now, but the structure of how testing is done. The frequency of the mid-terms would place her testing for 3rd degree right before the start of school next fall. A perfect time to them take a break and try other things. If she takes a break now she would miss out on testing before school starts next fall. The timing couldn't be better, provided she continue now versus take a break now.

            We have seen many kids take a break after achieving 3rd degree. Many have been teens like Ashleigh is now. I wish she could really see the big picture and push thru till next August. I tried to relate it to a school project (she is a straight A student and really takes school seriously) that is due next August.
            Phil, Vicky, Ashleigh & Sydney
            1998 3055 Ciera
            (yes, a 1998)
            Previous boat: 1993 3055
            Dream boat: 70' Azimut or Astondoa 72
            Sea Doo XP
            Sea Doo GTI SE
            Life is short. Boats are cool.
            The family that plays together stays together.
            Vice Commodore: Bellevue Yacht Club


              I feel for you, Phil. Indeed, I have lots of personal experience with this.

              IMHO, .......

              1. If you aren't listening to what she wants, it is no longer about her and her accomplishments. People love to live vicariously (and relive) their past successes. They also want to rewrite their past failures. But placing that 'burden' on someone else will quickly become your agenda. Therefore, the same 'reward' can quickly become a 'punishment' if the recipient isn't respected. Like her gym teacher, is this actually about her, or does he have a personal agenda? The same applies for all those who praise her and want her to do more; that praise can become a punishment. Suggest you ask yourself who wants it more; you or her.

              2. Like many things in life, if there seems to be no meaningful end in site, the activity will lose its attraction. Winning for the sake of winning isn't enough. However, the moment the activity gets a meaningful and practical perspective, the activity moves from just another achievement to something she can sink her teeth into. Now all those trophies mean something. (Just please know, her becoming a teacher will never make up that difference.) You might want to ask her what she wants to do with her experience, if anything. If she has something in mind, ask her if adding this achievement to her resume would help her future. If she says it will, she will find the motivation. If she doesn't, the activity is no longer about her.

              IMHO, I get that you want to break the mold of how you were raised, and being the best parent you can is at the top of the list. Congratulations. You have broken that mold. Please celebrate that, because in your past, that was a very big thing. Just please also understand that that is your personal agenda, at some point, that agenda showed up. Now this isn't about her anymore.

              Again, celebrate that you broke the mold of your past. But please also understand that she has now - obviously - created a mold from you that she may well be fighting to break out of.
              Last edited by CptCrunchie; 11-23-2017, 09:54 AM. Reason: Spinach
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                I agree with most of the above sentiments. Keep this about her. If not, she'll be doing just the opposite with her kids someday. "My parents forced me and I'll never do that to you."

                Kids will grow into adult humans despite your best efforts. Just be there to help them become the best version of themselves that they can be.
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                  No offense Phil but I see a young girl who right from the beginning has spent day after day looking in the mirror with her karate uniform on practicing her moves and now at 14 she wants to spend more time seeing herself in a different way like in a dress. Tell her with protection like her in the house daddy might not have to reach for that shiny new gun he wants to buy. Hope for that second wind.
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