Saturday, September 11, 2010
Karate Has Been Chopped
"Zane, I called Steel Dragons and told them you are taking a break from karate."
Without missing a beat, he answers,
"Oh, I'm not taking a break. I quit."
Prior to beginning our first karate class, I had a fantastic phone conversation with one of the owners of the studio I chose for Zane. I spoke openly with her about the social anxiety that both my children have experienced when placed in new situations with children they do not know.
People, it's real. This is not a made-up struggle that I have concocted in my head. Sure, I can be dramatic, but social anxiety truly exists, and both my kids have been working hard over the years to whoop its a^%.
I had high hopes that Zane would take to karate and that it would assist in building his confidence.
I have already recounted his first class and his rocky second class. From that second class, Zane's interest began to wane. He liked the punching and kicking, and did indeed want that uniform, which he earned after passing a skills test at his 5th class, but he was never quite able to conquer his fear of there being children in the class that he didn't know. And ultimately, that was what fueled his quitting.
We are fine with his decision, for he is doing wonderfully in Kindergarten and couldn't be happier.
What saddens me is that I have not heard from the studio.
I have left two messages - one after missing a class and also realizing that his uniform was too big and we'd need to swap it out. See, glitches like a wrong size only add to Zane's anxiety, and thus, I called to ask if they could have a new one ready for him. The first one was also missing its white belt - glitch #2. In my message I shared that he was acting "iffy" about returning. Sure enough, at that next class, they couldn't coax him onto the floor, although they did a beautiful job trying. Zane and George left the studio before class had even ended, leaving the uniform there.
To their credit, throughout the 5 classes that Zane took, the instructors made several attempts to help him through his fear.
And yet, after leaving that last class before it had even finished, and leaving a second message informing the studio that we wouldn't be back, I've yet to get a response.
This is where it gets hard for those of us with kids who are reticent to jump aboard the participation boat as easily as other kids do. We need that instructor to partner with us, which is why I interviewed a few different studios before picking Steel Dragons. My conversation with the instructor prior to Day One couldn't have gone better, and my decision was affirmed as I watched her execute the classes.
There are many people who truly shouldn't work with children.
These guys, however, are fantastic and they did everything they could to try and get Zane acclimated.
Which is why I'm a bit shocked they haven't returned my messages or called to check in.
Listen, I realize the world doesn't revolve around my kid. And had I not shared our background, or witnessed how much effort they put in to helping Zane this summer, I wouldn't give it another thought.
It's the inner-teacher and customer-service lunatic within me that drives this post.
And the fact that I'm a Mommy who desperately loves her kids.