Yesterday, as I was driving to pick my daughter up from drama class, a sign on the side of the road caught my eye, it read "Bully proof your Child - free class!". This intrigued me. I thought to myself "how nice, a class where children can learn to use kind words, have open hearts and that being different doesn't mean being weird or uncool". I think there were even unicorns and rainbows dancing around in my naive little noggin. I grabbed my cell phone and called the number. "Martial Arts, how can I help you?" was what I heard coming from the other end of the phone. I quickly hung up. I felt tricked. I have nothing against martial arts, 3 of my children even attended an after care program one year, however I did not agree with this marketing tactic.
Why didn't the sign just say "Teach you're child to kick that little bastard that's been picking on him's ass - free class". Isn't that what they were implying? I know that there are many other things that come from martial arts such as confidence, morals, and respect - but I felt like they weren't talking about those lessons. Maybe I am wrong, I could be completely wrong and the intentions may have been in the right place when coming up with the wording to display on that sign, but my mind went to a different place.
I started thinking about how I would never want my child to be picked on, or be the bully behind the teasing. I thought about how I try my best to teach my children to be nice, to everyone, and that being mean is never OK. I wish there was a class where my children could be given the confidence to not only walk away from such behavior but encourage others to make good choices as well.
Then it clicked....every day is a lesson. Behavior that we allow or do not, morals that we create, ideas that we plant as parents are all lessons. Telling my daughter's to share with their little brother, forcing apologies, setting rules, and sometimes making them learn the hard way are all lessons. No matter how many different color martial arts belts they have, or all the coolest clothes, nothing prepares them more then what they learn at home. If I am a jerk, I will probably have little jerk kids...but if I think before I speak, react with compassion, and treat people with respect, I will have children who value those same things.
This house is their free bully proof class.
Now if only I could find somewhere that I could rent rainbows and unicorns....