Thursdays, we take Julian to Kung Fu, where in theory he learns precision and discipline. Overall I really like Kung Fu and how he learns physical control, how the teachers correct every last detail and put up with nothing, but Julian and his contant messing-around really test them.
Today when I picked him up, Julian's white belt was off him and tossed in a corner. I'd tied it myself before he left, so I knew it hadn't fallen off. I had a feeling this was a consequence.
I notice how the Kung Fu teachers watch parents furtively for their reactions, so I wanted them to know that I'm behind any discipline they have to administer to my little darling. At the end of Kung Fu class tonight, I instructed Julian in front of the teachers that he had to listen to them, and that they'd make him do pushups if he didn't listen.
Julian later explained that his white belt was off because he'd "had trouble" with a kick, adding "but I wasn't falling on purpose!" Uh-HUH. That explains why he lost his belt temporarily.
I'd have been in favor of permanently demoting him, except that the meaning would be lost on him and it'd cost me another $25 for another belt test. My last hope for discipline is shot.
I don't mean to raise a passel of conformists - there is value to challenging authority. I'm OK with behaving "sometimes" if a kid is smart about when. But they have to learn cost-benefit tradeoffs -- a fancy-schmancy term for "picking battles." Not happening here. Julian just messes around and can't quit. Even in $25/lesson Kung Fu classes.
What does it take to get through to this kid?!