In today's class two kids were talking while I was teaching class. David, the kid higher belt, was called to the front of the class and asked "Were you talking?" He answered "Yes Sir". I looked to the class and said "Due to his actions his belt is taken away".
I looked to the other kid who was also talking. They are both around the same age, but the kid with the higher belt has the higher degree of responsibility. I said to the other kid named Shawn, still seated, "How does it feel to know that your actions have directly impacted the life of someone else? Because you were talking to him and he did not do the right thing to tell you to stop, he lost his belt. How does that make you feel?" Shawn, fighting back emotions said "Not good Sir".
I faced the class and told them all that their actions directly impact the lives of those around them. They can make the choice to make positive choices which will positively impact others, or they can choose to make bad choices which negatively impact the lives of those around them.
I dismissed everyone from class and called up David, who lost his belt, and Shawn,the other child who began the conversation but who still possessed his belt. I turned to Shawn, who did not lose his belt, and said "With achieving rank means that you accept all the responsibility with that rank. Do you understand that". David, the purple belt looked at me with tears in his eyes "Yes Sir". I continued "You know that belts are not given here, they are earned, through your actions you have asked for your belt to be taken away for 30 days." David was fighting back his emotions as he relayed that he understood. I then looked at Shawn. He was the one who began the conversation that lead to the David losing his belt "How does it feel to know that your actions have lead to David, a person you call your friend, losing his belt"? "It doesn't feel good" said Shawn with tears in his eyes. I continued speaking to Shawn "You have a choice to make." Then pointing to David the purple belt "He can lose his belt for 30 days or you can give up your belt or 30 days. Which do you choose to do?" Without hesitation Shawn took off his belt and offered it to me. His mother standing there with me had tears in her eyes watching her child make the right decision. "So you understand that you are accepting the consequence of your actions and by doing so David gets to keep his belt, but you will lose yours for 30 days." With tears in his eyes and a red face Shawn replied "Yes Sir. I was talking".
I accepted Shawn's belt.
Looking at both students I said "Because you have taken responsibility for your actions and you have not tried to make up excuses for your actions, I will show you both forgiveness. Instead of either of you losing your belt for 30 days, you will both lose them for 1 week. During that week I expect to see growth from you both, listen at home to your parents, listen at school to your teachers, and listen here to your instructors." "Yes Sir" they said in unison.
We are not liked by some parents because we take this position in our training, but you must realize this is the position taken in life. We have had a parent say in the past "Why is my child doing push ups because of someone else's kid. That parent refused to see that we all pay the price for a bad choice. Your child steals, we all pay the higher cost for that product. Your child is a bully in school, all the children pay the price for his/her behavior. Instead of embracing the lesson which reveals itself to help the children mature in life, that parent sought to focus just on his/her child. We are not for everyone. With that parent we relayed that we were not the right fit for them and thanked them for coming. For the other parents here, they understand, and the said thank you.
To teach others to think through their actions and how it impacts others is not a flaw, but a benefit of choosing to train at CFMAF Martial Arts.
This lesson learned today was far more valuable then the punches and kicks taught. Sometimes the best lessons taught come from the sting of a consequence and correction. Set the standard and establish the boundary. If your child crosses the boundary, render the consequence. Better for them to learn now as a child, then to deal with what the harsh consequences can be as a adult.