The martial arts are known for teaching discipline. I often tend to think of the self-discipline that is the by-product of learning martial arts. That was one of the benefits that I, personally, learned on my way to black belt. It's often the lessons we learn that aren't actively being taught that are the most valuable. Last week was, again, one of those times for me.
We were working with the kids and my daughter had decided she was mad about something. She's normally the compliant one, but on this occasion she was upset. Because I like my kids to behave (and me to look like a stellar, together kind of parent), I was a little miffed that my angel was making me look bad. (I'm just being honest, here.) What I didn't notice very much was that while my daughter was acting out, my son was being genuinely helpful with some of the younger kids. At the same time--and I'm sure it wasn't a coincidence--that I pulled my daughter aside to remind her that she should make a better choice about her attitude, my professor was pulling my son aside to give him accolades on making a great choice and to thank him for being really helpful. Ugh. Parenting failure #952,337.
My professor was in no way trying to humiliate me. That's not his style, at all. He was showing me a better way...without teaching me with words. He was teaching by example. Fortunately, I caught it. I'm a little slow sometimes. He was publicly praising my son, rather than publicly embarrassing him. Isn't that what we all want: to be recognized for our legitimate achievements and good choices rather than being embarrassed or corrected for poor choices? I'm sure I'll be working on this one. It's not often enough that this is my first response.
When have you seen a great example and realized it was a great lesson to be learned? Tell me about it in the comments.
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