Both of my kids have Taekwondo lessons. They love it.
Recently they were invited to participate in a tournament that involved several Taekwondo schools from around Beirut.
I was excited about it. Competitions are fun, they're a vital part of learning a sport, and it's just a good experience. But the kids didn't see it this way. They had reservations--deep, sever, serious reservations. There was nothing we could say or do to persuade them that the tournament would be fun, a good experience, something they'd like. They insisted, tearfully even, that they wanted no part of this.
So, instead of forcing them to participate, we attended as spectators. We noted the table covered in medals, and the safety helmets and gloves. Watched as little kids put on their gloves and fought it out on the mat, noting that falling over or getting pushed off the mat resulted in a serious loss of points.
It was pretty cool. There's another tournament in September. Maybe by then the kids will have come around. Maybe next time, we'll be cheering for one of our own.