Overachieving: The dilemma of the 6-year old blue belt

my over achieving son - still too young
@bounce58 (17524)
Canada
March 8, 2013 1:30pm CST
Shamelessly, this post is about my son. Over the weekend, my son graded for his blue belt in tae kwon do. He had to do a break, but it was no problem for him. Yesterday he got his certificate and his new belt. Now the dilemma is that he should be already moving on to the advanced class which is mostly 9-12 year olds. Although, his training is already advanced, he is still first and foremost still a six year old. He still likes to play with his friends in the junior class (5-8 year olds). And he sometimes takes naps at the advance-class time schedule. It’s a case of getting serious in his martial arts (and maybe growing up) versus just remaining a tot for now. Personally, I don’t think he’ll be able to cope with the challenges of the 9-12 year olds, and the higher belts. Anyway, any of you had similar dilemmas with your kids? When you’re torn between wanting them to remain kids versus feeding their need to overachieve?
5 people like this
18 responses
@monkmano (586)
• Canada
9 Mar 13
I was a blackbelt at 12 years old, and I wanted it so bad! maybe not at 6 though I would leave him for a year or 2, but i dont have any children i dont know! i was more of a shy kid so leaving behind friends would not have been an issue for me. I was always friends with older kids and i think that helped me mature quicker. i dont think either choice is a mistake :)
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
14 Mar 13
Actually, his older brother who's just 12 is already a black belt. And is going for his 2nd degree this May. I think that's why my 6-year old wants to 'overachieve'. And I think you're right, either choice is not a mistake. It's just a matter of picking the best choice. Thanks monkmano!
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
8 Mar 13
Yes, I faced this probem with my daughter. Am exam is taken when a child is between 10-12 years old to go to High School. A kid does not automatically go to High School. They could go to a school where there is more training in vocational areas. Kids study hard to pass this exam. example - 50,000 children may take the exam for the ten thousand places available. So you get my drift? They have to score really high to get a place in High School. To our amazement she passed at 10 years old for a prestigious Boarding School. We had misgivings but there was no guarrantee that she would pass it the following year so she went. Very difficult when the girls were all reaching puberty and she wasn't etc. Emotionally she was not ready but academically succeeded. So this was a series of firsts. She graduated from High School at 15 but could not go to College until 16. She was a trained teacher at 19. Taught for a year then went to University where she got a First Class Honours at 22 years. Then went to the US where she taught and went to school part time and did her Masters 4.0 average. At 28, back home and married they want her to teach full time at University (she lectures part time and works full time at an International school) but she would need to begin her PHD. But she is not ready as enjoys teaching children. As an adult she has spoken of how difficult it was for her at times as she was always the baby of the class. I suppose it all depends on how mature your son is emotionally. It is such a difficult decision to make. I probably haven't been any help but think carefully and take advice. Perhaps he should be seen by a guidance counsellor first before a decision is made.
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
13 Mar 13
Thank you cynthia for sharing this story. Although I think the best of my kids, I have doubts that my son will be going through anything what your daughter achieved. I often here stories about what kids like that go through, and some of them aren't that good. I'm glad your daughter was able to cope with it and was able to adjust. Wow! I can't believe how competitive it was to be a student there! Even just to go to high school?!
@doroffee (4230)
• Hungary
8 Mar 13
Oh, that IS a dilemma. I think you should ask your son if he wants to do it. If it doesn't work out for him, you could still stop the really advanced classes. But if he's that talented, maybe you should take advantage of that, because if you never try, you never know if he would succeed, and also, this may be a chance that you would regret later, if you don't take it. But of course, if you see that your son is not coping well or starts to act negligent or strange or not that enthusiastic enough, you should stop it.
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
12 Mar 13
That's what I'm afraid of! If I don't push him, then I'd never know if he might have been talented enough. I might regret it later. I don't want him to struggle, but just in case we would like to try it out. Thanks for the great response!
@much2say (38744)
• United States
16 Apr 13
Hi bounce! Congrats to your son!! Blue belt - woo hoo! He must be super proud - and I'm sure you must be too! Our kids are in tae kwon do as well. Our Master has all levels/ages together in our studio - I think only black belts and adults have their own separate class. My 8 year old daughter is about to become high green. My 3 year old son, well, he takes the class unofficially as a white belt the Master invited him to join in (since about 3 months ago). I say unofficially because I don't pay for him and he is not allowed to test. Believe it or not, he actually listens and does the forms and sparring - but it's hard for him to do some of the physical feats (plus he's very short - oh, it can be comedy relief sometimes!). We had no intentions of putting him in tae kwon do until he could truly decide he wanted to commit to it. He does say that he loves it, but we wanted him to experience various things before he said "this" was "it" (like what we did for our daughter). He can follow directions for a little guy, but we weren't sure he should have this kind of discipline so young (the Master is tough). And he would be with other kids who were much older who can do all this stuff seriously. So after a couple months of this, he has shown that he CAN handle it . . . and it's good he is enjoying his time in the class with the big kids (and actually learning) rather than sitting with me for 45 minutes waiting for his sister to be done. That being said, I will say our decision was made "easier" because we are not paying for him to be in class! What does your son say he wishes to do?
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
19 Apr 13
Hey that's really great for your son! It's great that he could pay attention, and follow instructions. The grand master in my son's school always says that for boys he could accept no younger than 5, and 4 for girls. He thinks this is the age where kids start to pay attention, and follow directions. I think that if your son already does it at 3, then he's already ahead. I know what you mean about letting him try other things too. It's what I did with my 12 year old, we wanted him to join team activities as well. So he did baseball, and basketball, and a little bit of soccer. But now I think he's now settled with tae kwon do. My son still wants to go to the advance class. So, he does it once a week. Other days, he goes to the younger kids class where he's one of two most senior belts at 6/7 years old. Thank you much!
@much2say (38744)
• United States
23 Apr 13
Sounds like you found a compromise . . . your son gets to go to the advanced class yet he still gets to see his friends in the other class.
• United States
10 Mar 13
Can't he do both. I mean half his time with his peers and the other half with the older kids?
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
14 Mar 13
Great suggestion sarah! They do have a 5:30 class for the tots and a 6:15 for the advanced class. I think I'll have him come in the advance class once (or maybe twice) a week. Thanks!
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Mar 13
You are welcome. What are friends for?
@hereandthere (28900)
• Philippines
9 Mar 13
i remember years ago when a preschool opened right here in our village. my mother promptly enrolled our youngest sibling, but she only lasted a month. not ready yet. one-year's tuition wasted. many other schools have sprung up and i've heard from my sister-in-law that they now have "summer" class as a test if the first-time student is ready and willing to enroll come june. i think carmela's suggestion is a good compromise. the teacher will be able to assess if he's ready or not. at the same time, the little guy will know for himself if he likes it and his classmates and still want to go on. if he doesn't agree to a few free sessions, then shorter times or a discount. who knows, he might even be willing to coach a potential champion. so have you yourself gone through the same thing growing up? (heck, i wasn't advanced anything, even childhood games!)
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
14 Mar 13
I know what you mean about a year's tuition wasted... In this taekwondo school that my son goes to, the scheduling and development is all dependent on the kid. And the tuition is continuous. So, if a kid takes his time and takes years to advance, your actually paying more monthly. It'll be nice if my son advances as it means it'll save me money. Anyway, I've never gone through anything like this (I wish!). Thanks.
• Philippines
15 Mar 13
you may never have been accelerated or collected medals and ribbons (i could be wrong!) but i'm sure you're (street) smart enough. heck, you were selling stuff even as a kid!
@jenny1015 (13390)
• Philippines
9 Mar 13
Maybe the most important thing is to ask him which group will he be the happiest. That should count a lot.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
14 Mar 13
To be honest, he'd be happiest in the advanced class. It's because there is another boy there who's just a year (or maybe six months) older than him, and they always play together when just before and after class. It doesn't help me in my dilemma. Thanks jenny!
@jenny1015 (13390)
• Philippines
15 Mar 13
Don't worry too much. I am sure your son will still grown up like any other kid his age. Just allow him to enjoy where he feels like.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
8 Mar 13
Why don't you ask him instead of worrying about it yourself?
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
13 Mar 13
But, he wouldn't know any better! If I asked him, he would just say yes, put me in. And being the know-it-all parent that I am, I wouldn't know also if I was actually stunting his development. -worry wart
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
13 Mar 13
Oh the joys of parenthood!
@KrauseHome (34995)
• United States
14 Mar 13
Well personally, to me if you feel your son is not ready, what would be the harm of having him wait a few years? You would think they wouldbe able to deal with this easier with other solutions? But first ask your son what he is wanting to do and then go from there. 6 is still young to be pushing him towards something he might not be ready for.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
20 Mar 13
I think he wouldn't know any better. If I just ask him, he would just say that he wants to do it. He wouldn't know how hard it could get. So, I'm just going to play it by ear. Get him to that class maybe once a week, and seem from there. Thanks KH!
@dawnald (84131)
• Shingle Springs, California
12 Mar 13
There is a 6 year old blue belt in my son's advanced class. Really, if your son can act up to expectations, why not? But if you don't think he can cope, talk to the teacher and see what they suggest.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
14 Mar 13
I did talk to his teacher/master. And I think I'll do as sarah suggested above. Maybe I'll keep him in the younger kids class, but maybe take him to the advance class once (or twice) a week. Thanks dawn!
@GreenMoo (11842)
9 Mar 13
Congratulations to him! That's some achievement. I've never had such a dilemma. Can the teachers come to some sort of compromise, where he could train with the bigger kids sometimes and get the best of both worlds?
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
14 Mar 13
Well, I talked to his master about it already. He doesn't have any problem with it. As long as my son does the work. It's just a matter of making sure that my son stay's focused. And then he could run around like a kid just before, and just after class! Thanks GM!
@natliegleb (5186)
• India
9 Mar 13
the dilemma strikes them badly if they are under or overachieved,they are in their ranks and treasure it and always make a wise move to their needs
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
14 Mar 13
Hello natliegleb. Yes, that is why it's a dilemma. I do want to treasure his 'being a kid'. And at the same time encourage him to go forward. Thanks.
@GardenGerty (96670)
• Marion, Kansas
9 Mar 13
I would let him be a kid. I would not put him in with the older class.That is just me. Perhaps there will be opportunities for him to practice casually with the older, more advanced class without making him go to class with them all the time. Are there no other six year olds in the advanced class?
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
14 Mar 13
There is actually another boy just a year (or maybe six months) older than him. When they are together, it's when they become just kids. They run around like little boys just before and just after class. I'm sure that this other boy's parents are experiencing the same dilemma as me. Thanks GG!
@kaka135 (13989)
• Malaysia
8 Mar 13
I believe children has their own talents in different areas. I do not face this situation before, as my son is still very young. I will always choose which is better for him in his development. I am not sure if a 6 year old boy being put in the advanced class, will the advanced training affecting his natural physical and mental development? Is he willing or ready to go for the advanced class? I understand he can go for the higher belt, but will he be happy when he is placed among a much older kids? Also, is the training in advanced class suitable for a 6 year old boy?
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
13 Mar 13
I think what makes it easy for him to jump into this advance class is another boy who I think is just older than him by about a year or 6 months. They both have gone up the ranks almost at the same time, and have the same belt. At least having this other boy with him would make it easier. Thanks kaka!
@mariaperalta (19096)
• Mexico
8 Mar 13
wow he must be good. Id be so darn proud of him.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
13 Mar 13
Yes I am! Thanks!
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
8 Mar 13
I think you know your son best. My son never got into sports like that, but his older brother and sister. both being big gamers, (hence the Minecraft discussion)he was playing Zelda at 4. Of course he wasn't fighting any bosses or anything, but he wanted to play and his sister let him play. So I guess what I am saying is, is your son willing to go through an advance class? Is it possible to ask the instructor if your son can take 1-2 classes either for free or a discount to see if he is ready?
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
12 Mar 13
Talking about playing inappropriate games and big brother (or big sister) letting the younger sibling play their games, there's some of that happening in our house too. His instructor actually talked to him already. About being serious, and practicing hard, and being a model for the other kids his age but lower belts. I don't think he understood anything about the 'serious' talk. Thanks!
@WakeUpKitty (8707)
• Netherlands
8 Mar 13
My daughter skipped one class at school. In the 3rd grade she already was one of the youngest, so you can imagine the age difference as she came in the 5th grade. Still she loves to learn and although she is not interested in what the other(s) girls do, (she is still way more intelligent as they are) she is in the right class. So I would advice you to talk to your son and ask him what he wants. I assume tae kwon do is not daily or?
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
12 Mar 13
Hey! Congratulations to your daughter! I think it's a great achievement to skip a grade. My son has a tendency to go overboard when he's into something. I guess I really need to talk to him. Or maybe slow him down and introduce him ton other activities. Thanks!
@katsmeow1213 (29029)
• United States
8 Mar 13
Can't say as I have ever truly been faced with such a situation.. though if I were, I'd choose his own age group.. he'll have time to move up to other age groups when he gets older.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
8 Mar 13
I'm actually thinking the same thing! As much as I want to push him into being the best, or being the youngest among a certain skill, I do still want him to be my six year old. Not so much a baby, but not yet a big kid. Thanks kat!