A sad experience

This past week, we reluctantly removed a kid from our camp. He is a special needs kid and we do all we can to help all children and especially those with greater room to grow. We even hired an extra camp person just for this child.

In the past 37 years, we’ve had great success with special needs kids in our classes, as many of you know, even creating some pretty awesome Black Belts out of some of them. As a student, this child has been with a us a year and has made great progress. Mom must have thought so too as she renewed his membership after 6 months for another year.

There are a lot of different parenting styles. Some people spoil, some punish, some reward and some are a mix of different styles. In this case, the boy could do no wrong for the mom and grandmother who are raising him. They admit he has special needs and a terrible temper to us, but her facebook goes on and on about what a perfect little gentleman he is. We were willing to embrace the necessary hard work with the hopes that someday he will be a successful adult with good coping skills. It was obvious from the beginning that they let him get away with everything.
It’s not a secret that to raise great kids (special needs kids especially) is making sure they have clear expectations for their behavior, rewards for success and set consequences for inappropriate behavior. And… that you stick to the consequences.

Children, especially those with special needs, need that structure, and they need that trust that your word is law. I’ve seen special needs kids who were raised with clear expectations, rewards for success and set consequences and those who weren’t. This is not my first rodeo.

We shouldn’t have, but we took this boy into our camp. We set the reward system. If you do the training, then you get to participate in the game time. Don’t participate in the training and the consequences are no game time. His temper flared and he kicked at fellow campers and at our counselors. We stuck by our consequences. He misbehaved, lied about it, and lost his chance to use the bounce house on Friday. Here is an example of them not trying to make him realize he is responsible for his own actions, they rented him a bounce house for the weekend since he missed the opportunity here.

Mom then gets her friends to go and give us negative reviews on Facebook and Google. I’ve petitioned for them to be removed since none of these women have ever even been here, but who knows what Facebook will do. The reviews are filled with lies as well. Lies that we let the child sit in soiled pants all day, and that we threatened the boy that we were going to call the cops on him.

We break for the bathroom and hydration every 40 minutes with all kids. We even prompted him on the day in question and he refused to go. He got mad that we kept asking him and nearly threw a tantrum about it. We warn all the kids, campers and students, If you use your martial arts other than to defend your life, it is illegal and you could be arrested. Of course, in his mind, he thought we might call the cops since he purposefully and maliciously kicked at other campers and staff. An additional question. How long would any other business tolerate your child kicking other patrons and staff?

A favor please, if you are happy with your experience here at Ancient Ways, especially if you have special needs kids and you feel we contributed to their success, please advocate for us on Google here: http://bit.ly/2piz6FL
And Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/ancientwaysma/reviews/
You have no idea how much it might help others to find us and to help us feel better about having to remove a kid from our camp.
If you don’t feel we are doing the best we can, please call me personally and let me know. I’ll do everything in my power to make sure you and your family have a stellar experience here.

In all my years, I’ve had to remove students and campers very little. Only two times was it because the child was a danger. Every time was really the parent’s fault.

No matter what challenges your child has, the world is not going to change to suit their desires or special needs. They are going to have to learn to cope. Spoiling them cripples them.

Teach them instead to adjust to the world and to cope. This is best done by setting CLEAR expectations for their behavior, setting rewards for their success and have consequences otherwise. If those expectations aren’t met, and this is the most important part, follow through with those consequences. Never fail in this. Even one time breaks trust and can set a course for a future no one wants.

Thanks for your trust in our school, in honoring us to be part of the village to raise your children and in being part of the Ancient Ways Tribe.

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