Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Making the Hard Decisions

I was so excited when my kids started self-defense karate a little more than a year ago. It's been fun for them, and most definitely fun for me. J has been making an awful lot of noise lately about not wanting to continue, though. Of course, half way through testing he suddenly changes his mind.

Here's the thing. Money is tight. Really tight. We're looking at having to tighten our belts like never before. We've had a few unexpected events happen this summer - like the fridge fiasco and needing new tires for the front of the car - and our savings ended up quite drained in the process.

By no means are we destitute. I certainly don't mean to leave that impression. But I find myself needing to make some tough choices, ones that will probably upset and frustrate the kiddies. One of those choices is whether or not to continue with karate.

M is involved in a lot right now. She's taking piano lessons, will begin orchestra again at school, and is doing a few other programs there. Having her miss taking karate won't be such a trauma as she has plenty of other things to take it's place.

B is the one I could see continuing in karate. When he's not being distracted by his older brother he's really quite good. Impressive for someone so young.

It's J I worry about. He's not as musical as his sister, nor as coordinated as his brother, and being a part of this - no matter how much he complained - gave him a sense of accomplishment. If I take him out, what do we turn to? I don't want him to be the only one not involved in something, yet I can't afford to do the things he'd like.

So do I take them all out of karate just to placate one child? I'm more than just a bit torn, yet I know a decision needs to be made soon. Their latest session of karate ends in two weeks. My hubby has no problem simply taking them all out, but I hesitate as I know how the activities we participate in, especially as children, go far in developing our self images.

J has a long way to go before we figure out where his talents lie. Would he really be happy watching his sister and brother remain involved in things he's not a part of? And if he finds something he's not only interested in doing but really go at, will the money be there?

Ugh. I hate making the hard decisions.

Thanks for letting me think out loud today, my friends. I'll be doing a lot of praying over the next few weeks.


Team Jensen said...

My mom relayed something to me a few weeks ago that I never realized she had feelings about, and such STRONG feelings. Her oldest sister was involved in extracurricular activities growing up. She had bad experiences with these activities and my grandma, in turn, didn't want to make my Aunt A upset and left out so EVERYONE was left out (all 4 kids) and no one was able to do any extracurricular activities anymore or ever. Still to this day if you ask my mom about it she is extremely bitter to her mom about it. She wanted to do dance and swimming and try things out and she wasn't allowed because of A. It's so interesting. So, my advice, take it to the Lord, like you were going to. Remember each child is different and you don't want to stunt or deprive him or the others because of one. I definitely don't envy the position you're in.

Is there something less expensive he could participate in? Allison is going to try out figure skating in a bit. Lessons are surprisingly cheap and we can rent everything we need for super cheap. You never know, he may enjoy something like that.

Good luck!

LaurieW said...

The sad thing is, this karate is pretty inexpensive (unless of course you're enrolling three kids all at the same time, lol).

M's involved in enough I'm not worried. B might be okay not going but I'd really hate to see him quit. J is the one I worry about because, and this is awful to say, he's not REALLY good at much right now. Nothing that screams "Get me involved!!!" Who knows, maybe I'll see if he wants to take piano lessons too!

Cynthia said...

Sorry about your situation. Life is full of choices to make that affect us and our children so deeply! When you ask J what interests he has, what does he say? Maybe since it's not very expensive he could stay in and other's not? Too bad your don't have the offer we have, a teacher of karate offers a free class to students at the school twice a week. It's something Alex has an interest in. Last spring when he showed interested I called a whole bunch of places and took him to a free trial at this place literally down the street were we have that mini strip of stores. He was intimidated by the teacher and lost interest. I am glad though, because of the time the class was offered and at the school is much better!
Our family isn't heavily involved with extra stuff. It's been just since Jan. that Dallin started violin. Besides that and Wolf Den, that's it for us. Except we did swim lessons in the summer and a short soccer season too. Though I want my kids to try a variety of things, I don't want them being overwhelmed and overworked, so we keep it light now. Anyway, I've chatted long enough. May your prayers be answered and keep an update of what you do!