The art of martial arts

J1 has been going to Karate lessons for nearly a year now and today she won her first medal for sparring. She beat her opponent every single time in the lesson. *Proud mom alert.* She absolutely loves her lessons and has really improved her performance week on week.

To give you some idea of her personality she is not very outgoing but quite shy and sensitive. However, she has really come out of her shell since learning karate. In all honesty, I wanted her to do some sort of extra curricular activity but one that was convenient to me and as this was a 5 min walk from our house, I suggested we try it. She loved it.

Today I got talking to the Sensei after the lesson about promoting karate in local schools. I think this is a fantastic idea. Childhood obesity is a massive problem and a recent report stated that it often leads to physical and mental health issues later in life including depression, diabetes and heart problems.

Karate is a fantastic way to keep children fit and active, develop new skills, build confidence and make new friends. It’s a great activity for young people to get involved with outside school giving kids the chance to mix with new people. It also teaches discipline and improves interpersonal skills as students are mixing with others of different ages and abilities.

I would strongly recommend karate to any parent who wants their child to get involved in something a bit different but ultimately very rewarding.

“Martial Arts does not teach you how to fight, it teaches you why not to.”
― Lakshya Bharadwaj

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Valentines Day

Christmas is over. We have all forgotten our new years’ resolutions. Next on the calendar is Valentines Day. Now the husband and I haven’t really celebrated this for the last few years but as we are now making more effort with our relationship, we both decided to mark the event. With a card and present. Nothing too fancy when there are children around.

He went to the trouble of ordering me a personalised photo card of the family. Very thoughtful. I was appreciative, of course. Unfortunately I can’t say it was a surprise as he left the order screen open on the computer when he ordered it. Strange from the man who ALWAYS deletes his internet history that on this occasion he forgot! I was also given a rose – perfect Valentines gift!  Not very imaginative but he is a man so I can let that go.

I, on the other hand, rushed to the supermarket on Saturday night with the kids looking for a card and gift. There wasn’t much choice at 9pm but we struck lucky with a decent card. I am a big fan of practical gifts so I went straight for the mugs on offer. There was the choice of one saying ‘you’ll do, I suppose” – not really appropriate as we are trying to get our marriage back on track after a rocky patch. The other one had little pink hearts on it. Perfect – he drinks tea so now he can use his new Valentines mug.

But, not to be stingy, I went looking for another gift and as a family we agreed on some Simpsons socks. (Again practical). My 4 year old insisted her dad’s favourite things were Moshi Monsters related. I doubt he had ever heard of Moshi Monsters so this advice I ignored.

The next day we went to the supermarket (for an actual food shop this time) and I noticed everything was half priced. We missed a trick, I told him. We should have bought our gifts today. We could have got double the gifts for the same money!

Who says romance is dead!

Candyfloss for breakfast

Now we’ve all got an idea about bad parenting is but it is not usually as blatant as this. Walking the kids to school at 8.30am, we are waiting for the green man to tell us to cross the road. There are 2 kids with their mother also waiting. Each of them is eating a packet of pink candy floss. I repeat it was 8.30am.

Is is just me or is that un-be-liev-able? I nudged my 7 year old until she looked at me and I widened my eyes at her in horror. She knew what I was saying. Once we were out of earshot, I said to her, “can you believe those kids are eating candyfloss at this time in the morning? That is SO bad for them!”

I don’t blame the children of course. They are too young to know any better but what parent gives a young child candyfloss at that time in the morning? Whether it was in place of breakfast or instead of, I don’t now but it makes me really angry that some parents just don’t have any idea or care about their childrens’ health and wellbeing.

I don’t think I’m a better parent than anyone else but I do teach my children about how to maintain their health and look after their bodies. Otherwise it just ends up being a downward spiral and people wonder why there is such an obesity epidemic when this is what children are being fed. I dread to think what the rest of their meals are like. Thank goodness for free infant school meals. It’s not an ideal solution but at least it’s a start.