It’s that time again. And so begins the dreaded bedtime routine in my household.  As I brace for resistance and rebuttal at every opportunity, I draw in a deep breath and get the gears in motion.

“Ok, please get your pajamas on and brush your teeth”, I politely request of my son.  This simple request is met with silence.

“Get those pajamas on your body and brush your teeth”, I say again — including some voice inflection to indicate my annoyance.  My child exhibits slight movement, but only to antagonize the dog.

“LET’S GO!!!  NOW!!!!”, I bark.  Now he is moving toward the bathroom and after a bit more coaxing and prodding, my son will finally fulfill the demands I asked of him nearly 20 minutes ago.  In the meantime, I’m left feeling like a deflated, sub-par version of June Cleaver, (who I’m convinced would never crack under the strain of frustration).  Success?  Not entirely, but my demands were met and his personal hygiene is satisfactory, so in the end it’s a battle that has ended with only a few emotional casualties.

Now in general, I have an incredibly well-behaved son.  Truly!  He is bright, loving, courteous, and has an easy-going disposition.  So I understand that it may seem as though I am being hypercritical of him.  But the volume on the emotional toll this behavior takes on me is high enough for me to desire a change.  Soon!

Let’s embark on a group daydream for a minute.  How nice would it be if our kids only needed to
be asked to do something one time?!  ONE TIME!  Paradise!  I know that for me, it would eliminate a lot of unnecessary stress in my environment, which would benefit not only me, but my son as well!  It’s workable behavior that will also serve him for the remainder of his life — and it’s not impossible!

I know that I’m not alone with this particular frustration, nor am I alone in the ability to
rectify my son’s behavior.  In fact, if you have a child in our karate program, you may
have noticed that we have been working hard to have our students focus on this very
issue.  It was the first part of our Better Behaved Kids intensive that was added to our
karate curriculum in the spring, and designed to support your efforts as parents.

After all, we get it.  Many of us at Stryker Martial Arts are parents too.  We know first-
hand that while parenthood is a beautiful, amazing, rewarding experience, it can also be a difficult (and often thankless) job.  Simply having an additional resource in your corner can often be the catalyst for positive change – which is what we are all about.

~Kailen Pirro
Program Director
Stryker Martial Arts

Have you experienced any positive changes in your child’s behavior?  Feel free to share them with us by emailing  We may even feature your experience in our newsletter!