Oh my goodness… is this for real?

You know I was just speaking with one of my student’s parents the other day and they were telling me about a new service that one of the martial arts schools in my area is now offering…

When I heard what it was I was actually quite shocked.

Now don’t get me wrong… I’m all for improving my school’s business systems, offering the best service possible, and tweaking what needs to be tweaked in order for my school to grow and get the edge over my competition, but when I heard about this I couldn’t quite believe it.

In my area it’s very common for families to have working parents who commute 1-2 hours to work and then home again. The result is up to 4 hours per day in the car. You can imagine with an 8 hour work day, plus 4 more hours traveling, this doesn’t leave much quality family time…

These families I believe are in a little bit of a bind. Many of course want their children involved in something, rather than being stuck at daycare, hanging out at the local mall unsupervised, or in playing video games at their friend’s house.

So to combat this problem, in an attempt to break into the “commuter family” market, a competitor of mine is now offering the following services.

1. Pick the kids up from school in a minivan and take them to the so called “karate” school.

2. The kids can wait at the dojo until their class begins and then attend training. After training they wait until their parents / family can pick them up.

I wouldn’t personally offer these services for the reason I’ll discuss in a minute, but get this… here’s the kicker…

3. In on the training floor there is a camera that is hooked up to the internet. The parents can “login” from work to watch their kids in action!

Now I don’t know how successful this has been for that school, but for me this violates a CORE family issue!

It’s this:

What has society become in order for parents to be so UNINVOLVED in their children?

One of the reasons I believe my school has been so successful is of the well formed relationships I and my staff have with my students, parents and families. We try to target families who WANT to have their children do well; families who WANT to be involved with their kids and support them. The kids in my program who do the best are the ones whose parents watch their classes and come to their examinations – the ones who take an active interest in their child’s progress.

I feel that the “web cam dojo” just puts parents FURTHER from their kids, not closer. If they REALLY were interested in their children and their development, I believe they would make the effort to change their schedules and support their kids.

Your thoughts? Post ’em below!

~ Jason

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