T Nation

Ding Dongs


This is a two parter, I have alot on my mind. <:slightly_smiling:

1, I was sitting in the hot tub at the pool last weekend with my 7 yr old boy, and for some reason mentioned 'Twinkies' in the conversation. He asks what a 'Twinkie' is, and I tell him, it's like white cake with icing or cream inside.

Then I go on to say, that 'Ding Dongs' are really where it's at. ( mmmmm CHOCOLATE... ) So, I don't want the poor little beggar to be underprivileged, and promised him we'd get him a Ding Dong to taste, one day soon. Tonight, we went shopping at Safeway, they had no Ding Dongs, and neither did the 7-11 or the other convenience store we tried. So, he bought some kinda candy to hold him over until we find the elusive Ding Dongs. So where the Hell are they hiding all the Ding Dongs?

2, My boy is very active in alot of physical activities. He has been in Karate for about a year and a half, is a white belt with 3 stripes, and should earn his yellow belt at the end of this term. He plays soccer, on Saturdays, with practices on Thursday nights. He takes swimming lessons on Sunday mornings.

He has gotten very interested in indoor rock climbing, and played T-ball last Spring. The trouble arises with his main interest being 'having fun.' Karate is Tues and Thurs nights, and soccer practice being Thurs nights, conflicts. He skipped one 'semester' of Karate last spring to play T-ball, and missed most Thurs night Karate sessions last 'semester' to go to soccer practice.

I loosely negotiated with him this time, that he'd go to one soccer practice every two weeks, and therefore he'd attend 3 out of 4 Karate sessions. I think he's already not too happy with that. But he has to perform a Kata by himself to earn his yellow belt, and he's always had some trouble mastering the Katas, although he is otherwise quite talented at Karate, and the Sensei knows him quite well.

Here's the rub. He talks about quitting Karate, and I don't want him to do that. He says it's not FUN anymore. Now, I have to admit, selfishly, I don't want him to quit. But beyond that, I'm not sure he actually wants to quit. I think he may just want to balance all his activities, and be nervous about mastering the Kata.

I want to have a talk with him about responsibilites vs fun. That is, I'd like to try to explain to him that while it is important the he has fun, and enjoys his activities, that learning Karate has many life benefits, that extend beyond just enjoying himself.

He's a very mature kid, and I want to see if I can influence him to continue with Karate because he can see the benefits of it. I was a fucken shithead when I was a teenager, and on
into my 20's......... ok, all through my 20's. And I remember distinctly saying, often, all I want to do, is have fun. And gawdamn, if I don't know what a waste of fucken time that was.

So, any advice?


\|/ 3Toes


mmm ding dongs ...i hven't seen hem in years...truthlfuly i don't know if they ever even existed or if i have always been eating "king dons" all of these years also i didn't really understandor actually even read your post past the "ding dongs" part and i think that while "ding dongs" may once have been a real live option on the roster of snack cakes they are no more...

at least not in my area and have been usurped by "king dons" which are for real the new real deal i'm sure of it.

i'm alsp sure that i'm completely frickn loaded right now and and am going to go u[stairs now and show the chick who imet tonight , who's in my shower right now, and was espcially attracted to me because i have a suntan from vacation and told her i'd take her next time, a few few things about gravity

[edit4/3/06] [i] jeeez-S this post is frickn embarassing. and that chick was a T-ramp who wouldn't stop calling and asking me over to play "scrabble" for like 2 weeks.


While teaching, I've noticed that kids in Karate are the biggest dorks. I don't know why that is, but it holds up. Everyone of them seems to be a social mutant.

Of course soccer is a girls' sport for weenies with moms who don't want them to get hurt playing football.

Being a parent is hard.


If it was my kid, I would talk to him and see what is his favorite activity. Then that would be the one he would do. Kids dont need to have every option available to them, they need to learn to make choices and sacrifices. You, and I'm assuming you are married, and your wife dont need to spend all day driving him across town every night. Do you have a family night were you watch a movie together or even better play a game. Time spent with your son will help against him being an ass when he gets older. Driving him to different events is not spending time.

Thats my opinion. You need to do what you feel is best in the end. Good luck


Just curious. Are you a parent? Because you sound like a late-teen, 20 something moron. "I've noticed that kids in Karate are the biggest dorks."

What's the matter, get your ass whipped by a dork? I don't like soccer, but I would really like to see you take this comment "Of course soccer is a girls' sport for weenies with moms who don't want them to get hurt playing football." to England or Europe, or South America, and repeat it at a match. Having your ass handed to you is a very humbling experience.


swivel, thanks for your input, I hope you had fun last night. <:slight_smile:

according to google, Ding Dongs actually do still exist.


doogie, according to you, my boy is a socially mutated, dork / weenie. I am tempted to let him come over and kick your ass, just to prove you wrong. Except, I find all that posturing and feather-ruffling over the internet to be a little absurd. So, threatening you with a shit-kicking from my 7 yr old boy is probably a little rediculous....... unless you'd enjoy that sort of thing?

We actually spend a fair amount of time doing stuff together. I swim with him after his lessons, and we do have a movie night, and sometimes play board games, etc. We read together, and stuff, so it's not all just driving him to his sports. Although, there is a fair amount of that. I honestly can't imagine having more than one kid. ( I am a selfish prick, mind you ). I don't want to limit his access to activities just yet, he still does all his homework, watches some cartoons, plays at home, blah, blah, blah....

\|/ 3Toes


Not sure on the Ding Dong situation, other than to suggest Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls as a viable alternative. I seem to recall those being popular when I was in middle school. They cost a quater for pack of two at the store across the street from the school. Probably four bucks now.

As for the other situation (Disclaimer: I don't have kids. Although I do have a pack of nephews, 8-22, that I've watched grow up), I think you're on the right track. I think it's best to let them know up front that in anything worth doing, enjoying it and having fun is great, and an important element, but it isn't always about "having fun." Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes you have to do the sucky part to get to the fun part. I also like your instinct on pushing him a bit. What's wrong with telling a 7 yo what to do when you know it will be good for him even if he's a little scared/tired/bored/resistant. This is probably a side rant, and I know I don't have kids, but it seems like all my friends that are parents are more concerned with being the kids' buddy rather than a parent.

A parent shouldn't dominate every part of a kids life, but putting the foot down when appropriate and saying, for instance,"your're going to go to karate because you made a commitment, and it cost money and time to take you to class, and you owe it to those around you to follow through, even if you don't like it," is not only okay, but good. (3TS, I'm not speaking of you directly here, just speaking in general.)

As another bit of a tangent... having seen the "martial arts" thing with kids shake out a few times now into adulthood, I'm not sure it's the best choice for kids. Don't get me wrong, I love martial arts, I'm a Muay Thai man myself, I think a better plan, insofar as molding an child into an athletic adult, I think gymnastics are a better route than martial arts, escpecially at an age less than ten. It develops better motor skills, coordination and strength.

Final hijack: what's up with the alternative spelling of ridiculous as r[i]e[/i]diculous? It's all over the boards here. Is this some crazy new thing the kids are doing that I'm not familiar with?


Why does a 7 year-old boy need so many 'things' to do? Holy hell - t-ball, soccer, karate? Has the kid ever been allowed to just be a damn kid?

And before you threaten me with an ass whoopin from your son - I have two children: 12 and 14.

I think the major problem is that you feel like you have to have him involved in these activities so that you can feel like you are being a better parent. The kid is 7 years old!! Let him be a fucking 7 year-old. Let him sleep late and watch cartoons. Let him dig holes in the backyard. He doesn't need that much structured "fun". That is more for the parents benefit than the kid's.


I'm more from the Rainjack school of thought on this one. (Btw, I have 3 kids, including a 7 y/o boy). Our rule around here is one sport per season max. I feel that you have him involved in too many things at one time. I don't think you would actually be teaching him about responsibility by going to soccer practice once every two weeks in order to maintain his "responsibility" to karate. What happened to being responsible to his soccer team? I also think that kids should be allowed to choose what sport they want to play, not what the parent wants. I have seen this so many times that it drives me crazy. Almost every instance I know of where this occurs, the kids end up hating the sport their parents pushed on them, resenting their parents for having pushed them, end up abusing substances and then repeat the cycle with their own kids. Is this what you want? And how do you know that soccer isn't his true sport. You could be pushing him away from his future fame in order to try to fulfill your own unrealized karate dreams.

As for having to get through the "hard" stuff in order to enjoy the fun stuff - he's 7. When I was that age, everything was fun (even practice) except my chores and eating vegetables.

I urge you to think long and hard about what is best for your son and what he wants. If he is as mature as you say (I question the maturity of any 7 year old), then why won't you listen to his opinions?

Good luck,


Ok, I'll make this real simple for you. Drop all the other sports and get that kid on a hockey team. Hope this helped. :slight_smile:


Word. If you reread this, you'll realize it looks pretty retarded. Your kid goes to one out of every 4 soccer practices and that's a commitment? BS, I bet your soccer coach is pissed. Why would you sign a kid up for so much stuff that he can't do any of it? That's just silly.

Also, I have NEVER known someone who did karate when they were young and stuck with it as they got older. It's just weird.


The Swiss Cake Rolls are still 25 cents for a pack of 3. Of course that is the regular size. The large size is 50 cents for a pack of 2. One of those are about 1.5 times the size of the regular ones. Not that I would know such things.....


To offer some advice, as a former kid in a similar situation, if he doesn't want to to do it, don't make him. At 7 he's still "discovering" his world and there is a lot to look at and do. In five years or so (about the time he hits Junior High School and puberty) he will be ready to make a "commitment" or two. Also you might find an activity (just you and him; seperate from "family" night) that you could do together (like martial arts). If he sees that you like it (or love it even) he might be more inclined to stick with it.


Football is a girls sport for semi-weenies, with mums who don't want their kids to get hurt playing rugby! :wink:


have you ever played in a serious futbol match. its ALOT harder than you think it is. yeah your not getting hit as hard,but your not stoping for a break every 10 seconds.
but i do have to agree with the guy who said to put him on the ice.

o i forgot, oh my god these chocodiles, these chocodiles hayle, oh my god, these chocodiles, oh my god.


I agree w/ Rainjack.

Get the kid out of all the activities. Let him decide which one he wants to stick with and go with that. (Mine is almost 6, so my time is coming!)

Ding Dongs are at Walmart and should be at your local grocery.


1, regarding Ding Dongs. We found King Dons at the local StupidStore. They look the same and the boy was marginally impressed with them. I didn't try one, because I am saving my T-Dawg cheat for a medium DQ blizzard ( Georgia Mud Fudge with cookie dough instead of pecans ) tonight. According to this quote from the Hostess site, only Ding Dongs are now sold nationwide, so I suppose that doesn't include the 51st state yet. <:slightly_smiling:

2, To reply to as many of the other posts as I can.........

He would be going to Soccer practice every 2nd practice, not every 4th practice. ( 1/2 not 1/4 ). Not all kids show up to every practice, and some put in very little effort. As long as he's putting in the effort while he's there, the coach is fine with that.

He can't skate worth shit, and by 7, if you haven't already played hockey for about 5 yrs, you've pretty much missed the boat. He has expressed some interest in ball hockey, however.

He's not doing 4 sports all at the same time. He's generally doing 2 organized sports, such as Karate and soccer, plus a 45 min swimming lesson on Sunday morning. He just does drop-ins for indoor rock climbing at the moment.

I can't and wouldn't really force him to try to make an effort in Karate, or any other sport, if he really doesn't want to. He's 7, so I dont' think he necessarily knows exactly what the hell he wants, and it changes often.

The Red Cross also changed the format of swimming lessons. They used to call the kids lessons Aqua 1 - whatever ...... now they call it Swim Kids 1 - whatever. I swim lengths while he's having his lesson, and I noticed when they changed the name, they made the program much harder. He complained about it, right away. They have made it much more length / strength orientated.

Because he got quite far advanced in the Aqua program, he's pushing his limits in this new Swim Kids program. I spoke to the instructor, and employees at the pool, and they agree the program is much harder. His physical strength likely won't advance fast enough for him to take lessons continuously. So, he's probably going to have to take breaks between sets of lessons if he can't keep up physically.

Of course, as soon as they changed the program, he wanted to quit swimming lessons. I told him, that swimming lessons aren't negotiable, he HAS to learn how to swim, well. He CAN, however, take time out between sets of lessons, if he can't keep up physically.

We do make him finish what he starts. Karate is paid for until March or April, and he'll stay in until then, regardless.

Back to the original point. I want to try to explain to him, that life isn't ALL about fun. School isn't particularly fun, losing at your sport isn't all that fun... but he has to try his best. My hope is that he'll finish this 'semester' of Karate, and even if he doesn't want to return right away, that he won't give up on it outright. Ultimately, it will be his choice.

I'd just like any tips on ways to try to explain the concepts of 'responsibilty', 'maturity', vs 'fun' to him, if possible.


\|/ 3Toes


Again, he's 7. The concept of maturity is a waste of time at this age. He will learn responsibility little by little as he grows. Forcing him in karate the way you seem to be will not teach this concept. And fun is a concept that he will soon forget about on the current life path you have set out for him.

Never mind. You don't seem to be listening anyway.

Pass on my best wishes for your son.



3 Toes

I feel your pain. I work with kids, and frequently have need to buy snacks as part of a reward system. We often try to get healthy stuff, but sometimes I tell my wife to get Ding Dongs - those are the BEST. Oh, the bitterness in my heart when she brings back ... Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. Aaargh! They are NOT the SAME!

It seems to me that they do exist, but perhaps more in BOX form than individual packs. Look for the box. You may not want that many, but they will last forever - I think I had a stash in my basement for about a year, and they tasted fine. They are also pretty good frozen - especially in the summer.

... this conversation must end, I'm really getting the cravings. Best of luck finding the elusive Ding Dong.