The Quintanas, Week 4: Fighting Brings a Family Together!

Filed under: Healthy Families Challenge

People comment that our four children must have so much in common because they are so close in age.

That could not be further from the truth. Not only are they very different, but their differences produce daily challenges.

Aaron, the oldest at 16, is organized and logical about everything. This can make him difficult to negotiate with, but can also come in handy when dealing with a large family. He is able to balance his school work and other responsibilities, and still help with the cooking. Aaron is a runner, and that is not going to change. The only thing Aaron wanted to alter was his running time -- to make it shorter. He wears a polo shirt and jeans when he is relaxing, and jumps at the chance to dress to the nines.

Beth, on the other hand, changes her mind often. Typically a couple of times a day, but sometimes a couple of times in an hour. Over the last four years, Beth, who is now 14, has shifted between three different sports, dumping cheerleading for running, and running for swimming. Beth will wear anything that makes sense to her, whether or not it does to anyone else. She used to go to Youth Group in shorts, knee-high socks, a big t-shirt and high tops. Dressing up? Not her thing.

quintana family picture

Our four kiddos: Aaron, Beth, Christian and Chloe. Credit: Victoria Michelle Quintana

Christian, 13, is a skater. I could probably stop right there because that describes, as far as he is concerned, everything about him. He travels everywhere on his board, in his skinny jeans, skater shirts, DC hat, and Van's shoes. Christian always finds a way to turn the conversation onto the topic of skateboarding. Even at times when there is no board beneath him, he practices the way his feet and body should move in order to master the latest trick.

Chloe is 9, and the princess in the group. She wears every accessory she owns, every time we leave the house. Glitter is a plus; especially when it sprinkles off of one of her outfits and onto her hair and face, and makes her feel "made up." Sports are never really interesting to her. The Little Gym, where she is doing one session a week, was an easy sell, as she considers the gymnastics she is learning there to be very girly. As far as my youngest was concerned, she'd found her physical fitness call.

One of the best things about the Healthy Families Challenge, in my opinion, is that it encouraged us to find an activity that most everyone could do together. David and the kids finally settled on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at American Top Team Doral. This was an easy choice for everyone, as our family has always been fascinated by mixed martial arts.

Aaron loves the classes because they test his limits and challenge him to think. Beth loves it because, every week, the class is different. Christian loves the sport because it's dangerous and, well, "danger" should have been his middle name.

Chloe was not happy during the first class, as she was made to remove every single stitch of jewelry; that changed when she impressed Leo Lerner and Sean Soriano, her ATT trainers, by mastering the first move they taught her -- an arm bar. This consists of releasing yourself from your opponent's grip and twisting until you have their arm locked through your legs and held with your hands. Chloe's smile was ear-to-ear when she realized what a natural she is. The only problem she had after that was that her ATT classes only came twice a week.

I love that now, instead of hearing four kids bickering over the silliest things, I sit here listening to a thumping sound -- not of one slugging or kicking another, but of all four of them helping each other master the moves they learned in their classes this week. Yes, even the big kid, David (also known as Dad), participates in family matches.

I don't miss a class -- I sit on the sidelines, cheering them on -- and I don't plan to pick a fight with them anytime soon.

Who's the rest of the competition? Check out all the challengers' latest updates here.


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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.