In an effort to help *A* socially (and use his excess energy in a positive way) we’ve tried several different sports. At this point he’s done soccer (2 seasons), basketball, baseball, and even an intro hockey program. During his last soccer season he would not listen and follow directions either at practice or during the games. I told him that we were going to take a break from sports because he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to and wasn’t listening to the coach. I would also like to point out that I would ask him if he wanted to try a sport SEVERAL times before I actually signed him up.
Fast forward to this spring, *A* begged me for MONTHS to let him play football. Since football is only in the Fall and I had MAJOR reservations about him playing contact sports, I compromised and agreed to let him play Flag Football. The condition for allowing him to play was that he needed to show me that he could listen and follow the directions of his coaches AND he had to show good sportsmanship (i.e. no whining/crying, no teasing, no rough playing). Needless to say he has not done any of these things. At this point he’s literally just standing on the field. He is not popular on his team and in fact doesn’t have 1 friend. The other boys have tried to cheer him up and talk to him but he just wants to be catered to and 6/7/8 year olds are NOT going to do that so they just walk away and leave him alone. He spends the majority of his time on the bench pouting. He does get to go in the game….but its primarily because they need to let other kids rest and the league requires that the kids get equal play time (which I am very against personally).
To be completely honest *A* doesn’t have any friends…football or otherwise. It’s painful for me to watch. Especially considering that I didn’t have friends growing up either. I met my first real friend in COLLEGE. I was 20 years old before I made friends. I hung out with some kids at school but honestly that was it. I literally talk with one person from high school and that’s about once every 3 years. I do NOT want this for *A* but there’s nothing I can do about it. We’ve talked about how whining is not the way to get someone’s attention. We’ve also discussed that things aren’t always going to go your way and that you can’t talk over others. As usual he doesn’t think I know what I’m talking about and we end up back here….friendless and just waiting for the season to be over.
Like a crazy person I had already signed him up for tackle football. That’s $200 down the drain. At the time my friends and family convinced me that it would be good for him. I’m just not willing to waste anymore time or quite frankly to suffer. I get a heat rash anytime I’m outside longer than like 30 minutes. Therefore, during yesterday’s 2 hours of nothingness, I end up with a horrendous rash on my arms and neck (despite slathering myself in sunscreen) and my ankle was so swollen from the heat (a previous issue that flares up in extreme temps). So basically, I’m killing myself for 2 hours and all we get out of it is a tense car ride home. Tackle is an even bigger committment with practice 3 days a week DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR (after an initial 2 weeks of daily conditioning practices) as well as the requirement that I volunteer throughout the season. Again….for what?! To watch him sit on a bench and pout? I can do that at home for free without the rash and time suck. At this point I’m going to ask for my $100 back (the other $100 was non-refundable) and we’re done with sports. He can’t handle it and it’s not good for our relationship. Maybe I’ll let him try again in a few years but he’ll have to show me major improvement in his attitude.