How much does his show of arrogance need to cost him before he learns?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SuZir, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    My difficult child's moods seem to be very related to his sport performances and I do get that. It is intensive and high-stake. Now he is again in total bottom and feeling awful. He has been struggling with sport all fall and what looked like a light in the end of the tunnel just little bit earlier now looks like incoming train that ran over him. That of course is subject to change again in future. So he is having a massive sophomore slump and is likely to recover from it sooner or later. But the nature of the beast is, that for many people looking the big picture is either very difficult or they don't do it in purpose (latter happens especially with reporters, much juicier stories to write that way.) It's a spectator sport and especially difficult child's position is so, that you are usually either hailed or bashed, not much between. And difficult child has earned himself a spot in being bashed this time.

    That is an occupational hazard, part of the game as they say, but difficult child is doing it so much harder for himself. Arrogance he shows to the world, especially when scared, insecure or anxious, is costing him so much nastiness just now. I can't even bear to look his team's fb site (and that at least is moderated) and even less the fan pages, Twitter and message boards and what people have to say. I hope he wouldn't either, but I know that is a futile hope. It seems that people have decided that he will never have any future in this sport, he is a disgrace, the fault behind everything is his attitude, arrogance, character and work ethic. Stories about how everyone in his team hate him come out etc. Yes, he is a prickly character, but he is also driven and hard working. He is certainly more difficult to coach than some others, but his coach is able to deal with it. He has also matured a lot lately and doing much better in all this.

    But still, when anxious, scared or dealing with people he doesn't know or trust, he puts up very believable mask of total arrogance and lazy carelessness. And that is what 'people close to the team' (but not in it) see and what they gossip further. And long before it even hits internet it has changed to total gospel of who my difficult child is. And that certainly is not buying him any support or empathy when struggling. Yes, part of that arrogance is real, he does know he is very gifted boy, but most is not real, but just an act to protect himself. And instead of protecting him it makes people who could be rooting for him to jeer at him.

    I do get that this is also his own making. He made his bed and is now lying in it. It still feels really bad, because people are not seeing how hard he tries, how much he has made progress and how much he is hurting. Or even if they see that last one, many do not care. And still he doesn't seem to be learning how much this showcase of arrogance costs him but continues to do so. And continues to pay dearly for it. :sigh:
  2. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    The agony of having to be in the audience to observe others shred our difficult child children is, or was for me, just too much to bear. It is a very steep downside of social media. Then, it have it drive our difficult children into only MORE difficult child behaviors, is gut-wrenching, and heart-breaking, for us.

    I'm still holding out hope that mine is going to learn and she's 21.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im so sorry. I imagine that is how Cam Newton's parents are feeling this year. If you dont know who Cam Newton is, he is the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers. (American NFL Football) Last year he was the best thing out there. He broke all kinds of rookie quarterback records. This year he is having that sophomore slump and our team is doing awful. Yeah I am a Panther's fan. I am still in his corner because I get it that everything cant fall squarely on his shoulders. He cant carry a team alone. But boy, the public and press can sure do a number on a person.
  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    My big worry is that even though difficult child is trying his best, he may be very close to the line where he can't cope any more. And unfortunately he has many maladaptive coping mechanisms in his sleeve. :sad-very: Or he can come up with the new ones. It isn't really helping him, that his natural way of dealing with being scared is to imitate hedgehogs' defence mechanism, rolling into a ball, protruding the quills and hissing. And unfortunately many people don't even see it like that at least before he is so cornered and desperate that it comes very obvious. Until that it is easy to misinterpret that he is just giving the attitude, not giving a s*** and being arrogant.

    Luckily what is happening to difficult child is in much, much, much smaller scale. But still it isn't fun. Ask any athlete and they will tell you that they don't read what press writes about them and they certainly are not visiting message boards or checking what people twitter about them. Most of them are lying. And it certainly does sting.

    It is kind of silly but before I never really thought athletes or other celebrities people just like rest of us, with parents, siblings, SOs, kids etc. It was when difficult child was eight or nine and there was a son of a very well-known local athlete in the team. Same sport his dad played, very uncommon surname. And other kids, older kids and at times even adults were commenting to this kid his dad's performances, and I mean also bad ones. Once there was an away game in a smaller town an hour away and this boy wasn't having his best game. An assistant coach of the opposing team (probably a dad of one of their players) started to yell to this boy about how bad he was and how he was only in our team because of his dad. And how in their team something like that would never happened. And jeez, they really were eight-year-olds. As an only mom present (it was my turn to be one of the chaperones) it of course ended up my job to console this sobbing boy and explain to him that the other team coach was out of the line, talking stupid and untrue things and being naughty. Made me really wonder. And now that my own child has a smallest bit of fame and is under that kind of scrutiny it really hits home.
  5. SuZir - Is there any way your difficult child can see or hear his response to these criticisms of his performance? Actually hear an interview or see a broadcast? I wonder if he can see how his apparent arrogance and callous attitude cause further animosity towards him?

    I can remember leaving a really rude message on my parents answering machine one time as a teenager. I didn't think much of it but then my mom made me listen to it and I realized how awful I sounded and that it wasn't helping me by acting that way. I never did it again.

    I know it is nowhere near the same thing but if difficult child can see how he is feeding into the problem it might help him take a step back from it. I could be way off base there but it's just a thought. It's sort of a "getting more bees with honey then vinegar" thinking. If he went to the public/fans with humility and humbleness and said "Yes, I'm struggling right now but I'm working really hard to overcome it and I hope you'll give me your support while I do that." it might be better for him. If he can see that.
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    That is something to think at. Not interviews though, those he does okay, knows the jargon and is able to say all the right things. It is probably because those are not that scary. And mostly he is not even interviewed when he does badly, both his team and his age protects him from that. Reporters know they would look bad if they harassed a kid who is already almost in tears. If the team does badly they usually interview the player who still did well or the captain or just coaches, if everyone was bad. And even if interviewed after the bad game, reporters are not too mean to him and he knows he will do just fine with that standard jargon.

    But there are lots of people around the team, junior teams practising in the same arena they are, parents of those juniors, coaches etc. of those teams, just random people who know people in the team or are close enough to think they know. People watching practises etc. And those are the people difficult child shows his more arrogant side. And it for example really doesn't take many times of difficult child arguing during the practises with his positional coach to make it seem to casual observers that he is 'uncoachable' or that he isn't willing to do the work or take instructions. His coach does know him and knows that those times are more often miscommunication or that difficult child needs more time to process what is asked or suggested. They are able to work through those things, but it takes time and some patience. So it is true that difficult child isn't ideally coachable and difficulties with him tend to be more loud and obvious to someone just observing the practises than many other more common coachability issues. And yes, his positional coach is at times ready to throttle difficult child and is more than tired of his attitude, but he also feels he is able to handle difficult child and is willing to work with him. Even if that means that at times he needs to discipline difficult child quite often (and at times harshly.) But the outsider can more easily see the difficult child's rebellion, not that part there they work those things out.

    And when some of those people come to talk to him, in the best case he is very reserved, in the worst case he comes off total a**hat.

    And of course when difficult child is doing badly in the field it is easy to look those issues they can see in worst possible light. And of course all the old stories come up. And difficult child certainly has been doing things he certainly shouldn't had in the past.

    But yes, it could be useful to somehow get him see how he comes off to those people. Because as I said, he can come off just fine when it is for example structured interview. And with for example social media he is surprisingly good. It is those random, unexpected situations there he meets people he doesn't know when he comes off as awful.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I don't envy you, my friend. Our family experience was far less sophisticated than yours and our easy child "star" had his life changed by one Coach who decided to teach him a lesson. As you know from my prior posts it has been over a decade and the pain is still raw for me. Obviously I can understand how fearful you are for him and I hope you can help. DDD
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Trouble is, this isn't arrogance. It's a social-skills deficit, combined as you say with certain processing difficulties.

    Some day, when he is rich and famous, he can be a spokesperson for others like himself. For now... there is no-one to enlighten the masses. There is no European athletic equivalent to a John Elder Robinson or Temple Grandin.
  9. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I have to be very grateful how much support my difficult child is receiving from his team and from many other people. They really want to work with him and help him. That is incredibly lucky thing. Of course there is a something for many of them on it too, but still. For example right now difficult child is still fishing and getting wasted, or more likely in mighty hangover, with his former coach who has been part of his life many years through all kinds of junior programs, camps etc. and also been his team's coach in one point. Still right now he isn't in any way officially involved with difficult child and no one is paying him anything. Still difficult child is always welcome to call him and he has made it clear that he has a couch for difficult child to sleep and place on his breakfast table for him. And now he took time to try traditional local remedies for things like this, fishing trip and booze, to help difficult child to get over it.

    It either helps or it doesn't but it really warms my heart that so many are willing to try and use their time to help him as prickly and difficult character as he is.