Try again or call it quits?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Christy, May 2, 2008.

  1. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Okay, I'm taking an informal poll. What would you do?

    Here's the situation...

    I signed difficult child up for a Challenger Baseball League (little league for kids with special needs). He was excited about signing up, he was excited and looking forward to the practices, but the practices have been a rough. The problem is that he becomes so excited and overstimulated around groups of kids that he just can't control himself.

    During the first practice he began pushing and shoving while running the bases but once they started a "game" he did pretty well. The only other issue was that a little boy was holding a dinosaur, one of my difficult child's obsessions, and so difficult child immediately morphed into a t-rex and spent the entire practice in the character of a growling dinosaur. All that growling does wonders in the social skills department-lol! But all and all since he did involve himself in the game and there were no tantrums, I considered it a success.

    The second practice, he was extremely hyper and bordering on explosive from the get go (despite a good dinner and well timed medication, these things usually help). Someone was wearing a pirate shirt so he became a pirate complete with one eye closed and his hand formed like a hook. His vocabulary cosisted of, "argh matey". I said to him very kindly, "We're here for baseball not to be pirates, are you ready to hit the field?" He yelled at me and told me to stop controlling him and then stormed off edge of the property to sulk.

    He noticed the brother of another player jumping off the bleachers and went over to join him. They engaged in a few rounds of super hero style play fighting, which was fine. But when the boy wanted to stop, difficult child could not take the hint and spent a long time following this kid around trying to engage him in a "fight."

    I managed to coax him into the game a few times but he was not interested in the game. He went back into pirate mode instead. When the practice was over, he was in seventh heaven running around with the kids, in his wild-child style, oblivious to the fact that many of the younger kids were frightened by him and he was continuously invading their personal space with his growling and "hook hand".

    When it was time to leave, he went into total meltdown, he ran away from me, kicked the fence repaeatedly, and then took off for the van that was parked on the street. By the time I caught up to him, he had set off the alarm on the van and was kicking the side of it. Once in the van he was kicking and banging on window, furious that we were leaving. He threw his shoes at me as well.

    Still furious at home. He slammed things, splashed bath water everywhere, and went to bed mad at the world.

    So husband and I talked about it and he is of the opinion that it is just too over stimulating and we should bag it for this year. I am in partial agreement with husband but the first practice was better and difficult child, while having little interest in baseball, loves the idea of a team uniform and being part of something. The people there are very nice and accepting and as you know, this is not always the case with difficult children. However, on the flip side, the wide open fields, parking areas, and large groups of people make it very hard to contain a meltdown safely. Why do I want to endure this twice a week? He is involved in tae kwon do and this goes significantly better than the baseball experiences but due to his behaviors, his opportunities to socialize with other kids is limited and I would like to provide him more chances to do so.

    So here's my dilema. The first game is Saturday. What would you do?
    Thanks for the input,
  2. ChefPaula1965

    ChefPaula1965 Oh my aching back!!

    Oh Christy,
    I am so sorry you are going through this..
    I really don't have any advise...
    I think that I would try at least one game.. maybe the more "serious" surroundings will help. Sounds like difficult child really needs the physical outlet as well as some structure.. All so hard to do with- difficult child...
    I am so so sorry... my heart goes out to you...
    Please accept a BIG hug
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I would talk to the coaching staff. I'm sure it's not the first time they've dealt with this type of problem. Is he likely to get much playing time, or is he going to be sitting on the bench and bored? My gut reaction is that I would consider quitting. It doesn't sound like a very good fit, nor like he is actually having enough fun to make up for the miserable part of it.
  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    How long does it end up going for? Sorry if I missed that. It may be that it is just too long?
    I am sorry but I had to laugh, this sounds a lot like K in a social setting at times... the running around getting in peoples faces having NO clue she is SCARING them...

    We had to put a pause on classes for awhile... number one because I thought it was too much for K, for her even if the class goes a tiny bit OK, she is a wreck the rest of the night AND the following day.
    Anything over and hour, more like 45 minutes for her is a huge red flag!!!
    Second, I was just over it... I know she needs some social things, but she goes to school and she takes one on one horse therapy... but the open involved lots of kids classes- TOO much.
    I have to make sure she is not attacking, in a friendly way, other children... doing all of the same things as your difficult child.
    It was exhausting, physically and mentally. K also generally did not do well even once the sport started.

    We haven't signed up for anything new in awhile, because she is still like this.
    We try to do one on one sports... gymnastics, swimming, horses etc.
    I see how hard it is for her to hold it together, and feel like we are asking too much from her right now, while she is unstable.
    Maybe if this was the only thing she did all week... but that is not reality.
    So for us, we skip the team sports, and center on one on one. We still work on how she NEEDS to act in public and all of that stuff...
    but this has been like this since her first soccer class at 3.5 years old... she never had fun, the rest of the kids did.
    I would gauge the pros and cons and what he gets out of it and what you get/ don't get out of it.
    If he LOVES it try to figure it out, K never cared. Take it or leave it...
    We make K sit for a few brief moments (not in trouble) just to compose herself and to watch the other kids and how they act.

    Good luck and I feel for you... you just want them to have fun.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I would vote for calling it quits. It seems to me that there's so much going on around him that the game is secondary, and you don't need another reason for a meltdown. Maybe try another team-type sport in a more controlled environment...if there is such a thing.
  6. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    It sounds as though his behavior is telling you what you need to know about whether this is a good or not-so-good experience for him.

    Personally, I'd quit, at least for now, and focus more on his tae kwan do since he does better in that setting.
  7. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Sounds quite like my difficult child during soccer last year. We finally called it quits.......just took up the whole evening & we felt like we were constantly re-directing her. She really wasn't interested in the game. Maybe give the first game a try & see how it goes.
  8. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Well, I would quit too--for my own sanity!! Doesn't seem worth it for anybody to me--
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Nothing new to add other than my agreement. If its not working, stick with what is.

    I understand where you're coming from. My little guy would be such as asset to a little team because of his physical abilities, however, he's just not able to handle it. I know you want to give him something social, but my thinking is that "no social" is better than "bad social". I'd stick to TKD.

  10. fosterparent

    fosterparent New Member

    I would call it quits. He doesn't seem to be getting anything out of it. I tried softball and basket ball. Team sports just didn't do it for them. They are now in a bowling league (10-pin). They have won trophys and they love it. They bowl on a "team" but it is still individual. They are in a youth league and even though I have to go every time to make sure they go when it's their turn and they respect the other bowlers, they have done very, very well and it's not a very expensive game. They have their own, but you can rent shoes and lighter weight balls for little or nothing. Just a suggestion. It really helped.
  11. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm with Witz -- talk to the coaching staff. The other obvious question is how does your son feel about going. Have you talked to him about what the expectations are?

    For my daughter, it was volleyball. Same type of behavior -- running around, not paying attention, getting in other peoples' space, etc. The coach and I discussed this and we both agreed she needed the social aspect but she also needed to not disrupt everyone. So, we came up with a signal. If the coach scratched her nose with a straight finger, it was time for me to take my daughter home. I'd explained to my child this might happen and that it was not because she was being "bad" but because she just learning how to control herself, it was NOT a punishment and that we would go back for the next game and/or practice. It took her about two years to make it through the games entirely but she did. It was not easy but I do think it was worth it in the long run.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I second Meowbunny, with-the caveat that my gut reaction was to forget the whole baseball thing. But I like the idea of talking to the coaches to get their input, and talking to difficult child about expectations.
    We went through Cubscouts, karate, basketball and horseback riding b4 we stumbled upon Little League. Eventually we'll do football and I know it will be fine ... it was just that we had to figure it all out first.
    I feel for you!
    Oh, by the way, we skipped birthday parties for a whole yr, too. I won't even go there ...
  13. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Talk to the coaches. And do not quit without giving one game a try.
  14. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I agree with talking to coaches and with difficult child. Does he *want* to do this? Can he understand and deal with expectations and some semblance of appropriate behavior? If so, I'd keep on trying (and take a lot of Tylenol, LOL). If it becomes a safety issue in terms of the meltdown factor, or if he voices a desire to quit, I'd let him (and no, I don't usually let my kids "quit" but I think in your son's case, I'd make an exception for sanity's sake).

    I do have to tell you, I think T-ball/baseball is a special kind of torture for parents of kids under age.... uh, maybe .... uh 18??? :rofl: We spent *years* watching the 3 younger kids roll around in outfield, literally picking dandelions or building dirt mounds. It was excruciating for us, absolute torture. difficult child or easy child... the American past time just was not built for holding a kid's attention, in my humble opinion. thank you and Wee finally stopped signing up - Diva still does, but husband is her coach so she toes the line a bit better now.
  15. muts80

    muts80 New Member

    I feel your pain. I have a hard time with getting my difficult child to get involved in things. When he was 6, he BEGGED for months to be in gymnastics. I was hesitant because I knew his explosive personality. But we finally decided to try it. The first class, he sat in the middle of the floor and refused to do anything. The coach came over to me and said (in a rather rude tone) "can you get him out of the middle of the floor...he's distracting the other kids, and he's not participating at all!" I just wanted to slap her!! When I went over to get him off the floor, he had a meltdown, and I ended up having to pick him up and take him home. I didn't understand...he had begged to do this! But I think that once he was in the class, it kind of overwhelmed him and he didn't know how else to act. Same thing happened when he wanted to join Boy Scouts. We took him to the first meeting, and he refused to do anything. Ever since then, he hasn't shown any interest in any activities.

    Are the coaches being patient with this situation? I think that would be my deciding factor. If they were ok with his behaviors, and are willing to work with him...then definitely keep him in it. If they aren't...get him out of there. It's not worth the pain and agony (and embarrassment)!! Seems like he enjoys tae kwon do, so atleast he has that!
  16. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Thanks everyone! You have done wonders to ease my mommy-guilt. Your advice is greatly appreciated and we will call it quits. I am so relieved-lol. The coaches are great and since it is a special needs league, they are very accomadating but the reality is, he is just focused on kids and not the game which makes him a disruption to everyone else. TKD keeps us busy enough. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained!

  17. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I am so glad your guilt is relieved! I know how good that feels!

    Sue, you made me laugh when you talked about t-ball/baseball being a special torture for us parents. I remember my easy child son was in something called "cabbage ball" (like baseball but with a bigger ball) and it was so anxiety producing for me, not him! I remember he was supposed to be running the bases (you got to try to hit the ball til you actually did) and he saw me with a drink so as he rounded 2nd base he came over to me to get a drink. When he was in the outfield he would be oblivious as to what was going on in the game--he'd be picking dandelions or something. Then, after the games he would tell me how much fun he was having!! I thought he was miserable!

  18. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I'm a bit late with my advice, but I feel compelled to add my thoughts.

    I think baseball is a horrible sport for a lot of young difficult children. Don't get me wrong, I love the sport. My first husband was a professional; it was my difficult child's best sport. But it can be incredibly boring for people who aren't into the finer points of the sport and really isn't a great sport for getting exercise and burning off energy, especially on the organized level. There is a whole lot of sitting and standing around doing nothing, even for the best players (or coach's sons :wink:) who get to start and play most of the game. For a lot of kids, time would be better spent if their parents took them to the park and played catch and a little pepper.

    I'm a much bigger fan of individual sports or soccer for difficult children.....and many pcs. That and just going to the playground for shoot-arounds, catch or just running around.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think one of the things we forget, as parents of difficult children, is that not everything is a good fit for every kid.

    For many of our kids, TKD offers structure, socialization, and many other things they need. For my difficult child, it was license to whale away on his sister (who was in it for 6 mos before we let him start and totally REFUSED to hit him because she didn't want to hurt him. And she could have.

    For many of our kids, cubscouts is a great thing, more organized, male role models, etc... My difficult child rolled around on the ground (in kindergarten) telling the leader they would not turn him into a mindless automaton. This was how he spoke, NOT from a book or movie. We spoke with the leader and offered to remove him - the leader was totally flabbergasted (and had to look up what automaton meant). It just was NOT a good fit.

    Yet there is a group that comes through town every summer and puts on a play - casts on Mon, performances on Sat. difficult child was AMAZING - even at his MOST violent he was Shere Khan from Jungle book and they CALLED us to see if he could be the Sheriff of Nottingham because he had done so well the week before (we used to get 2 groups from Missoula Childrens Theater - back to back, each for a week, each group did a different play). He is thriving in drama (what a leap in logic, huh??) and in photography.

    He did FAR FAR worse in tball than your child did. My son organized a revolt. ALL of the kids on BOTH teams sat down and refused to play on Sat. We had a LOT of ANGRY parents who just couldn't understand HOW their child got that idea. (I slunk away there, it was really clear to me WHO organized it - and the many angry phone calls we got backed that right up!). He did very very well in soccer, and enjoyed it for several years. medications made a huge difference for him in how much he enjoyed it. He could concentrate on the adderall, so he really really enjoyed it.

    What I am saying is that each kid is different. It is a matter of trial and error, and of talking with the coaches to see what is going on and what the best course of action in. We have stopped several sports mid-season, but we ALWAYS talked to the coach first (a matter of respect) and we tried any ideas that sounded like they might help.

    Good luck finding your child's special fun thing (and hopefully it will not be mass t-ball revolts or world domination, as my difficult child thought were teh greatest things!)