Against a Brick Wall

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ML, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    Manster doesn't want to do ANYTHING outside the home. He fought me on the TKD and now is fighting the swimming. Every time! He's been doing this for 7 weeks now so I'm not seeing the problem in terms of anxiety at this point. He is usually fine once I force him into going but the fights every Tues and Thurs are killing me and I wonder if it's worth it. I mean he works himself up into a full on meltdown and calls me every name in the book when he realizes he isn't getting his way. He calms himself by the time he's getting into the water and typically apologizes. He is overweight and NEEDS this exercise. If I don't enforce some kind of structured activity he just won't get it. I do take him on bike rides and walks on weekends when the weather is nice. But he needs more. I'm feeling utterly beaten down tonight. His dad picked him up from school but he (and his friend R as a cohort) manipulated him into not getting in the pool and they were sitting on the benches when I got there. I was furious when I got to the pool. I work full time and can't do much more. Are there answers out there I am not seeing?

    He did tell me he thought he would like volleyball or tennis. So I guess I'll try those next if I can't find somewhere local that has them. Maybe he'll consider racketball.

  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Since he usually ends up apologizing that is a good sign. I think I would try talking to him outside of the getting ready through the getting home time. Maybe he can better explain what is going on on his side.

    "Manster, you have been going to swimming for ______ days/weeks now. It has become an ugly battle to get you there and I don't understand why because once you are in the water you are learning and having fun. You even apologize for your rebellion. What is going on?"

    Talk to him about what he is going through and then:

    "You are signed up for swimming until ________. It is important that you keep the commitment of getting through this session. When the session is over, then we can decide if you want to continue or not but until then, we have got to stop arguing and fighting about this. You will also feel better if you just do this."

    Hopefully he will open up to what is going on with his refusal. If he has a countdown of how many sessions are left it may be easier? Then talk to him about the activities that are options for your family and see what he would like to do.

    Maybe offer him a swimming party the session is over to show you and his friends how far he has come IF he stops the refusal?
    Good luck!
  3. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Anxiety isn't rational so he might still be anxious even after 7 weeks. My daughter is diagnosis'ed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), an anxiety disorder. I could see her still be stuck on something that might happen, even though it never happened, and is unlikely to ever happen. It could be a similar thing even though he isn't diagnosis'ed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    Are there any active after school programs that pick up at the school that he could do?
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    If Manster is anything like my difficult child, at this point the tantrum may just have become a part of his "getting ready to go to swimming" routine. Does it occur the same way, or at the same point every time? Perhaps what you need to do is not change the activity...but somehow break this routine?

    I'm not sure what he is doing before the swimming lesson...but maybe a change-up would help: run a quick errand (such as drop your mail at the post office), then you go to McDonald's for dinner, then straight to the pool. So maybe you PACK the bathing suit and towel and head out the door at 5:30 for a 7 pm lesson?

    Just a suggestion...

  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    ML -

    I don't know if I would look at his negatively - and by negatively I mean if you took all the color out of what is going on and got down to the bare meat of the problem - what is it really?

    There is no anxiety? - Then wouldn't it seem that it's a test of wills? If it is not swimming and karate - what would be next? Going to bed or not going to bed? Eating or not eating. Sometimes I had to replace (your swimming and karate) with things like that because I ABSOLUTELY could not get Dude involved in anything at all.....NOTHING. NADA. Not that I didn't try - but he had NO interest in anything other than riding bikes.

    But - when we took him to the BMX arena and he saw that there were men telling the kids what to do and how to do it? THAT was the END! He (at age 10) did not need anyone telling him HOW to ride a bike fast. And that? That was the end of it for me.

    I wouldn't think of it as swimming and karate - I would think of it as an opportunity for other people to tell your kid what to do and train him to stay within the norms of social acceptance with a team goal.

    I think despite the name calling - (which you can work on) I'd buck up and take him to whatever - and make it clear that if he dropped swimming - then there will be a replacement sport - like - ballet. And if he likes ballet? Then great. One of our regulars here has a son who danced in NY - fantastic. So dont' give up hope. Maybe he needs to try other sports or activities on for size? Piano playing? Art class? Ceramics? I dunno -

    Maybe just get some earplugs- (not kidding) and keep them handy.

  6. ML

    ML Guest

    Thank you all. Each of you said something that made a difference. I think DaisyF you are right that the tantrum may be part of the "getting ready for swimming routine". FOP, yeah, anxiety is still a factor. Andy, I like the approach you outlined. Star, you are right about part of this being a battle of wills. He said he would try volleyball next so while the next 7 weeks of swimming wind down that will be the next thing. But he has to finish. PERIOD. I called his father today and apologized for yelling at him about letting manster manipulate him out of the water but begged him to be the parent next time and he said he would. I am feeling better about it today. husband is taking him next Tuesday and Exdh on Thursday so it will be an easy week for me :)
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    One other thing that may help is having the "men" take him to the activity. It could be "guy time" and maybe the arguments are part of his routine WITH YOU - they may not be part of the routine if dad or stepdad take him every time. There are only 7 more weeks, surely the guys could each take 1 day a week for 7 weeks to do an activity with him.

    I know with Wiz any activities he would fight me tooth and nail on he gave another adult no problems. It is part of the reason my mom was so totally floored when jess (very much a easy child child about many man y things) gave my mom a hard time on the same things she gave me one on, like screaming until she passed out during haircuts until she was in 1st grade. Literally passed out. Sometimes the hair MUST get cut.

    My mom just KNEW that since Wiz did things for HER that he screamed through or cursed through with ME, Jess would be the same. Nope. She was easy child. If she gave me a hard time, she gave everyone a hard time, LOL!! BUT she was FAR less likely to give anyone a hard time at all, thank heavens!

    Anyway, maybe that is food for thought.
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am sorry you are struggling with this. My easy child is very much like this. When she was going into third grade she wanted to try karate. About six months in she wanted to join the black belt club. We agreed after explaining that it meant a commitment on her part to stay involved till she earned her bb.

    Fast Forward two months and she wanted to quit. You would think that during the 2 1/2 years that followed she would have stopped arguing and complaining about going but, no, she never did no matter what we tried.

    Just want to let you know you are not alone. I hope it gets easier and that you are able to get past the meltdowns. Hugs.