Football--a love/hate relationship

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Last Friday, I signed up difficult child for football (parks and rec). He has been wanting to play since he was born. We said no for yrs because it's too rough. We finally decided he was old enough, shelled out big bucks (compared to LL baseball, there's no comparison).
    He was SO excited! He was trying on all of the clothing and equipment and calling his friends.
    We were so excited, too. This is it, I thought, the big football age. The time in his life when he's old enough to play any sport he wants. We'll fill every waking moment with sports and he'll thrive like never before.

    And after the first conditioning day, he came home and said it was too much work and he wanted to quit.
    Right. :mad:
    He went again yesterday and left 1/2 hr early. Granted, it was 97 degrees, but the other boys were still there.
    Today he pitched such a fit, he said he had a headache and refused to get out of the car. I offered him something for the headache and he refused.
    He was yelling and finally started to cry. He'd been playing some computer game at a friend's house and I thought it was just that he'd had too much computer time. (I suspect that was part of it, not to mention that couch potato computer nerds are woefully out of shape.) So I called husband at work and he talked to difficult child. Didn't work. In fact, he said something awful to husband and husband told him he was grounded.

    difficult child insisted he was going to be a baseball player, not a football player.

    Last month, it was just the opposite. Said he was bored with-baseball.

    So I told the coach that difficult child had a headache and wouldn't be coming to practice. He said okay. I wanted difficult child to see me talking to the coach so that there would be some accountability.

    When difficult child got home, I made him carry in the groceries and feed the animals. We grounded him off of all electronic equipment. He's got reading to do for school, anyway, so he did that and calmed down.

    I don't know what to do about tomorrow. I just hope the temp goes down. I want him to at least make it to one game. Of COURSE conditioning is painful and boring. But once you put it all together in a game, it makes it all worth it. He's never been able to see forward like that. It's always whatever is happening now. And right now he's in pain and fed up.

    I know I've read notes from some of you whose kids got into something and then all of a sudden wanted to drop out. What did you do? This was all HIS idea and we are royally ticked.

  2. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I get them to go as long as I can, but I do let my kids drop out of activities they don't like. I was signing them up to have fun. As a non-athlete, I can relate to not liking it.

    It is especially frustrating when you have to pay a lot up front and then they don't last very long.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Terry...I find myself in the minority in so many issues that I should probably get a sign to wear.

    I didnt let my kids quit anything ever. If you sign up to play a sport, you stick with it to the end. Believe me, there were times that Billy (especially) wished he never opened his big fat mouth about wanting to play football or soccer. Cause the minute he said it, I went and signed him right up! No backing out. The team is counting on him, his coach is counting on him and he is counting on him. He cant let any of those people down.

    Now go gettem kid!
  4. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Actually, I did what Janet did. I made them finish the season. I would only sign Daughter and Son up after they begggggged me for a long time. I made it clear that I would not allow them to quit once I paid. Daughter was the one I had problems with wanting to quit soccer and cheerleading. No way I was going to let her, especially if it's midseason and other kids are depending on her for games or a routine.

    I do understand that kids need to try new things without being forced to something they hate. On the other hand, my difficult children tend to give up when the going gets rough or some effort is required of them. So, I decided it was in their best interests that they finish what they started.

    It is HOT though, and I can understand not wanting to practice in that heat.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    With easy child it was karate. She begged us to sign her up for the black belt club. This meant that she was committing herself to karate until she earned her black belt. We explained it was a several year commitment. After about 6 months she wanted to drop out. We wouldn't let her because it was a commitment she had made (plus we were committed financially). Talk about stubborn for 2 more years she complained every time she went to lessons.

    With difficult child it was wrestling. This year was his third year. He didn't like the new coaches and wanted to quit. We had him finish out the season but won't insist he go back next year.

    Hugs to you, I know how difficult this is.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    "You've made a committment. Others are counting on you. This isn't about you and me, it's about you and the rest of your team, and your coach. I'm not fighting your battles for you. I'll drive you to practice but YOU have to explain to the coach, and your team mates, why you want to drop out."

    I also NEVER buy new clothes or new equipment if I can get out of it. I'll either borrow it or buy it second hand, or rent it. Even clothing - difficult child 3 is hard on things. I feel easier about throwing out 2nd hand gear that only cost me a dollar or two, than having to chuck out perfectly good gear that's hardly been broken in and which cost megabucks.

    When difficult child 3 enrolled in touch football, we had to pay $10 to HIRE the team shirt (a plain coloured t-shirt with his team number on the back). At the end of the season the shirt went back. I LIKE touch football! It's a great game and also really good grounding/training for just about any other football game.

    We'd have been back for the next season of touch, only he had graduated out of it. When he's a bit older he can join an adult team. Meanwhile - touch is a game kids can quickly organise in an instant. All they need is a patch of ground to play on, a football of sorts (soccer ball or standard oval football) and a handful of kids to play on either team. They decide where the goal posts should be (a mark on the ground perhaps) and then off they go. A lot of running, a lot of strategy, a lot of passing the ball - but no tackling. Instead of a tackle, if you touch the opponent with the ball he has to hand the ball back. A goal is gained only by the player running with the ball and putting it down over the goal line, without getting tipped on the way.

    A safe game for kids but very fast-paced. Great training, as I said. And often in Australia when people have got together for a relaxing outdoors day, someone will get up a game of touch.

    So maybe you could organise something like that for him on a weekend? It could be a pleasant break for him from the heavy training, he's still training but also getting all the thrills of a good game. Ask the coach perhaps?

  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Our rule is that if you've asked us to sign you up for an activity, you are obligated to see it through to the end. No matter what. It's not just the expense that we've committed, but it's also the expectation you've created in others that you are going to participate: the coach, the other players and their families, etc. If you get to the end of the season and are absolutely miserable, we will not ask you to do it again. And if you want to try something new the next season, that's fine, but be prepared to stick it out.

    We've had the flip-flop problem with difficult child 2 for a number of reasons. When he was little, we enrolled him in a local soccer club mainly for exercise and social skills. He enjoyed it, but then he wanted to try baseball. Fine. We finished soccer and in the spring we did T-ball. Too boring, too slow. But he finished the season, and we agreed that he should probably go back to soccer. Which he did for a few years, until he got on a team with a ruthless, egotistical S.O.B. of a coach and some really rude, nasty teammates who ruined it for him. I was half tempted to let him quit, but it really would have set a bad precedent, so he finished out the season and we tried to have him learn something from the bad experience anyway. Afterall, in life we don't always get the perfect boss or the perfect job. Sometimes we have to learn to just deal with the hand we are dealt. The next year he wanted to try basketball. Fine. Unfortunately, another bad coaching situation (we must have a magnet for these people). But despite tears and frustration, we had him stick it out again, also trying to make it a teaching moment. Now he's back to soccer. And admittedly, he's a lot more stable this year than he's been in a long time, so maybe everything is going to fall into place!
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Jett has a love/hate relationship with football too.

    I just re-read this post and it sounds like I'm hijacking the thread. Not - bear with me!!! Just some history.

    In 1st and 2nd grade, BM signed him up (in her city). He was the smallest kid on the team. He didn't want to practice (5 days a week - for that age kids?!)... And he had a severe wetting problem. He would get upset at the coaches, wet himself, and it was all over.

    Not that I can blame him. If the kids didn't score, the coaches would yell at them and thump them on ther helmets. And I don't mean a friendly thump, I mean an all-out THUMP. The kids would do what the coaches said to, the other team would score, and our team would get extra practice time doing push-ups or running.

    Add to that the fact that BM used it as an excuse to interfere with the kids' time with husband (Onyxx was in cheerleading at the same time. She hated it.) So the kids had added stress... One of the rules for that particular city was "Homework is not an excuse for missing practice." WHAT?!

    Then we took over residential, and part of the court order was that we HAD to sign the kids up for football, cheer, soccer and baseball.

    So we did. That was a mistake. Now we are down to football only - we cannot afford all the other stuff, AND the kids don't want to. But... 3rd grade, Jett's new team made it to the final round of the tournament and lost by one touchdown - it should have been ours, but the refs called their TD as 1/2 yard short. I still have an issue with this as I have a picture showing the whole child, ball included, over the line. But, you know what? It taught our boys to accept that sometimes, life isn't fair, and things happen that shouldn't.

    Last year (4th), the team made it to the semifinals. Lost to the same team as the finals the year before. Same refs, too, I think - one of the kids on that team grabbed one of our kids' helmet, by the face mask, and actually pulled the helmet off. (Umm, face mask, unnecessary roughness, s/b a 30-yard penalty... I'm learning!) But, still, a good showing.

    Well, after 2 weeks of practice... Jett hates practice. And he goes back and forth on wanting to play. Well, he was asked his opinion before sign-up and he really, really wanted to. So. I pointed that out to him, and told him he has to stick it out.

    His attitude got a lot better once he got to actually run the ball in practice. This is something he's never been allowed to do, because he's been too small and slow. Well... He's catching up now!

    So... My advice... Tell difficult child if Jett can keep going... So can he. Also... Parks & Rec isn't quite as competitive as the Junior Football Conference... And it's good discipline. Mental and physical.

    If he doesn't want to practice, make him get ready and go out there. Make him talk to the coach and the other kids. It is his decision not to be a team player. But - make him do it for every practice. And then make him sit there and watch, not leave early!!!
  9. lizanne2

    lizanne2 New Member

    This is often an issue at my house. And I too make the child finish the season. Football really is a love it or hate it sport. I am having some issues getting my son to High school football now. Baseball team kept winning and palying. He does however know that he can't quit now based on earlier little kids football.

    I did offer once to have my difficult child 1 see the sprot through to one game/meet. After that she could quit. Its hard to wait for the weekend game. especially because in baseball it seems liek there was a game every other day.

    Hang in there. This is tough.
  10. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm past the activities stage, but I have a question for those parents who make their child finish the sport/activity/season, whatever.

    Just how do you "make" them do this?

    I'm asking because I was never able to *make* my kids do anything that they truly didn't want to do. Consequences didn't matter, nada. I couldn't physically make them get into the car, let alone out of the car, if they didn't want to go (and believe me, it came to that with my girls over some things). It was a battle I simply gave up on... it didn't seem worth it to me, money wasted or not. Eventually, I stopped letting them sign up for anything, period (which of course now they blame me for.. lol).

    Perhaps it was my own weakness.. especially as a single parent, with no backup.

    So, I'm honestly curious.. how does making them finish thing, work?!
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hmm. Well, soccer was a waste for Onyxx. We didn't even bother this year - after a season of flat refusal when we spent the money. She'd get in the car, but not back out when we got there. Passive-aggressive.

    Jett still thinks we can make him do stuff. LOL - so we do! BM used physical pnusihment, so he's got that in his head as the consequence. We just get the disappointed look... He HATES to see us pout - especially me!
  12. Christy

    Christy New Member

    I'm in the same boat as Crazyin VA. Making my child do something he refuses to do is close to impossible and sometimes dangerous and while I totally agree with the "you've committed to something now stick it out" mentality, he really wouldn't know if he liked football (on a team) until he tried it. However, he might start to like it if he can stick it out a little longer. Maybe you can make a deal like, if you go to practice and make it through the first two games and STILL don't like it, you may quit. If he insists on quitting now, take his allowance, birthday money, etc.. to pay for the equipment. If he is going to be missing practice, I would make him talk to the coach and explain why. Don't make it too easy on him.

    Good Luck!
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The last season Wiz played any sport he got really aggressive with me when I tried to take him to games. The coach was a neighbor with a really snotty daughter on the team. I later learned that part of teh reason half the team quit was the daughter started coaching the kids and dad let her. So it was all about making her look good. She was a great strategy person and a horrible soccer player and an even worse "coach".

    I did make him take snacks for every game. HE had to to bake them and package them and take them to the field.

    He also had to do work to earn half the fees and equipment costs (because he threw a fit about the soccer shoes and also conned Gma into buying a 2nd pair that was very expensive AND all new pads and soccer ball!). If he had played and practiced all season we would have let the equipment costs manipulation slide.

    Jess has to have a year with no ankle/knee injuries before I will sign her up for any sport. She HATES not playing soccer, but she was limping after every practice and game. I even ended up stashing a couple of ace bandages in her soccer bag.

    I guess I was a softie for her on the whole sports thing. We let her stop going after the car accident. She wanted to go but her knee and ankle just will NOT tolerate it. She would get so upset watching the other girls play (because she WANTED DESPERATELY to play - even on the boring practice drills days). After she spent a practice cheering the girls on, and choked back tears because she couldn't play, well, I just couldn't make her go.
  14. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    A valid question. With Daughter, I knew her "currency". No cell, no ipod, no computer,or seeing friends. She cared about losing those things and knew I would make it happen. You make a good point, though, some difficult children cannot be made. If that were my situation, I just would never pay, or make any effort, to have them involved in sports activities unless they paid and made arrangments to attend themselves.

    For me, it's getting them to do chores. What ends up happening is that it is less effort for me to do it myself than to fight with them to do them and then it being a less than stellar effort.:faint:
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    CinVA, I guess I could make mine not quit things the same way I could make them go to the doctors, make them go to therapy, make them go to group homes, make them go to other unpleasant places, make Cory sign himself into both a psychiatric hospital and a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) voluntarily....with just a look from me because they knew that if they didnt do what I said, there would be hell to pay. Cory was more afraid of us than the cops when he was a minor. I remember one time when he stole something from a store he begged the cops to take him with them rather than turn him over to his Cops just laughed and told Tony to give him a few licks for them.

    I can still get my boys to do what I want if I complain long enough.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great responses! Thank you!
    Today he's doing much better.
    Plus, the temp dropped 10 degrees. It's only 87. Whew!
    I've got my fingers crossed.

    This a.m. I was so discouraged, and so tired, had cramps and a headache, plus, had a 9 a.m. dentist appointment. I was dreading going home (big debate--which do I hate more, dentist or home?) and my cell ph rings. It's difficult child.
    "Mom, I broke something. That long, white lightbulb that was in the corner."
    I told him to open a window, put the cats and dog in my studio, and go outside and walk around, so to not inhale the fumes from the flourescent bulb.

    I got out of the car and he walked up and said, "What's wrong? You look like you're going to cry."

    Whoa! difficult child actually noticed an expression? AND expressed sympathy?

    AND he apologized and promised to clean it all up by himself.

    I think today is a little bit better.

  17. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I am in the you started it, you finish it club. Except if you harm another player and the team is scared of you. difficult child tried soccer in 1st or 2nd grade--had done wrestling the prior winter--and threw one of his team mates down on the ground and put him in a headlock. This was either when he was on Depakote or Lithium, both of which increased aggression. At that point he was done. All the other kids were scared of him. Just not ok for anyone.
  18. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That's pretty much where I ended up. And, they never made the effort. I would have paid, even.. had they just made the effort.

    Funny... they do the same things as adults, now. Talk about doing this or that, signing up for this or that class or this type of assistance, I say I'll help pay any fees if they do the legwork, but then... nothing.
  19. maril

    maril New Member

    Glad to hear today is a better day! It is also nice to hear he was so considerate.

    Yes, football practice during hot August days can be grueling; see if he can stick it out and it probably will get better. difficult child played football for years, skipped last year, and is now on the fence about going back (out of shape, smokes cigarettes; a bit intimidated - from what I can see maybe partly due to the fact he is repeating his junior year in HS and wonders how he will be received by his former teammates).

    Anyway, I agree with sticking it out. Once committed, we had our kids stick it out for the season or designated time period as far as sports or other activities went.

    Good luck! I am sending lots of encouragement to your son.
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Our local conference has an extreme weather policy based on heat index, not actual temp.

    0-89 degrees: full pads/helmet, water break every 20-30 minutes
    90-94 degrees - full pads/helmets, 15 min practice, 5-min water break
    95-99 degrees - no shoulder pads or helmets, 15 min practice, 5-min water break
    100+ degrees - no practice

    So the kids get very warm and sweaty but not to the point of heat exhaustion...