I was painfully truthful with difficult child 2 tonight.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We went to his water polo team's BBQ at the school pool this evening. He just continues to do things that are socially awkward and annoying, so it's no wonder kids start to turn away and even get hostile. He hangs on the goal (big no-no in EVERY SPORT HE'S EVER PLAYED), he's horsing around trying to push people in, he gets in the way and doesn't know when to shut up. AAAARRRGGGH! And when it was time to go, he was SO mad at how the kids started to treat him he started venting to me and was headed towards a tantrum on the pool deck. Had to grit my teeth and tell him that this was NOT. THE. PLACE. And he yelled WHERE THEN!!! So I pointed out towards the parking lot and said "when we leave." But I should have been more specific and said "when we get in the car" or "when we get home," because he started on his tirade as we walked to the car (with other kids around, etc.) and I had to tell him again NOT. THE. PLACE. Which made him more angry because I hadn't been specific before.

    By the time we got in the car I lost my patience and pretty much told him the cold hard truth, that when he acts "different" and doesn't think about how his behavior affects others, kids are going to react and they aren't going to like it and they aren't going to want to be around him. I should have just stopped there, but I continued with examples of his behavior, and I told him he was behaving immaturely and not thinking and a few other things that weren't very pleasant. Bad mommy.

    He's calmed down now, but I think that's one of the first times he and I have had an argument where he was really that mad at me (unlike difficult child 1 where it was a daily event for years). I definitely could have handled this better.

    I really hoped having him get involved in a sport at the start of high school would be a good thing -- and hopefully it will eventually turn out that way. But right now it feels like a bumpy start :(
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Relax mom. We have all done this. It's painful to watch our kids make fools of themselves and soooo embarrassing. been there done that. I have lost my cool too but it actually turned out ok because difficult child "thinks" about what I've said. It doesn't change things but sometimes it's hard not to give even difficult child's a "reality check".

    And..... unless your PERFECT 200% of the time, you're allowed to make mistakes....as long as it doesn't become a habit. LOL
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    been there done that as well. Sometimes they just need that reality check, though. Believe me, that battle lasted for years. I only hope some of it has stuck.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The whole "team sports" thing is highly overrated as a socializing exercise. We've had to drop ALL competitive sports, and are fighting for exemption from PE - not winning on exemption, but have a deferral for now... at least we have more time to fight. The problem with PE is... its still 90% centered around competitive sport. The problem with competitive sport is... either you are REALLY good - at least at some special-teams task, at least at ONE key skill - you are worth NOTHING. And it doesn't matter what the coaches and teachers say... even if THEY don't see it that way, the other kids do.

    For the next round, you might want to consider something less competitive. Lifeguard Club? In particular, has each kid working independently toward NLS certification, while allowing for socialization etc.
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I had to give up on having difficult child in team sports years ago. He just was so innapropriate and awkward, he made more enemies than friends. Also did not help he would beat up his team mates. He did and still does the venting with others around, blowing his cool all the time, etc.

    It is hard watching them fail, and knowing that they really have no clue about what they are doing wrong. Hugs.
  6. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I've found that pointing out the natural consequences of his actions is the best way to discipline difficult child 1. Maybe not to the extent you did, but its still a good concept. And yes, I have been brutally honest with him. If I try to sugar coat anything he just doesn't understand. Your not a bad mommy. Everyone takes it a bit to far once in awhile.
  7. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I know you didn't want to hurt difficult child 2's feelings because he's really such a great kid overall. But I also think you would be doing him a disservice if you were to pussyfoot around the consequences of his behavior. I imagine he will take the time to really think about what you said this time and it may actually begin to stick. I wouldn't do that all the time but once in a while may be just the reality check he needs.

    Besides, it would be a shame if he dropped water polo.
  8. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I have done this many times with difficult child. It is so difficult to sit back and watch your kid make a fool of himself or worse. I never want to see my difficult child be blackballed as the weird kid and such.

    I have gently pointed out behaviors and I have been not quite as gentle at other times. It happens and don't beat yourself up about it.

    I used to be way more agressive with difficult child but now for the most part I just let him figure it out on his own in social situations.

    With team sports however we are on him because his decisions and behaviors could affect the whole team. husband always Coaches his sports teams because he "has" to. Sigh ...
  9. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    did it last tues after a full blown meltdown at field hockey and i wasnt as nice as you about it.

    after $200+ worth of a non-returnable equipment purchase, its clear she needs to quit. (its also slightly my fault--i know nothing about field hockey and underestimated the fact one needs fine motor skills to manipulate the stick--i wrongly assumed it was just whacking a ball--had no idea there is only one side of the stick that whacks!)

    i dont care if it turns out she's got some freak talent for some sport down the road--this is my very last foray into the world of competitive sports.

    never again.

    so dont beat yourself up over it--they need to hear it at some point, and you are human. it happens.
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Personally, I think you did the right thing, kind of like the cold hard smack in the face to snap him out of it. Also, so what if you bent his feelers a little? Despite his issues, he needed to hear the cold hard truth. And you can use this experience in the future, as in, 'hey, do you remember what we talked about the last time you behaved like this?' or maybe once he's feeling back to his usual self you can have a warmer discussion without the frustration and anger. Don't beat yourself up, it's likely he's maybe mulling things over in his head and that may be a good thing. Hugs, mom.
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Like others I understand. You want so much for them to blend in...and for many of our difficult child's it is just an impossible dream. Two less traditional sports that "some" of us have had success with are bowling and cross country. Both are more individualized teams. Alot of CD families found bowling to be the best choice. For us...well it kinda worked. A few had great success with cross country because each kid is part of a pack but distanced from in unison goals. For hyper kids it is an opportunity to run out their excess energy. Neither was a huge success for our difficult child (a bit of an understatement, lol) but he had the opportunity to refer to "his team" and "his friends". In some communities the bowling alleys are part of a National organization and they give awards to almost all participants with scholarships etc. for those who are talented. The frequent awards have built self esteem for some difficult child's. Hugs. DDD
  12. keista

    keista New Member

    I can relate and sympathize. You did the right thing by telling difficult child the truth about his behavior. They really don't get it.

    We do have a mantra in our house. "We are strange. We come from a long line of strange. Normal is boring and overrated. HOWEVER, sometimes we have to pretend to be normal."
  13. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Whew. Ok, thanks everyone.

    He really wanted to try this sport, and I am willing to let the kids give just about anything a go as long as they are the one's pushing for it. I don't care if they're not a superstar, I don't care if they're the worst player on the team, but you're right that the other kids pick up on abilities (or lack of) fast and make snap judgements about their teammates. Fortunately, he's a big kid and he's not completely inept, and he is not mean or aggressive, but he's definitely at the bottom of the pecking order.

    On the car ride home, I asked him why he was interfering with the drill the other boys were doing and not participating. He said he was "out" and couldn't go back in (according to what some of the players said). So you were the only one out the whole time? No, he said the other boys who got out went off and did something else. So why didn't you go with them? Because I wanted to watch and learn with the other guys. Okay, that's good, but why were you hanging on the goal and sticking your head through the net and interfering with the different goalies? He couldn't answer that because clearly he was not thinking and was being impulsive. That's where I showed him that his lack of awareness gets him in trouble (in so many words). It was a repeated topic in middle school, and clearly we'll have to address this in his social skills classes that will continue this year.

    He hasn't given up, but he was really frustrated. I'll hopefully have another opportunity to talk with him about this, albeit more objectively, over the weekend.

    Sometimes I wonder if this socially awkward trait he has is genetic. I see it in husband, I see it in husband's dad, and I see it in husband's dad's youngest brother.
  14. keista

    keista New Member

    in my opinion it definitely is. In my family's case it is indeed Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), but it really doesn't have to have a label. There could be prominent Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) traits without enough for a diagnosis. My cousin definitely has 'traits' but nowhere close enough to have a diagnosis. I mistakenly assumed that was one of difficult child 2's dxes.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This is a long shot - its hard to get, but might be worth it... if you can afford it, or if there is funding for it I don't know.
    Could you get an "assigned assistant instructor"? What that means is paying for a second instructor (coach, whatever word) to be involved specifically for the benefit of your son - but not paying anything close to exclusive attention to you son. Know what I mean?? You need someone who steps forward with extra tips and tricks when your son doesn't quite "get it", mentors the social skills aspect (like the situation you described - this second instructor would have been OUT of the pool dealing with all the kids who were not IN the pool - and specifically helping your son)... Does any of this make sense? I'm trying to get this for advanced swimming lessons... I know it is available, but you have to pay for it here.

    There are also sports organizations who will pair a young adult with a pre-teen or teen involved in sports - this person would be involved either formally or informally as a member of the team, attend all practices etc. - but would specifically be looking out for your son's social needs, mentoring, etc. At this age, its "cool" to have an 18-yr-old to hang out with... or a 21yo univ. student who's getting a psychology major, for example.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    After reading the post and all the answers, I have to say that I'm surprised he doesn't have an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis. It appears that he doesn't really understand the social rules...even my Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son knows better than to stick his head through a net while other kids are practicing. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) runs in families big time.

    At any rate, I wouldn't blame him or even his impulsivity. It seems he doesn't realize why he is getting the kids upset. Social skills classes may help him...certainly won't hurt. Hopefully, he is able to understand what you told him and not repeat it next time. Children who are pretty clueless about social skills tend to learn them either by text book teaching or by observation (I think Sonic learned a lot by observation, but not all kids with social skills problems can do this).

    I agree that if a child is unable to handle a team sport, sports such as swimming, bowling, or cross country are far better. A lot of our kids can't do team sports. Another option: martial arts.
  17. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    The other day my son had to go for his first Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment, so when he had to get dressed...he just said..."ok I'm not going"! AUGGGHHHH!

    I tried all the nice ways to convince him to go and then resorted to the 'bad mommy option": I just told him straight out that he NEEDS to go because he can't go hiding under the cupboard or behind the microwave everytime he gets overwhelmed...his friends will think he is funny!

    I felt so bad about being so direct.....but he aggreed to go to the Occupational Therapist (OT) for assessment!

    The old cleche: You need to be cruel to be kind...?
  18. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    I used to play water polo and really benefitted from playing in a team - mixed ages , young adults, older men etc

    I agree with the recommendation to find a mentor , older buddy etc or even a peer mentor to guide him

    I think we should try and be a more specific about the unsolved problem. Social skills training is not so helpful as it is rather top-down teaching rather than dealing with your son's problems

    lets define a specific unsolved problem that we can work with using collaborative problem solving

    mom - empathy stage -opening statement to gather info about a specific problem

    I have noticed that when you have to wait around ( not structured time ) you do stuff that disturb others , what's up ?

    if he would know what to do with himself during these times , we would have less problems

    what do you think ?

  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I always found sports to be extremely helpful with my boys. Now we had to be the coach for Cory's first flag football team but that worked out well because we got almost all the difficult child's the league had and they all had the best time ever...lol. We have such fond memories of that year. I dont know if we are just a unique place or if we just had a bunch of really great dad's during the years my kids were involved but I only had one bad coach and that was the year Jamie quit. Most likely why he quit to be honest.

    All the coaches who had Cory on their teams learned fast that they had to keep him occupied if they wanted to have any peace at all. He would have been doing what your son was doing if he didnt have a job given to him by the coaches. It didnt matter what sport he played, he was always either in charge of balls and bats, balls and some other equipment, papers, running to get water, just something to make him feel important. They kept him busy when he wasnt playing or practicing because it kept him out of their hair and kept him from trying to run out on the field or trying to constantly ask if he could play now. He would even write down notes for them. Who played what when, if they hit, what base they ran to...lol. It didnt matter what they had him do...he just felt he was important. They called him the assistant. This started when he was six.

    But I had coaches that also had kids with ADHD and one coach was the police chief. I guess we really did have a good set. I still remember Cory running up and jumping in the police chief's arms after a game and giving him the biggest hugs. LOL. The guy was about 6' 6" and loved all the kids.
  20. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    I hear what you're saying Allan...but it depends if he has the abbillity to figure out things to do in this time...mum would need to brainstorm regarding options of what to do, he could maybe even take little video clippps so he could learn from his teammates?