School and activities -- how do you deal with them?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by bluetik, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. bluetik

    bluetik Guest

    Does anyone keep their difficult child home from school if they seem at high risk to become physically aggressive that day? Would that be considered truancy?

    Also, how do you handle activities? My son loves soccer, but has difficulty managing his emotions. I had to leave practice with him tonight, literally carrying him out while he was hitting, kicking, and trying to bite me. This is embarrassing to me and stressful to all of us (me, him, his sister). Part of me feels like I should isolate him from these activities, so he doesn't have to experience this. The other part feels it is critical to continue taking him to these activities, so he learns to function in these types of situations. I also fear that we will be asked to leave activities due to his behavior, or that he will encounter a situation such as he did at Tae Kwon Do camp this summer, where his 5-year-old sister was awarded a belt advancement, but he (at 7 years old) was denied an advancement due to behavioral issues. I feel this damages his self-esteem and compounds his problems.

    Any input on these issues is most welcome...

    Much thanks!
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I wonder if it would be easier for him if he only attends the last 20 minutes of practice? That way he gets some of the action and hopefully the action ends before the emotions get the best of him?

    Ask the coach if there is an older kid (teenager) who enjoys soccer and would be willing to work one on one with difficult child so he learns the techniques in a quieter setting.

    What time of day is soccer? Right after school or later in the evening?

    If right after school, than he might need a break between school and soccer. If later in the evening, does he eat first? Is he getting enough down time to recharge between school and practice?

    Is practice only once a week? If more than that maybe just take him to one of the practices?
  3. bluetik

    bluetik Guest

    Thanks for your response Andy. His outbursts are more situational than generalized meltdowns. If he feels someone has "wronged" him in whatever way, he just goes into attack mode. True, some days he is better at controlling it than others. I should have known yesterday that he would not make it through practice, as he was in the school office most of the day for screaming during class and being disrespectful to his teacher. Combine that with a late evening practice (7-8) that keeps us out past bedtime, and it was a recipe for disaster last night.

    I'm hoping his game tomorrow goes okay.... I think I've decided that he has to stay in organized activities (as long as he wants to -- I don't make him stay in something he doesn't like) and go to school every day. If he is asked to leave practice (as he was last night) or leave an activity or is suspended / expelled from school, that will just have to be a consequence and he will have to live with it.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    7:00 - 8:00 does seem late for kids that young. I tend to do the same though - sports are important as long as it is something they want to do. That "attack mode" is so scary - I watched my difficult child go through it many times when he was 11 years old and there seems to be no way of reaching him when he enters that zone - all I could do was protect those he was after and let him know that I did not like what he was doing and would not help him with it. He was too big to carry anywhere so I had to isolate him the best I could and wait until he settled down enough to walk to the vehicle to go home.

    Then I do turn around the next day and give him another chance. I always wanted him to succeed - to have the opportunities to do the right thing and be happy so even if he was off a bit some days, I did allow the activities that night in the hopes they would help. Some times it backfired like it did with your difficult child the other day but many times it was the break he needed in his day to focus on something he enjoyed. It is a day by day call on your part and when they are begging to go, it is hard to say no.

    I never answered your question about keeping a difficult child home if you believed he would be physically agressive that day. I was never in that position - difficult child never started the day in that stance. However, I do not believe it to be truancy if you called the school and told them that difficult child will be staying home today because he is not feeling well. That would be the truth - If he is starting out in an agressive mood, it is because he is not feeling up to facing the day. Angry/agressive people do not feel well and can not think straight. Are you working with anyone in the school that will understand his moods? Someone that if you do send him to school knowing his mind is on aggression and not school that can take him under his/her wings and help him get through the day? Another idea is to perhaps take him in later giving him more time to grasp the day. Does this happen too often to be going in late so much? If it is just once in a while you can try these things but if it is a growing problem than work with his teacher to let her know somehow that it appears that difficult child will have a bad day. She might have some suggestions that will help?
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    You are raising my son's twin!!!

    I keep him home if I sense an imminent meltdown. That's the one thing the school agrees with me on, tho. He also doesn't attend if his teachers aren't there. I always email to them and let him know that he's not coming, tho, and why (his teacher is gone and accordance to our plan, he doesn't attend when they aren't there...)

    For soccer, my oldest son shadowed Wee on the field and intercepted any problems before they became problems. He's 22. The kids thought he was cool. It worked well for us. Good luck.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My son didn't do well with group sports like soccer and football-too many things set him off. What worked for him was wrestling because while it was a team sport it was individual at the same time.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    My kiddo also has those aggressive tendencies and also is incoherent once she's hit that point. Mine can start the day out fine and meltdown at school, or be a complete brat at home then be fine at school, there's no telling with her, she's unpredictable.
  8. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    My son is exactly like that so there is no way I would have him participate in competitive sports. He plays sports thru our YMCA which is non-competitive and he also participates in Cub Scouts. Swimming was also a good sport for him. He does not do well with competition. I agree he needs the positive social experiences, but if it is ending with him having to be carried out of there kicking and screaming, it probably isn't a good fit for him. With the Tae Kwon Do Camp, I would probably speak to the person in charge in the beginning and explain your son's issues and ask if they can work with that and provide him the extra encouragement he needs.

    I also agree with HaoZi - my son is the same way. We have had absolutely awful mornings that have left me in tears for most of the day and it turns out his day at school was great - and vice versa.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mine are older but they played recreation sports teams for years. I was fairly lucky that we had a great department that understood that I had two hyperactive kids and they worked with me but I was always there too. Jamie was pretty good at sports anyway but he did lose attention if not kept focused. Cory was a whole other ball of wax. You had to stay on him. I always felt like I was playing a Nintendo game with him. I was up and down the sidelines of every game. Go that...dont do The coaches were good about keeping him busy too. He was always the hander outer of bats, helmets, balls, equipment, pencils, whatever they could find for him to do. If they could give him a job, he was less trouble all around. He actually wanted to be friendly and happy so that was the best way to handle him.

    In the end, most people still remember him as that cute little boy who would jump up and hug them.
  10. bluetik

    bluetik Guest

    Thanks again, everyone! His game on Saturday went fairly well. He became frustrated when the other team scored, but held himself together. And he called a few people "stupid baby", but didn't try to jump or hurt anyone. Even though I'm not that into wrestling, I think it would be a great sport for him. He is very small and compact with a low center of gravity. When he gets older, we'll check it out. He also really enjoys running and told me this morning he'd like to run in a 5K.

    He had a good day yesterday at school, so I'm keeping my chin up and hoping for more of the same. I can usually tell in the mornings what kind of day he will have, because he sings almost constantly, and pitch and tempo increase relative to his anxiety level / energy level / something. Whatever it is, it is a huge red flag. Also, if this is combined with any kind of a disruption in routine, he's especially at risk. Does anyone else have a singer/hummer on their hands?
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Interesting that his tempo increases with his anxiety. Very interesting.

    Mine sings all the time, but its more the content of the songs that let you know what's in his head. When my dad passed away, he sang songs about missing grandpa for a year. Rip your heart out songs. Ugh.
  12. thunder

    thunder Guest

    Your son and mine are alter egos when it comes to sports. My son had an absolute terrible time losing, would break down in tears in front of everyone. I decided not to keep him out of competitive sports, we would just deal with each game as it came. If an opponent gave him a cheap shot, he would retaliate twice as bad. The worst was when he was around your son's age. He is now 11, soon to be 12 and handles losing so much more gracefully. I tend to think its hard on the younger ones to lose. Competitive sports can teach these boys the fundamentals of a sport, as well as that winning and losing are part of life. Many times my son embarrassed me, parents would stare as if to say "why can't you do something about him?" but the benefits outweighed the stares in my opinion. He has gained valuable instruction as well as life lessons. One word of caution. Although wrestling is an individual sport, it will be the highest win or the lowest lose imaginable. My son started at your son's age, and won our state championship twice. It got to the point that when he would lose, it was crushing. He hasn'e wrestled in a year now. Wrestling is an extremely personal sport, as well as extremely competitive. Not for the faint of heart!
  13. bluetik

    bluetik Guest

    LOL Shari -- it sounds like yours and mine really are twins... My guy often doesn't have lyrics, just humming, but he will sometimes improvise lyrics on the spot -- and some of them are actually quite good. Other times, he sings over and over the themes to tv shows -- Speed Racer, Dragon Ball, etc.