worst day ever for difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sjexpress, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. sjexpress

    sjexpress Guest

    Today once again I am feeling awful for my struggling difficult child. He had another doubleheader baseball game today and as you may remember, really struggles to keep his cool if he strikes out, doesn't like the umpires call, etc... Recently he had been benched by the coach a few innings here and there due to losing his temper by throwing his bat or helmet or just not quieting down in the dugout about what he is upset about. I have previously spoken to the coach about difficult child's disabilities/difficulties but I realize he has a team to run and consequences are part of it.
    Today difficult child was having a bad baseball day and struck out a few times. He was barely holding it together and I kept going over to the dugout to offer support. The game was almost over and his team had to take the field again. Next thing I know, difficult child is screaming shut up to a teammate and gives this kid a shove. The kid apparently said something again and the 2 boys started shoving and then the other kid punched difficult child in the face! The umpire threw them both out of the game and to make matters worse, the coach told difficult child he was off the team and the other kid is suspended a game.
    difficult child is devestated, remorseful, and just a mess crying and wishing over and over that this never happened. He loves baseball and told me it is his passion. It is just devestating to see this happen to him. And to make matters worse, it seems the other kid he got into the fight with had been teasing difficult child over the past few games if difficult child struck out, made and error, etc.. so difficult child anger had been building with this kid for a while and today he just lost it. difficult child really doesn't fight with anyone unless someone is messing with him first.
    I am also extremely angry with husband since he now tells me he hears this other kid teasing difficult child but figures it's what kids do and since husband feel difficult child should just "stop his behavior" that difficult child just has to ignore the teasing! My feeling is husband(who is one of the assist coaches) should have put a stop to this teasing a while ago! He has to help be an advocate for his own son! Am I wrong in this? If this other kid had not been teasing difficult child( saying HA HA, you stink), none of this would have gone wrong today. At 10 yrs old he just wants to play ball! He has so much to deal with and now this!
    Right now I am not sure how to help difficult child get passed this. I feel he is suffering and feeling a terrible loss right now. We were also supposed to leave in few days to go to a baseball tournament out of state(that was in the planning since winter) and now that is gone. We were going to extend it into a family vacation so now we have to rethink that!
    Sorry for the long post. I am just beside myself and crying just as much as difficult child! I really have no one else to lean on. I have found some neuropsychologist. in our ins. plan so I will get the process rolling. Thanks for listening.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. He seems to be having a really hard time right now.

    Is your husband completely unaware of difficult child's problems and his need for help? At 10 yo, the kids ALL know that bullying is not OK. They have heard about it, and about good sportsmanship, for many years. The other child KNOWS that difficult child will react to his teasing. NO adult, not even your husband, was willing to stand up and tell the kid to knock it off, or to impose a consequence if he doesn't stop. in my humble opinion the adults are as much to blame for this bullying as the kid is.

    Personally my husband would have a couple of new ones about now and would be totally unable to look himself in the mirror. Your husband is probably tired of the way your son behaves (who wouldn't be?) but that is NO EXCUSE to condone bullying. As one of the coaches it is your husband's JOB to make sure the kids learn and practice good sportsmanship. ALL of them.

    Yes, it would be nice if your son had more tolerance for teasing/bullying. Right now your son is UNABLE to cope with it the way an older child might. I cannot think of many teens who could handle being teased that way when they were having a bad day. Expecting a ten year old to not blow up in that situation is unrealistic. Your husband set your son up for failure and then told him it was his fault by not standing up for him at the meltdown point.

    What would your husband do if he was having a bad day and someone started telling him that he was doing a lousy job, that he was worthless, etc...? How would HE react?? What if it was someone he already didn't like who was doing it? How about if it was someone who treated him like that every time they saw each other? What if he was having a bad day and you asked him to go fix something he did because he didn't do a good job? Would he smile and go do it or would he get upset and feel that nothing he did was good enough? Maybe blow up and yell or throw something or slam a door?

    I don't know your husband but many adults, male and female, would react badly in that situation. Maybe husband can explain that the other child has been bullying your son and either both of them should be off the team or your son should be allowed back. On days with double headers in the future maybe you could arrange it so that difficult child only plays one game? Maybe tell the coach privately that it is to help him learn to keep control, but tell others it is because you have a family commitment that you cannot get out of during either the first or second game, so difficult child does not lose face with the other kids.

    This is not easy to get past, not when you are ten. Does he have a therapist of any kind that he can talk about this with? Maybe you can role-play with him so he can practice what to say in situations like this, and practice getting up and going somewhere else to sit if someone is bugging him.

    Expecting your son to NOT react badly to the bullying is unrealistic. It isn't just unrealistic for your difficult child, it is unrealistic for most 10yo kids and for many people of other ages too.

    Give him a hug for me, and tell him that there will be other games.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Poor difficult child. No way the bullying should be condoned. Not that it was right but no wonder he struck out. Coaches should put an immediate stop to any bullying. Gentle hugs for difficult child and you.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My husband would be sleeping in the car. Seriously.

    However, difficult child's reaction to the teasing is not normal...he can't control his anger when he is chided and it gets a reaction thus he gets teased more. I would hurry with that neuropsychologist evaluation so you can start to figure out what is wrong and to help him. There is always baseball again next year. Tell him not to give up on his dreams.
  5. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I'm sorry to say but I do not believe the other boy is responsible for your difficult child's over the top reaction. Saying that, I think all the coaches should stop teasing from anyone and not for your son alone. This is a natural consequence for difficult child's behavior. He can take this and turn his reactions into a learning experience and do better or he can totally self destruct. Playing baseball requires self discipline and the best players learn self control even if they don't want to.
    Your husband should work on not allowing negative teasing to be allowed with any of the kids. I know your heart is breaking for your son's heartbreak. Not much you can do about the coaches call to boot him from the team. Hugs.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I understand your pain. We have "done sports" with both boys. The older boy was a natural with great social skills while the younger boy was overwhelmed. The Coaches are the ones who need to set the tone but competition is a problem for many men and it carries over to the kids.

    Many CD families have found that sports like bowling can allow individuality and positive vibes. Soccer is less
    competitive around here so that is where the younger boy played most. It's hard to accept that there are some special requirements for our difficult children. on the other hand, your goal is to find an environment that fosters his strong points and helps him built self pride. Hugs. DDD
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    difficult child did do the wrong thing, but the other boy was a trigger. That trigger should have been stopped earlier. I do feel the punishments should be equal, because although superficially, difficult child seemed to be the instigator, in fact the other boy was the real instigator because he'd been needling difficult child for some time, over previous weeks.

    There need to be some consequences, but difficult child being thrown off the team and the other being merely being out of the game for a few weeks, doesn't seem equitable, unless they're taking difficult child's record into account.

    The coach, and husband, should have stopped the bullying. If you can, please share this with them because I DO understand their quandary, I do feel their frustration with this as well as yours. I have made the same mistakes they have made, in being harder on my kid than on the other kids involved.

    I will give you an example, bearing in mind (please) that my difficult child 3 has been very much like your difficult child not only in the kind if games he enjoyed, but also in the long-term, subtle, needling type of bullying that was constant for years and we not only didn't fully realise, but we didn't insist sufficiently on the school (or whatever other group) stepping in sufficiently.

    We were at the local beach. It's only a few minutes from home. In summer we get visitors to the town. For a week, we had been going to the beach every day (summer holidays) and difficult child 3 had been getting increasingly aggressive with certain boys. My rule was, "there is no excuse for physical violence towards another person". Other people would hassle difficult child 3 but I couldn't control their actions. I could only control difficult child 3's responses. But my efforts were not working, and each day I would tell difficult child 3 that we were going home, because he could not behave.

    Now a beach is a noisy place, especially this one. it's a very small beach but the sea is very noisy. On the Saturday husband was at the beach with us. He observed difficult child 3 looking angry at these boys and told difficult child 3 to stay away from them. He tried to do this but the boys seemed to keep spilling their play over in difficult child 3's direction, so I decided to take him home. I called him over, said it was time to go, he turned back to rinse off the sand before following us back up the path.

    Then something happened and difficult child 3 snapped. He ran at the group of boys, one of them fell over backwards trying to get away from difficult child 3, who began to pummel the boy hard. husband ran over fast, grabbed difficult child 3 by his board shorts and haled him out. I was expecting difficult child 3 to really cop a tongue-lashing form husband for fighting. But to my surprise, husband turned on the boys.
    "You deserved that!" he said (my pacifist husband!). "You've been hassling him all day that I have seen, probably all week form what I have heard. Well now you know he is capable of being pushed too far. Now go get yourselves home and be grateful I'm not calling your parents!"

    On the way home I thought about it. I had been prepared to punish difficult child 3 for fighting, for hitting back (because he'd been getting verbally hassled, not physically) and there was husband, stricter than me, actually taking difficult child 3's side in this. I realised I had been looking at the problems of difficult child 3 being bullied, through the wrong end of the binoculars. ANd looking at it all that way, a parent tends to be far too harsh with their own child at a time when the child needs a champion, not a critic.

    I suspect you need the same change in perspective hen it comes to difficult child's baseball. Your husband especially. But he is like I was - trying to keep the pece, trying to do his job with the team despite having a problem soon, trying to be seen to be fair. ANd trying so hard to be seen to be fair, that he ends up punishing his own son far too harshly.

    There was me trying to be super-reasonable, and my kid was being bullied and taken advantage of, because I was being TOO reasonable. My kid needed me to step in and clean up the problems.

    In your son's case, is there another baseball team e can join? Someone who is prepared to squash any bullying FAST and also to shadow him? Because a kid like your difficult child (and mine) needs success in order to learn how to be successful. Eery failure teaches him how to do badly. The bullies at this team have learned how to get past the coach's vigilance. Unless that is fixed, the problems will continue.

    What your husband and the coach need to realise, is that a person with a disability, who is taunted or hassled because of that disability, or whose disability actually makes them vulnerable to such teasing which can aggravate the presentation of that disability - that person with the disability is being actively handicapped by that bullying. Those culpable are not only the bullies, but those who allow the bullying and discrimination to continue.

    Think about this from the point of view of the bullies (and possibly the coach). You have kids who are very competitive and want the team to win. So any member who is less than perfect in any way, gets hassled and blamed until they are so demoralised they drop out. Or until they attack and get kicked out. The bullies win.

    That is really not good. But again, is it fair to put difficult child back into that environment, if the problems are not fixed?

    Your husband needs to see, as I needed to see, that this is unfair for a kid with a disability. He has a right to play baseball too. yes, he also has to learn how to get on with other people. But being exposed to his sort of bullying is only teaching difficult child how to be a bully, and how to get into trouble. It i NOT something he should have to put up with, thinking that is very wrong. Yes, difficult child has to learn how to take it. But he has to learn under controlled conditions, not the anarchy of "let them fight it out amongst themselves".

    I would be either trying to find another team, or maybe asking around among kids with disabilities in your area, and form your own team.

    I'd like to say more but I have a busy morning, I need to leave this here and I will check back later.

  8. Bean

    Bean Member

    Sorry about your circumstance.

    It might not be a bad idea to still go to the tournament and have your son sit on the bench and watch. Nobody likes to do that, but it is a consequence of inappropriate behavior (have seen this over and over in high-school). Sometimes I think it is harder on the parents than on the child. But it is still part of growth and lesson learning. Maybe it would do him some good and give him the opportunity to think. Unfortunately you can't change the other kid or the coach, but you might be able to give your son a good lesson on life.
  9. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    In my county, there are some sports leagues that are geared to kids with disabilities - physical, social and/or emotional. There are also leagues that are more about playing and less about winning. My kids played in what I called (affectionately) the "spaz league" for years. However, I had to take youngest boy (now 11) out because he would get triggered and do the screaming and shouting thing. He didn't really like baseball enough to want to change his behavior.

    For your son, maybe he can call the coach and apologize to him and let him know how much he wants to come back. Maybe an older kid can be recruited to shadow him in the dugout (where most of the problems seem to occur; the bullying is less on the field because it's more visible).

    Good luck.