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What to do with a child who wants to quit a sport?


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My ds will be 10 yrs old on Saturday. He's been playing on the hsing basketball team for the past few weeks. They've had about 6 practices and he flat out doesn't want to play. I've been making him for the past two weeks though. Since he's expressed wanting to quit, he's been refusing to do some of the drills at practice and I've been talked to a couple of times about it and in turn I've talked to him about it.

 

I'm really conflicted as to what to do. I would like him to complete what he started and not quit, but he really doesn't like playing. I don't want him going through life thinking that he can quit something that he started because he doesn't like it.

 

OTOH, basketball lasts for 2 more months and I'm not sure this is a hill that I want to die on. I mean, he doesn't like it, but he does like other activities.

 

I also don't like the fact that he is telling the coach that he won't do certain things that are asked of him (that the rest of the team is doing). The coach has said that if he refuses to do things in practice she won't play him in games. I've told ds this fact and he said that he doesn't care about playing in games.

 

I will talk to my dh about it again when he comes home tonight, but he's a go with the flow guy and he usually says to do what I think is best:001_huh:.

 

I would really appreciate some thoughts/input/insight as I'm at a loss. Plus I'm pregnant, so that's not helping **anything**.

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Let him quit.

 

Why is it a problem if he stops playing a sport he doesn't enjoy? What would be the point of making him stick it out?

 

I don't want him going through life thinking that he can quit something that he started because he doesn't like it.

 

 

I view this differently. I want my son to know that he doesn't have to finish everything he starts just for the sake of finishing it. There's a big difference between quitting a sport or other recreational activity, and not finishing something that's really important. I think it's more important to teach our kids how to determine which things are important to keep working at, and which ones are not worth bothering with if we don't enjoy them.

 

Cat

Edited by Catwoman
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For me it would depend on how you talked about it beforehand.

 

If you had the agreement that signing him up for baseball meant that he would finish the season, then yes......I would make him finish it. And especially if there were considerable costs (I have no idea, don't know a thing about baseball).

On the other hand, if it were more a case of 'why don't you try baseball, you might like it'.....then I would let him quit.

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Let him quit.

 

Why is it a problem if he stops playing a sport he doesn't enjoy? What would be the point of making him stick it out?

 

 

 

I view this differently. I want my son to know that he doesn't have to finish everything he starts just for the sake of finishing it. There's a big difference between quitting a sport or other recreational activity, and not finishing something that's really important. I think it's more important to teach our kids how to determine which things are important to keep working at, and which ones are not worth bothering with if we don't enjoy them.

 

Cat

 

Yes, What Cat said. My dd stopped swimming this year...and she is/was GOOD! I mean really good, but she was burnt out on practices and pressure from herself, coaches and team mates. The world will not keel over if she is not in the pool. Sports are recreational and optional. School/work/ family obligations and chores are mandatory and necessary...not outs allowed.

 

HTH

Faithe

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If it leaves his team in a bad position (ie having to forfeit games due to too few players) then I'd make him stick it out.

 

Talk to the coach first - when you sign up for a team sport you have the potential to let others down. If no one is hurt by your son quitting then do what you think is right.

 

I just spoke to the woman that organizes the team/games and she said it wouldn't put the team in a bad position. I just have a heavy heart and keep crying/getting teary about it...hormones:glare:.

 

Plus, I think that I'm letting what other ppl think or what they might possibly think determine what our family does. I recognize that that's not the right thing to do either. I'm afraid of being seen as the mom who let's her kids quit. I feel that way because someone has hinted at the fact that it would be really wrong to let him quit. Sigh...

Edited by mama2cntrykids
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I just have a heavy heart and keep crying/getting teary about it...hormones:glare:.

 

:grouphug:

 

I don't think this is anything for you to be upset about. At all. It's just a basketball team, and so what if your ds doesn't enjoy it?

 

Tell your son he can quit the team, and then get yourself some chocolate and relax! :)

 

Cat

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For me it would depend on how you talked about it beforehand.

 

If you had the agreement that signing him up for baseball meant that he would finish the season, then yes......I would make him finish it. And especially if there were considerable costs (I have no idea, don't know a thing about baseball).

On the other hand, if it were more a case of 'why don't you try baseball, you might like it'.....then I would let him quit.

 

Our agreement was more along the lines of the second agreement. BUT, he has been in basketball camps before, just not as intense nor as big of a commitment.

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:grouphug:

 

I don't think this is anything for you to be upset about. At all. It's just a basketball team, and so what if your ds doesn't enjoy it?

 

Tell your son he can quit the team, and then get yourself some chocolate and relax! :)

 

Cat

 

It's the pregnancy hormones Cat;)...they can really be hard to control. Plus, I'm a crier naturally lol.

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I will be the decenter. If he willingly signed up for this team, and you did not force him to do it. I would make him stick it out.

 

What we tell our girls is this...because they sign up for sports...teams depend on them. The team deserves for every player to stick it out and to give 100 percent at every practice and every game. Quitting or being lazy (for lack of a better word) at practice/games hurts the entire team. I know some teams have plenty of players so one person dropping out would not seem to be a big deal...but IMO it is.

 

If it were my child, they would stick it out...and they would give 100 percent. If they refused to participate at practice I would see that as being disrespectful towards the coach, and there would be consequences at home for that.

 

Once the season was over, if they chose not to sign up the next year, that would be fine.

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Here's my two cents: Talk to the coach. Find out if she needs him to be there or not. Honestly, if a child doesn't want to be a true part of the team, it can really drag the rest of the team down. Then again, sometimes losing a player can put the team into a position where they don't have enough players at all.

 

Remember, for most kids' sports, the coaches are volunteers. They're giving their time for the benefit of the kids. It can be quite frustrating as a coach to see kids quit simply because they're "done" without any regard to how it affects the team. And as much as my DH has wanted to be "done" coaching some teams, he's never quit mid-season.

 

When my older son was 10, he reached the "done" point about 2/3 of the way though the baseball season. We had him finish the season because he chose to be there and he had made the commitment. Once the season was over, we never pressured him to play again. He's chosen other interests that fit his personality better, and he gets our full support there.

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What's the real problem?

 

Does he know how to do the drill?

Can hear hear and understand the coach's directions?

Is he embarrassed by his skill level?

Is it a team atmosphere of all improving, or is it competitive to the point that those who aren't 'the best' are made to know they are losers?

 

QUOTE]

 

:iagree: My daughter played basketball last year for the first time. A few weeks into practice she wanted to quit. I found out it was because she didn't understand exactly what the coach was saying. She didn't understand basketball terms. We talked to the coach and he took the time at each practice to explain things better to her and to make sure she knew what was expected out of her. She ended up having a lot of fun that season. However, I would have let her quit if she just didn't enjoy playing.

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If he willingly signed up for this team, and you did not force him to do it. I would make him stick it out.

 

What we tell our girls is this...because they sign up for sports...teams depend on them.

This is my approach too.

 

It would be very easy for my kids to sign up for things on a whim and then want to quit. Since they know this isn't an option, they really think it through before making a commitment.

 

If it was your idea, and he didn't want to do it in the first place, I'd admit I made a mistake and let him quit.

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It always depends.

 

My son begged to swim on the year-round team, reached his goal and then said... "do I HAVE to?" Umm, we've already spent quite a bit of money on swimming, and yeah -- practice is hard work. He's going to swim.

 

He played baseball before... but didn't like to run. So, he thought he'd like soccer :confused: I refused to sign him up.

 

My child (not your child) wants to be "good" at something right from the start. He doesn't like to practice anything. He did the same thing with learning to walk, play the piano, Latin, reading... you name it. If he has to actually "work" (even a little) at something, it's "too hard."

 

So, if it were my kid, he'd PLAY.

 

But, my kid isn't your kid ;D

 

I'd really want to know WHY before I let a kid quit. I don't think forcing people to do something they really don't want to do is always an answer, but nor is teaching people they can quit whenever something is too hard, or they just don't like it... especially if THEY were the ones wanting to sign up in the first place. Two months is not a long time.

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Our agreement was more along the lines of the second agreement. BUT, he has been in basketball camps before, just not as intense nor as big of a commitment.

 

This is another reason why I would make him stick it out for the season. Sometimes things are hard...and sometimes a big commitment but that is not a reason to quit. Marriages, careers, school, and raising children are all hard work and HUGE commitments, but we cant just quit.

 

Using a situation like this is a great way to teach them life lessons.

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Marriages, careers, school, and raising children are all hard work and HUGE commitments, but we cant just quit.

 

Using a situation like this is a great way to teach them life lessons.

 

I have to politely disagree with you on this one. I don't think a kids' basketball team compares even slightly with marriages, careers, school, or raising children.

 

I think it's very possible to quit a children's activity and still grow up to be a responsible person.

 

I think it's also very possible to teach your kids that they should never try anything new because they know they won't be allowed to quit if it doesn't work out for them.

 

Certainly, I believe we need to teach our kids to be responsible about the important things, but I don't think this is one of those important things. It's a homeschool basketball team that this kid was going to try, so he could see if he liked it. He took a shot. He tried it. He didn't like it. So he wants to quit. And that works for me.

 

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. :)

 

Cat

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I will be the decenter. If he willingly signed up for this team, and you did not force him to do it. I would make him stick it out.

 

What we tell our girls is this...because they sign up for sports...teams depend on them. The team deserves for every player to stick it out and to give 100 percent at every practice and every game. Quitting or being lazy (for lack of a better word) at practice/games hurts the entire team. I know some teams have plenty of players so one person dropping out would not seem to be a big deal...but IMO it is.

 

If it were my child, they would stick it out...and they would give 100 percent. If they refused to participate at practice I would see that as being disrespectful towards the coach, and there would be consequences at home for that.

 

Once the season was over, if they chose not to sign up the next year, that would be fine.

 

However, if I were the coach of an uncooperative, unhappy kid, I would be thrilled if the parents let him quit. I am sure the teammates would be happy as well. We are not talking about a traveling team type commitment, but a recreational basketball league. There are plenty of opportunities to teach kids about sticking something out. I just don't see this as one of them.

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It's the pregnancy hormones Cat;)...they can really be hard to control. Plus, I'm a crier naturally lol.

 

After the kids are in bed, I prescribe a long talk w/ DH about it, while he administers a vigorous foot and ankle massage :)

 

So much depends on the specifics; you know your child better than us...

 

We had a daughter in her 2nd year of rec soccer that 'didn't like the coach she got drafted by.' (He WAS a bit of a jerk :tongue_smilie:) But he did know the game, and I encouraged her to stick it out, and learn as much as she could from him...who cares whether you like him. In life sometimes you have to work with people you don't like. And you still can benefit. She stuck it out and did fine, had lots of fun.

 

4 years later, she was at a soccer clinic (week-long thing) and the coach running it was really obnoxious, but again, very knowledgable. After I picked her up the 1st night, and asked her how it went, she said, 'the guy's a jerk, but I'm gonna learn a lot from him this week, so it's cool' :))

 

I'd be particularly concerned with his unwillingness/insubordination with the coach's drills...Is the coach asking something unreasonable? Is DC just digging in his heals?

 

These moments are so much more about the actual sport...I would encourage you to get to the root cause as well. But FWIW I don't believe that team sports are for everyone.

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I think it's also very possible to teach your kids that they should never try anything new because they know they won't be allowed to quit if it doesn't work out for them.

 

 

 

Cat

 

A typical sports season lasts 4 months or so...not long. It is certainly not a long term commitment that they can *never quit. Stick it out for the 4 months...do the very best you can, and if you never want to play again...fine.

 

This has never kept my girls from trying something new, but it has taught them a strong work ethic, team loyalty and the satisfaction of finishing something. It has also taught them that in *SOME cases, something that they initially thought would not work out...they actually really enjoyed after they stuck with it.

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After the kids are in bed, I prescribe a long talk w/ DH about it, while he administers a vigorous foot and ankle massage :)

 

So much depends on the specifics; you know your child better than us...

 

We had a daughter in her 2nd year of rec soccer that 'didn't like the coach she got drafted by.' (He WAS a bit of a jerk :tongue_smilie:) But he did know the game, and I encouraged her to stick it out, and learn as much as she could from him...who cares whether you like him. In life sometimes you have to work with people you don't like. And you still can benefit. She stuck it out and did fine, had lots of fun.

 

4 years later, she was at a soccer clinic (week-long thing) and the coach running it was really obnoxious, but again, very knowledgable. After I picked her up the 1st night, and asked her how it went, she said, 'the guy's a jerk, but I'm gonna learn a lot from him this week, so it's cool' :))

 

I'd be particularly concerned with his unwillingness/insubordination with the coach's drills...Is the coach asking something unreasonable? Is DC just digging in his heals?

 

These moments are so much more about the actual sport...I would encourage you to get to the root cause as well. But FWIW I don't believe that team sports are for everyone.

 

:iagree:

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However, if I were the coach of an uncooperative, unhappy kid, I would be thrilled if the parents let him quit. I am sure the teammates would be happy as well. We are not talking about a traveling team type commitment, but a recreational basketball league. There are plenty of opportunities to teach kids about sticking something out. I just don't see this as one of them.

 

OH, YEAH...As a volunteer coach I can DEFINITELY confirm that! You can have a great kid that just hates the game and everything that goes with it.

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I would talk to the coach. But we would probably make him play. It's two months, not a lifetime.

 

We had a girl quit dd's soccer team 1 week into practice. It left them with 1 substitute player. Luckily, her parents called the league and my dh ( the coach) called the league and they let us add a late player. But the original parents didn't care really care what the league said. They told her she could quit even if we couldn't replace her. Our team could have really suffered because she decided she didn't want to run, after all.

 

I disagree that adults willy-nilly quit things they don't like. I think responsible people finish commitments. They find replacements, they give notice, they don't sign up again. But most don't sign up for things and quit with 2 months left just because they don't enjoy it.

Edited by snickelfritz
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I would never force my child to do any sort of extra curricular activity that they didn't enjoy.

 

I sort of 'get' the "finish what you start" thing- but there's also something to be said for the fact that sometimes you just want to TRY something to see whether you like it. It's good to try new things. It's also good to be able to make your own decision as to whether you want to continue with something once you have tried it.

 

He gave it a shot, he doesn't like it, why force him? Let him try different things until he finds that thing he likes. When he wants to stick with something, when it matters enough and it's interesting and fun enough, he'll know.

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So many ppl, so many good points! This should really be a no-brainer for me, but it's NOT. He knew what basketball was about after partcipating in clinics for a couple of years. I talked to him awhile ago more about it. He told me the same thing that he said two weeks ago. Basically, he likes playing the game against others, he just doesn't like doing the drills, because, as he puts it, "I already *know* how to do that stuff". I explained to him that it's extra practice and it betters him *and* his team. He understands that, he just doesn't like it lol.

 

He has a game on Friday. I am going to bring him to it and see if that changes his attitude towards playing. I also explained to him that now that he's playing games (the team plays against small private/public schools), his practices will only be once per week and he only has two months left. He seemed to perk up at that. I will see how Friday goes and then check his attitude the following Monday at practice.

 

So many conflicting feelings on this. Many "yes...but OTOH..." type thoughts for me. It's not like he didn't know what basketball was about or anything. I don't like the fact that he's being telling the coach that he won't do something just because he doesn't feel like it, that's not the right attitude that I want him to have. It's also hard because he's usually a pretty obedient kid in regards to chores and school work, so this throws me a little bit. OTOH, we have been dealing with some attitude from him recently about other things at home and it has gotten better...He really IS a good kid. I'm just having a hard time deciding what should be done. Ah to be a parent!

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I'd probably let him quit. If I signed up for a recreational sport and I really didn't enjoy it and it wouldn't leave the team in the lurch, I'd quit. I'd allow my child to do the same. Also, I think it's unfair to the coach to have to coach a non-compliant child. One bad attitude can affect the whole team.

 

BUT...

 

He's ten. We'd be doing quite a bit of teaching:

 

We would talk about how we try new things, how we deal with difficult situations and advocate for ourselves, how we identify and try to solve specific problems before we quit an activity, and how to quit something gracefully.

 

Refusing to do drills is disrespectful, not polite or gracious. In our home, there would be a consequence for that.

 

I'd teach specifically the appropriate behavior I'd expect in a future challenging situation. We talk to others when we're struggling with with an issue. In this case, talking to Coach and/or Mom and Dad to problem-solve instead of refusing to participate is a more appropriate solution. I'd be very very specific about when to approach the coach (or parents), the kinds of language we use to advocate for ourselves, and so on.

 

 

 

I do wonder if he was teased in some way about some skills or drills and that's made him feel self-conscious or that he's not as good a player. That happened to me when I was young and it just sucked the fun right out of the sport and replaced it with dread. No one should have to play something they dread just "for fun".

 

ETA: I think deciding after the first game is a good idea.

 

Cat

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Plus, I think that I'm letting what other ppl think or what they might possibly think determine what our family does. I recognize that that's not the right thing to do either. I'm afraid of being seen as the mom who let's her kids quit. I feel that way because someone has hinted at the fact that it would be really wrong to let him quit. Sigh...

 

Well, look at it this way... If you don't let him quit you'll be seen as the mom who won't let her kid stop doing something he hates just because other people might think that you're worried about being seen as a quitter. In other words, there will always be two viewpoints on anything, and you can never please everyone. So don't worry about anyone else and work on doing what's right for your own family. What other people think of you is none of your business.

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Refusing to do drills is disrespectful, not polite or gracious. In our home, there would be a consequence for that.

 

I'd teach specifically the appropriate behavior I'd expect in a future challenging situation. We talk to others when we're struggling with with an issue. In this case, talking to Coach and/or Mom and Dad to problem-solve instead of refusing to participate is a more appropriate solution. I'd be very very specific about when to approach the coach (or parents), the kinds of language we use to advocate for ourselves, and so on.

 

 

 

I do wonder if he was teased in some way about some skills or drills and that's made him feel self-conscious or that he's not as good a player. That happened to me when I was young and it just sucked the fun right out of the sport and replaced it with dread. No one should have to play something they dread just "for fun".

 

ETA: I think deciding after the first game is a good idea.

 

Cat

 

Yes, I agree, it was disrespectful of him and we have talked about it because it wasn't the first time it had happened. May I ask a question, because I really want to know, what consequence would you give for this situation? Last time I had him shovel snow, but obviously, it didn't work.

 

He doesn't like doing drills. Period. He thinks because he knows how to do it, he shouldn't have to. I've told him many times that it makes you and your team better players. He also doesn't like to run. I think he feels self-contious (sp?) because he's one of the slower ones (if not the slowest). He hasn't been teased, the group isn't like that at all. All the kids like each-other and are friends.

 

I agree with the ppl who said that the coach shouldn't have to put up with a player who doesn't want to do the work. I just don't know what to *do* about it, you know? I feel badly about it and am embarrassed over it.

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Well, look at it this way... If you don't let him quit you'll be seen as the mom who won't let her kid stop doing something he hates just because other people might think that you're worried about being seen as a quitter. In other words, there will always be two viewpoints on anything, and you can never please everyone. So don't worry about anyone else and work on doing what's right for your own family. What other people think of you is none of your business.

 

You are so right! Thank you for that perspective Melanie. Wise words!

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I'd let him quit. I don't see any reason to force someone (even a child) to continue something he hates, just to teach a lesson. I think there are many other ways of teaching him not to be a quitter. Quitting an optional, recreational activity doesn't make one a quitter.

 

If he doesn't like the drills and practices, then he really doesn't like the game. Drills and practices are part of the game. Even the best professionals can be fined for not showing up to practice.

 

Also, you pointed out that he's done basketball camp in the past. Unfortunately, camps don't always give a true sense of what a sport is like during the season. He might have thought he knew what it would be like, but participating in a camp and playing for a season, can be very different.

 

As far as being worried about what other parents will say about you, well, it doesn't matter. Whatever you decide, someone is bound to think you made the wrong choice. :001_rolleyes:

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If they are far enough along that it would put his team in a bad position then I would make him stick it out for the sake of the team - that he committed to.

 

However, if he joined but then shortly decided the sport wasn't for him, I'd let him quit. Life is too short to do things we don't enjoy. Of course, this logic doesn't apply to everything in life but sports are non-essential.

 

That said though, the fact that he is refusing to do the things he's asked by the coach might make me want him to stick it out. I don't know.....I guess I'm mean like that.

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In my house, if a child asks to do something the child needs to complete the time of the commitment. My house has a requirement that a child must participate in a regular fitness activity--the child gets to choose, but he has to stick it out. My dc knew this stipulations from a young age. Oldest ds, who is the reason for the fitness activity rule due to physical problems, tried a new sport almost every season, but he participated the full season each time.

 

Anyway, if an activity is chosen by the child in our house the child sticks it out. Now, if I signed the child up thinking he'd like it and he didn't then the child gets to quit.

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Did he choose basketball, or did you? If he chose it, and if there are not enough players on the team to get by without him, then he needs to hear that and stick it out. If you put him in it and he's never really liked it, then that's another matter.

 

We don't put ours into things unless they choose to do them and they know the drill: they finish what they start. If they don't want to do it again after that, then that's okay.

 

Now my one exception to this would be if the coach is being inappropriate or if they were being bullied, etc. and this isn't being handled appropriately. I would certainly not make them stay somewhere if they're being tortured there....

 

If the coach is not asking him to do anything other than what the others are doing; and if he's not being embarrassed in some way because he has trouble with the drills, etc., then he would absolutely be doing them if he were mine or there would be a hefty consequence when he got home.

 

If he has played before, what is different now? Are there not the people on the team that he expected to be there, so it's not fun for him? Is it something with the coach? If it's new to him, what is it about the play that is not what he expected?

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Let him quit.

 

Why is it a problem if he stops playing a sport he doesn't enjoy? What would be the point of making him stick it out?

 

 

 

I view this differently. I want my son to know that he doesn't have to finish everything he starts just for the sake of finishing it. There's a big difference between quitting a sport or other recreational activity, and not finishing something that's really important. I think it's more important to teach our kids how to determine which things are important to keep working at, and which ones are not worth bothering with if we don't enjoy them.

 

Cat

 

:grouphug: great thoughts!

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I knew this was about your oldest before I ever checked you siggy.

 

How can I say this in a kind way?

 

OK.

 

Sweetheart. This does not matter one bit. Not in the least. Nobody will truly care, and even the busybody will find something better to gossip about.

 

Let it go. Set the 10 yr old free. It totally does not matter.

 

At all. It simply doesn't.

Edited by LibraryLover
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I knew this was about your oldest before I ever checked you siggy.

 

How can I say this in a kind way?

 

OK.

 

Sweetheart. This does not matter one bit. Not in the least. Nobody will truly care, and even the busybody will find something better to gossip about.

 

Let it go. Set the 10 yr old free. It totally does not matter.

 

At all. It simply doesn't.

 

Thanks for being so gentle LL:grouphug:.

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I knew this was about your oldest before I ever checked you siggy.

 

How can I say this in a kind way?

 

OK.

 

Sweetheart. This does not matter one bit. Not in the least. Nobody will truly care, and even the busybody will find something better to gossip about.

 

Let it go. Set the 10 yr old free. It totally does not matter.

 

At all. It simply doesn't.

 

I'm wondering what you'd do about his flat out refusal to listen to the coach though? That's what's bothering me more I guess...he's been having a problem with attitude recently with us and a few other's outside our home:confused:.

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I'm wondering what you'd do about his flat out refusal to listen to the coach though? That's what's bothering me more I guess...he's been having a problem with attitude recently with us and a few other's outside our home:confused:.

 

I tried to post earlier, but for some reason my post wasn't accepted (internet had gas, I guess).

 

This is the crux of the issue for me. This describes my son -to a "T." -- He doesn't want to, because he thinks he already knows it. FWIW, he's been like this since babyhood, and yes... I pick my battles. I was not willing to die on the "you will learn to print properly" hill... he learned cursive... happily. :D

 

However, he did want to be on the year-round swim team. It took us two years to work out the financing for this venture (read that as "save enough money to get the first payments, and then stay with the program!), and he did what he needed to do to make the team. After his first two weeks of practice, he "didn't want to do it." :tongue_smilie:

 

He looks at us and says, "but I *know* how to swim." Yes, he can get from one side of the pool to the other. He can "basically" do all 4 strokes, but it is far, far from "pretty." He likes the races, but he doesn't like the practice. He finally had a very disappointing meet. He was DQ'd twice, and didn't improve a single time. We looked at him and simply said, "well, how you practice is how you'll play in the game... or in this case, how you practice is how you will swim in the meet." He finally "got" it.

 

He still doesn't like to practice, but he seems to have a better attitude about it. He says he is trying to move up to the next level where his younger sister is swimming (I'll talk to the coach when I bring their Christmas baskets). So, for now... it's okay.

 

To me, this is a teaching issue -- and one that should be dealt with. It's not really about quitting or not quitting, it's about him deciding he doesn't want to do something because he thinks he knows better, and then refusing to do what is asked. And, it sounds like the attitude is in other places (I know it is with my son... but mom, I already know how to do that! "So, explain it to me, son..." SILENCE.)

 

If this were my son, this is what I would do (please keep in mind, this is me speaking to MY son... you know your son and situation a whole heckuva lot better than I).

 

1. Talk with dh, explain the problem... we set up an acceptable strategy to deal with the matter.

 

2. Sit down as a three-some with ds to have conversation (in private is best) It would probably be something like this: "Son, you wanted to sign up for this sport. This sport has a 3 month commitment. We have fully paid for this sport, and you are not going to be allowed to quit."

 

"Your mother and I understand that you feel like the drills are pointless, because you know how to dribble, run, pass, etc., is that a fair assessment of how you feel? " (allow for son to speak, etc.).

"Let me ask you a question... what do you think Charles Barkley does to prepare for a game (or whoever he knows in the professional basketball arena)?" (Let son speak, and then answer accordingly). Reinforce that professional ball players must keep working on their skills, because if they slow down, if their reaction-times aren't quick enough... it could cost their team the game... it could cost them their job... or worse, they could become seriously injured.

 

Practice isn't just about playing the game, it's about improving your skill level to improve the team's game. It's about making sure you are in shape, and physical condition... so you don't get injured DURING a game. If you don't practice hard (everything from running lines, to dribbling around cones, to passing drills), you can't play hard... and games are hard work!

 

Does this make sense? Do you understand why a coach isn't going to let a person play in a game who isn't conditioned to PLAY? He doesn't want to risk your getting injured, and he wants to make sure those that play are playing their best. (hopefully ds understands and agrees)

 

3. Attitude... this one is more difficult. Son, You're 11 years old. I know you want to make more decisions, and have more freedom -- you are starting to grow up. And, you know what? Your mother and I are happy to talk through these decisions with you, and give you more responsibility so that you can become a confident, responsible young man. We respect your desire to grow up -- and be a man. But, it doesn't happen overnight, and there are times it is important to do what is expected of us... even when we don't understand all the reasons why. The attitude you have displayed to your coach is unacceptable. You are a part of his team, and he is responsible for you and everyone else on that team. It is his job to train you and teach you the skills you need to play the game... it is your job to learn what he has to teach you. If it is important for you to understand WHY he is having you do these drills, we can make time for you APART FROM PRACTICE to talk to him about it. BUT, during practice you are to do every drill, as asked, to the best of your ability...PERIOD. If you do not, you will remain at the court (if possible) to continue doing drills with (mother or me), until you have made up for being disrespectful and obstinate. (If that were not possible, and I had to bring him home, he'd run lines in the back-yard until he puked...okay emphasis, only...) There would be no free time, no game time, no nothing. It would be drill, practice, chores (hard work) until the attitude changed.

 

There would probably be more give and take. Most likely, my son would be deeply apologetic long before the end was reached... but I put it out there anyway.

 

I sound harsh... I know I do. But, this is NOT about basketball... this is about your son thinking he "knows better" than the adult in charge (be it you, or his coach). My 11yo son is old enough to tell me that he doesn't want to go to college. Frankly, that is unimportant to me right now (it took a one hour exploration on minimum-wage jobs, and how much it would cost him to live on a monthly basis in this area for him to decide he wants to go to MIT or VA Tech :lol:... 'course I don't think he's MIT material, but he could prove me wrong :D) But, my son is NOT old enough to determine what he will or will not study (within reason). He doesn't get to say he "knows" how to do Algebra, but cannot explain how he arrived at the answer that is listed below the problem on the page (no work shown). He doesn't get to say he "knows" how to write a research paper, and not go through the steps of putting one together. He doesn't get to make those choices. He did get to choose if he was going to do Physical Science next year or General Science... He does get to choose his art project, and his science report topic... and he can write his novel in his free time. But, he's still going to diagram 5 sentences a week ;)

 

Okay, I've taken far too much of your time... and this is what I would do if it were MY son (because my son does have this very same tendancy... and this is how we deal with it, well except for the penmanship thing. As I said, I choose my battles ;))

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I will be the decenter. If he willingly signed up for this team, and you did not force him to do it. I would make him stick it out.

 

What we tell our girls is this...because they sign up for sports...teams depend on them. The team deserves for every player to stick it out and to give 100 percent at every practice and every game. Quitting or being lazy (for lack of a better word) at practice/games hurts the entire team. I know some teams have plenty of players so one person dropping out would not seem to be a big deal...but IMO it is.

 

If it were my child, they would stick it out...and they would give 100 percent. If they refused to participate at practice I would see that as being disrespectful towards the coach, and there would be consequences at home for that.

 

Once the season was over, if they chose not to sign up the next year, that would be fine.

 

I am in agreement here. My kids know this in advance so they better make sure when they sign up for something that they are prepared to commit.

 

For extracurricular activities they get a list of options and they pick what they want to do. Once they sign up, I pay for the activity, they stick it out to the end of season (if there are extenuating circumstances then I pull them out myself).

 

I never sign my kids up for anything that they ask for... until they asked repeatedly. Then I know they want it and they know that it was their choice.

 

I never allow my kids to join a team sport until they are in 6th grade and then only if they joined through school. Before then it was only sports camps through park district, summer camps through school district, or individual sports (swim lessons, bowling league, ice skating lessons, skateboarding lessons, martial arts).

 

Out here organized team sports are expensive!!!!! Once Ds was wanting to play peewee football (he was 7yrs old)... It would have cost me nearly $400 to sign him up and buy the gear. I opted for him to not sign up. He didn't mind so I am glad I didn't dish out the money.

 

But since we homeschool for high school... there are no options for them to join a team sport. Park district and private leagues only go up to age 12. But other activities they do join they commit for the season/contract.

 

Right now 4th grade Ds is not liking Kung Fu (because he is expected to be performing at a certain level since he is on the edge of becoming a novice black belt and he doesn't want to work hard). He was so gung ho about Kung Fu until about 4 months ago (he has been doing it for 3 years now). I won't let him quit until contract time is up. He isn't competing nor am I making him do more than two classes a week (he likes the two classes he does attend, he just hasn't earned his novice black belt when he could have if he worked hard and was ready).

 

6th grade Ds is one of those roller coaster kids on wanting to do something and wanting to quit. He changes his mind every few weeks about any and all activities-LOL. The rule is that when sign up time comes around, if he decides to sign up.. he has to commit. But I won't make him rejoin something if he doesn't want to. So far he keeps wanting to sign up... and then we do the yo-yoing every few weeks. He is exhausting-LOL. He does this with Cub Scouts, band, after school clubs, sports.

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Yes, I agree, it was disrespectful of him and we have talked about it because it wasn't the first time it had happened. May I ask a question, because I really want to know, what consequence would you give for this situation? Last time I had him shovel snow, but obviously, it didn't work.

 

He doesn't like doing drills. Period. He thinks because he knows how to do it, he shouldn't have to. I've told him many times that it makes you and your team better players. He also doesn't like to run. I think he feels self-contious (sp?) because he's one of the slower ones (if not the slowest). He hasn't been teased, the group isn't like that at all. All the kids like each-other and are friends.

 

I agree with the ppl who said that the coach shouldn't have to put up with a player who doesn't want to do the work. I just don't know what to *do* about it, you know? I feel badly about it and am embarrassed over it.

 

Oh, do I know. They sure can stump us. We can let our kids' behavior get to us something awful, can't we? :grouphug: He's a kid. Look at this time as a teaching opportunity rather than a failure on your part, and offer guidance and discipline. If others say anything snarky or rude or judgemental, tell them just that: He's a great kid, and we're getting a great opportunity to offer some guidance on growing up.

 

These would be the consequences in our house:

I'd ask him to write a letter of apology to the coach for not following directions and participating in drills. He may not realize that not only is he being disrespectful to his coach himself, he's also undermining the coach's authority with the other players every time he refuses to do what he's asked, which affects the whole team. I'd also ask him to apologize to the coach briefly in person.

 

And he'd get whatever the family consequence is for disobedience. I'm not big on "jump when I say jump" but we have specific consequences for not doing what's asked (if reasonable and right). We discuss the consequences with the kids occasionally, so consequences tend to change over time as their developmental needs change. Right now, if my 10 y.o. were to choose to not follow a teacher's directions, mine or another, he'd likely lose his screen time and instead spend that time in the kitchen with Dad making dinner. Win-win, really. He gets more time with Dad, which allows them some conversation about how to grow up to be a responsible young man; he's got to help and follow directions in the kitchen; and he's lost a privilege that tends to be more self-focused.

 

:grouphug: You're doing fine. It's just basketball. You'll figure out what works for him. :)

 

Cat

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I agree with the others who have said its not a hill to die on....let him quit.

However...I have a ttimes insisted my son stay in something he wanted to quit...for a bit longer...to see if he woudl warm to it. We did karate as a family- well, not dh, but dd, ds and I...and ds hated it. ALl the carters were so hard for him with his dyslexia- his lefts and rights- it was torture. So after a while I let him quite and dd and I quit shortly after.

 

But with Scouts...I made him stay because we KNEW this was good for him, even though he had a clash with a leader and the leader picked on him...ultimately we felt it was character building. We felt strongly that Scouts was a structure and discipline that was going to benefit him for life and was far more important overall than any separate incidents that arose. Many weeks we literally had to force him to go. And then..he clicked in with some friends, matured, became a leader...lost his leadership..matured some more...and he is still in there, now as a Venturer, and has great friends and loves it. What we did at the thimes he wanted to quit was tell him that this was one of his school classes, since he homeschooled- and that is actually how we saw it.

 

So....always trust your own instincts. It doesn't sound like basketball his your son's thing, though, and being a quitter is one thing, but knowing what you want in life is also a good skill to develop.

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I spoke to my dh last night. We are going to have him play in Friday's game and go to Monday's practice and see if his attitude has changed. Ds said that he's kind of excited to play a game on Friday (when I asked him), so that's a good sign.

 

I'm *not* sure though what we're going to do if his attitude isn't changed on Monday's practice. I really think I would need to do a lot more praying about it and talk to the coach. Like pp have said, it's not fair to the volunteer coach (or the other team members) for him to have a crumby attitude about it.

 

Ds and I have done a lot of talking about this over the last two days. I think he understands where I'm coming from (at least he says he understands). He does fine when it comes to the middle part of practice, most of the problem is warming up/running and some of the drills.

 

I will keep everyone posted. Thanks to you all for taking the time to respond so graciously!

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