Son wants to quit football and mom ain't helping

Parental Alienation Syndrome, Malicious Mother Syndrome, dealing with the ex, and various other non-legal concerns throughout the process.

Son wants to quit football and mom ain't helping

Postby conanTheDad » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:59 pm

I have primary decision making in 'Activities'. I signed my son up for football the last two years. My son likes football but you have to motivate him to stay at it. His mom views football as barbaric, hates the sport, and is constantly trying to get me to stop sending our son. She does take him to practice however, when practice falls on her days, since according to our papers I have the right to select the primary sport activity for him. So far, since practice started last week, nothing major has happened, but today all heck broke loose. I got a call from her, as it was her day and she took him to practice, and she told me that our son was getting repeatedly knocked down by the biggest kid on the team, and was crying and the coaches didn't do anything to help him. She was really PO'd about it. I'll get my son tomorrow and will talk to him about what happened.

A small part of me wants to put my kid in an easier going sport but at the same time I don't want him to quit and get driven out of the sport because of this big kid who was roughing him up today. This other kid has many more years of experience and is really big compared to the other kids on the team. I'd like him to stay with it and at least finish the season but I know he is going to be scared going to practice tomorrow. If he gets hurt more and more, his mom is going to raise hell over it. If I give in to her demands to put him in another sport it makes me look like I shouldn't be handling Activities (in case we ever go back to court) -- not that this really should matter but hopefully you get my point.

Any dads been through something like this and have any words of wisdom.
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Re: Son wants to quit football and mom ain't helping

Postby Trevor » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:07 pm

Gillooly the big kid.

No, don't.
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Re: Son wants to quit football and mom ain't helping

Postby BubbaGumpShrimp » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:53 pm

We've established what you want him to play, but have you sat down with him and asked what he wants to play? I mean REALLY ask...not ask, but essentially tell him what he wants to do (as my Dad used to do with some things). My $.02...ask him if he would rather try playing something else. If you word it like that, he's not going to feel like he's obligated to not disappoint you. Don't come at him like.... "Don't you want to play football son?"

You should be more concerned with his development and keeping him active in ANY sport than you should be about how it makes you look with his Mom or the courts. I'm not sure why that's even a concern for you at this point. So you withdraw him from football and put him in basketball (or whatever)...WGAF?

All that says (to me) is that you care enough about what your child wants to do that you listened to him (whether he keeps playing or not). If he wants to play football...great...but don't be that Dad that keeps their kid in a sport just because they want to live vicariously through his on-field success.

My son likes football but you have to motivate him to stay at it.


Son wants to quit football and mom ain't helping


It doesn't sound like he's THAT into it. He's a kid...if you have to motivate him to keep at a sport...he doesn't like it. Kids should be excited to play a sport. They shouldn't look at it like they're being forced to do chores or homework.
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Re: Son wants to quit football and mom ain't helping

Postby minuette » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:43 pm

Does your son have a realistic chance at an NCAA Div I scholarship, leading to a possible NFL career?

No?

Then don't "motivate" him to play. There are a ton of activities that he can be involved in that foster sportsmanship and team play, let him explore them and get involved in something that he has to drag YOU to, instead of the other way around.
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Re: Son wants to quit football and mom ain't helping

Postby dadoftwo » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:27 pm

My daughter has played softball for two seasons. The first year she was nervous because she had never played any sport. She told me she didn't want to at the beginning of the season, but after a few practices she realized how much fun it was and that she liked it. The second year her mother gave her some kind of guilt trip about playing and she told me she didn't want to play this year. It was a weird kind of loyalty to mom/mom hates dad, therefore she hates softball kind of thing that D10 definitely picked up on. Her mom also had her convinced that it took too much hard work that she wouldn't want to do. But, after the first few games her teacher said that softball was all she ever talked about at school and she was telling everyone its her favorite thing.

Sometimes you do need to push your kid past their comfort zone if you believe it is something good for them. You can consider the kid's wishes, but you still have to be the parent who can see beyond the limited perspective the kid has.
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Re: Son wants to quit football and mom ain't helping

Postby BubbaGumpShrimp » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:03 am

dadoftwo wrote:My daughter has played softball for two seasons. The first year she was nervous because she had never played any sport. She told me she didn't want to at the beginning of the season, but after a few practices she realized how much fun it was and that she liked it. The second year her mother gave her some kind of guilt trip about playing and she told me she didn't want to play this year. It was a weird kind of loyalty to mom/mom hates dad, therefore she hates softball kind of thing that D10 definitely picked up on. Her mom also had her convinced that it took too much hard work that she wouldn't want to do. But, after the first few games her teacher said that softball was all she ever talked about at school and she was telling everyone its her favorite thing.

Sometimes you do need to push your kid past their comfort zone if you believe it is something good for them. You can consider the kid's wishes, but you still have to be the parent who can see beyond the limited perspective the kid has.


I would agree if we were talking about baseball, soccer, basketball, softball, etc. We're talking about a game where kids lines up and hit their opposing number on the other side.

My Dad "encouraged" me to play baseball. I thought it was monotonous/boring as hell. At the end of the day though...it didn't hurt anything for them to push it on me. I eventually made it clear that I didn't want to play and did basketball instead.

This is one sport where I don't think the parent should be aggresively pushing it. If the kid wants to play...great. If he doesn't (regardless of the reason)...you're just pushing him out there on the field to get beat on.
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Re: Son wants to quit football and mom ain't helping

Postby Fatheroffour » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:46 am

I agree with Bubba. Pushing a kid out on the football field to get brutalized when he doesnt want to play is culturally sanctioned child abuse.

Take your kid hunting, fishing or golfing. It's better bonding time for the two of you and will provide him with memories he'll always want to remember rather than wishing he could forget and they are both sports he can engage in for the rest of his life. With dad while he's here and with his kids after dads gone.
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Re: Son wants to quit football and mom ain't helping

Postby secondhalf » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:02 am

Agree. Don't make son play if he doesn't want to. That could make him resent you for it. Perhaps the mom is putting things into his head about how "dangerous" football is. Perhaps the mom has been reading about the players who end up with multiple concussions and face long term health risks. Perhaps the mom is feeding this to son either consciously or without knowing she is doing it. However, there is really nothing you can do about what the mom does during her parenting time.

And has someone else has mentioned I would suggest letting you son choose a different sport. Did you do football as a kid? To me it sounds like you perhaps did and want you son to follow in your footsteps.
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Re: Son wants to quit football and mom ain't helping

Postby wcd9973 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:22 am

How old is the kid?
Agree with all others. Its not like its halfway thru the season. It just started.
Unless hes 12 playing for the first time, size doesn't really matter (Trust me, my son is in the 1% in size and plays hard as hell because he actually loves it). But if he is not into it and is playing because you want him to, he WILL GET HURT.

Even worse -he will hate the sport forever. It will not be fun for him.
Now -If he actually wants to play football but because he hasn't done it and doesn't feel comfortable with it because they are hitting, ask him if he would be interested in playing flag football instead.
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Re: Son wants to quit football and mom ain't helping

Postby conanTheDad » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:16 pm

He is ten. We had a serious talk about it today. He still wants to quit it and he says he'd like to continue soccer which he played last Spring, instead. Tomorrow I will check on registration for that.

I hear you ALL. As for me, I'm not living vicariously through him. I don't like football too much. Although, if I were offered 1 million dollars per year to be the placeholder, I could get to like it -- i'm sure. I put him in football after he told me he wanted to do it because his cousins were doing it and because he is big and strong and I wanted to see if this was something he'd be good at. The first year went OK -- he learned a lot of techniques and how to be a team player. This year was going OK until Tuesday night.

My son can push a lot of kids around himself. Like i said, he is big and strong, but he never learned how to hit hard or take a hit. That is something that you have to learn. And you have to learn not to be scared. Its actually psychological more then physical. I think it would have been huge boost for his confidence, if he had got through that threshold, and I imaging he would have started to love the sport if he did.

I did play football one year when I was a kid, and I sucked at it, BUT one of my most lingering childhood memories was this one tackle I made where I dived into this other kid going full throttle, preventing a touchdown. I was hoping my kid would get to that point where he could enjoy tackling because that is a blast -- some of you may know what I'm talking about if you ever played as a kid.

I hope his decision to quit because one kid roughed him up want stick in his mind. That is another concern I had -- quitting when the going gets tough, so they say. If I was him, I'd probably have the face of that kid stuck in my mind, but of course I'm not him and he is telling me now that it doesn't bug him, so I hope it doesn't.

Concerning his mother, she exacerbates the situation and does say lots of negative and scary things about injury in front of our son, so yea, that doesn't help at all.

The point or clarity I gleaned from this was to have a serous talk about it with him (which I've done today explaining things including some of the details I've rephrased in this post) and then let him make a decision (which he has done).

So I'm going to see if I can still register him for soccer tomorrow.

Thanks for the input guys
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