My mother was exactly like you. I started my sport at 7. Daily practices--2 h, 5 days a week in winters, 8 h a day in summers. According to her it was good because: 1. It would keep me fit; 2. It would give me a skill; 3. It would keep me busy. Friends were "overrated".
I was good, but not stellar in it. I was in that sport until I was 14, and then I started skipping practices and then she had no choice but to allow me to quit. Also by that time her idea of how I should be changed somewhat, and she invested in English tutors. If it wasn't for that, I'm sure leaving the sport would not have been so easy.
The sport was ALL about her needs, not mine. My needs were dismissed, just as you are dismissing the needs of your son as irrelevant.
You never know how your life is going to turn out, or his. Let him live his life, he is old enough. Love him and support him. Being in a sport that he resents won't create a more motivated child--as it seems you hope. Real motivation comes from within, not from outside. Let him find his own way. There's no rush. I was in a car accident, and now even if I wanted to play my sport--I wouldn't be able to.
It took me years to start understanding WHO I was as a child and now as an adult. I couldn't have a single interest on my own. Sewing? That's useless. Drawing? I wasn't good at it anyway. Writing poetry? Rubbish. Learning Spanish on my own at 12? English was a better choice. I loved literature, but I was in the Math / Physics intensive school because it was "better" for me. I lived my life thinking I was shy and introverted, because this is what my mother wanted me to be, and told me and everyone she met, in front of me--"Oh, she is SHY." I was in university when I realised I was neither. For a while I was surprised that my kids were not into academic stuff or math. Because I was. Seemingly, I was. But then I realised I simply had no choices at all as a child.
Research that you quote--it does NOT apply to kids who are forced into an activity. It is about children who actually want to be there. And believe me, even if you schedule 100% of his time, he will find a way to do what he wants the moment he is old enough to leave your home and be on his own.
Everyone is different, and even if you are a type A personality, your son doesn't have to be. He is not worse because of that. He is just different. He has his own value.
Ask yourself, what is more important to you--a good relationship with your "imperfect" son, or a "perfect" son who won't want to do anything with you when he is older?
I moved away from my mother as soon as I could, at 18. I haven't spoken to her in the last 7 years, and our relationship before that was awful. She has only met my oldest child, and even then, briefly. I know it is not a PC thing to say, but she is toxic, and I'm so happy without her in my life. In fact, it was easy to cut her out of my life--we never had a relationship. She's always been like a stranger to me.
For my mother, my "perfection" has always been more important than a bond. She admitted to it, and she is proud of it. She feels that everything she did was justified, everything she did was right, and I "owe" her for that. She never wanted a relationship. Once we saw a mom chatting and laughing with her 15 yo daughter, the mom kissed and hugged the girl. They were having fun together. My mother snickered, and said it was sentimental rubbish. I was 18 at that time. IT was probably months before I left home. My mother wanted some kind of a bargain--she invests in me according to her standards, and then I live my life happily ever after, indepted to her sacrifices.
Relationship or a transaction? Your choice.
Originally Posted by robin4kids
Well first off, anyone who has been in swimming knows that as boys get older, their are FEWER of them swimming. He makes friends easy and likes even the girls on the team but has never developed a lasting relationship.
Second, the meets are not every weekend.
Third, my son would NOT spend more time getting better grades. He would drag his feet around the house doing nothing. On at least 3 weekends this swim season he spent the whole weekend watching T.V because the other kids he was friends with had other things they had to do. So he just sulked.
He is not a motivated child. He never has been. If he has no one to "play" with then he just has no idea what to do with him self. Summer is the worst. We are making him get a part-time job this summer, just so he is out of the house and doing something.
Also friends are overrated. Friends are great, if you know the friend's parents and have similar beliefs. If however you have only met the parents when dropping off your child at the house, then you have NO idea what may be allowed while your child is there. My ds is VERY easily influenced. If he wants to be in a certain crowd of kids he will do whatever it takes. As a mom it is still my responsibility to monitor this. Keeping him busy keeps him out of trouble.
There is research that shows that children that are involved in an organized sport or after school activity, get into less trouble. My ds can't do any other sports. What will he do with his time? Just the other day I allowed him to miss practice to go to a basketball game. WHY? So he can hang with friends. He admitted it was kind of boring and he felt trapped. If they left the school they were not allowed back in. So what will my ds write on his college transcript? I watched my friends play their sports?
I think college should be the time when kids can decide what they want to do with all that free time.