15 y/o wants to give up swimming! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by robin4kids View Post

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.

 

Yes, as a parent it IS your responsibility to monitor who his friends are, etc. But... that doesn't necessarily mean the way to do it is limit his ability to spend time with them. This is a time in life when it's important for kids to learn what kind of person s/he wants to be, as well as what kind of people s/he wants to spend time with. Perhaps you'd feel more comfortable with his choices if you got to know some of them.

 

As for being easily influenced... Honestly? That may be partially due to you. It doesn't sound as though he gets to make many choices himself - you make them for him. That's fine on some levels, but on others? How IS he to learn to make good choices if he's never given the chance?

 

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Originally Posted by robin4kids View Post

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.

 

Why can he not do any other sports? Is there a physical/medical issue? If he can't do a different sport, what about other activities at school? Today's HSs have so many different extracurricular options - there is something to suit nearly every type of kid. Additionally, not every activity/interest has to be as structured as that. My son discovered music (as in beyond just something to listen to) as a freshman in HS. While he became involved in school activities as well (he played football one year, then got involved in drama/music, the majority of his free time was spent: studying guitar, teaching himself the piano, and composing music. Primarily at home. Yes, he hung out with friends (LOL mostly girls) and participated in social activities, but the most of his time was spent at home working on his music. As a FT working single parent, that also meant he was home alone (with his sister) for blocks of time. He's never been in any trouble. And it was never something I needed to worry about.

 

As for "free time" in college? My son told me that it was easy to tell which kids had been micromanaged and which ones hadn't. The ones who had? Tended to either (a) wander around aimlessly or (b) go hog wild. The ones who hadn't? Settled into a pretty easy routine of classes, studying, hanging out with friends and generally had an easier time transitioning.

 

Just something to think about.

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#32 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 08:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by robin4kids View Post


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.


 

You don't have to drop him off.  You could tell him to invite the kids to your house.  (Also, you could invite those other parents over, or try to get to know them - "our kids are hanging out so much, we should have coffee sometime!")

 

When I was a teenager, there was one mom who would always let us hang out.  There was a finished basement and a good supply of snacks and soda, and she was pretty chill about us watching movies or playing board games or having snowball fights in the backyard.  Now that I'm a parent, I realize that this woman was a genius.  She always knew where her kids were, who they were with, and what they were doing, and her kids didn't feel pursued or constrained.  My folks made a point of saying hi and making sure that she could get in touch with them and that she really didn't mind having us over.  She managed to buy a *ton* of teen safety by supplying chips and Diet Cokes. When my kids are teenagers, I would pay FritoLay to back a truck up to my house if it would help me pull off that trick.

 

Just something to think about.

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#33 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 09:44 AM
 
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I was that mom who always had the kids over at my house.  When there was no football/basketball game, dance, movie etc everyone was welcome to hang out here.  If my kids were hanging out somewhere else, it was easy to call other parents and say "Can I make some Brownies?  Do you need soda?". 

 

"Friends are overrated"- sure, tell that to the kid who has no friends, or read back on some of the threads here about parents concerned that their teen is lonely.  Friends are important, and you are buying yourself a world of trouble if you try to keep him isolated.  We all want to protect our children from the world, but the time to cautiously explore freedom is while they are still under your guidance. 

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#34 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by enkmom View Post

I was that mom who always had the kids over at my house. 


I still am with the 16yo. Yes, sometimes I ask if the kids could bring some soda or snacks, or can they all pitch in a few bucks for pizza. (Hey - I'm a single parent with one in college!) Although I often have stuff around to throw together a baked ziti, or mac & cheese, or stuff for tacos.

 

And I'll tell ya... all I have to do is hang in the kitchen and listen. I guarantee that I know more about these kids than their parents do. And it's not necessarily bad stuff. But I know which girl likes which boy, who's worried about her SAT scores, who wants to go further away for college (and who wants to stay closer) than her parents are keen on. And yes... I know who I bought a pregnancy test for, and when it came back negative, urged to talk to her parents about her activity. I know who drinks (NOT in my house) and smokes weed (again - NOT in my house). I know who will actually drive impaired (and who to tell my daughter she is NEVER to get into a car with!). I know whose parents are actually okay and can be called when action w/o recriminations is needed.

 

And... I know who to call when I want to plan a surprise party for her. Friends are NOT overrated. Not at all.

 

I have a lot of friends. But my HS friends? KNOW me. They knew me back when. And that's a very special bond. One I hope OP will not deny her son.

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#35 of 41 Old 02-14-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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If it were my house, he'd have to come up with some type of productive activity to take the place of swimming.  It wouldn't need to be every single night and weekend, but it would need to be something.  It could be a different sport, a club, volunteer work, etc.  But I wouldn't allow hanging out endlessly.  I would make him finish the season out, and let him come up with a plan in the meantime for what he's going to do afterward.

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#36 of 41 Old 02-14-2011, 07:57 PM
 
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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.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by robin4kids View Post

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.



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#37 of 41 Old 02-15-2011, 01:42 PM
 
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Although the OP hasn't said this one, I've heard it from lots of swim team moms. Although boys are less likely to have eating disorders than girls, and swimming has a much lower rate of this problem than some sports such as dancing and gymnastics, I think that when a child is being forced to exercise against their will for many hours of each week partly because the parent wants the child super fit, they are on very slippy ground. They are teaching the child that how they look is more important than what they really want or what is going on them on the inside. They are teaching that how other perceive the child's outsides are more important than who the child really is as a person.

 

I'm all for being fit. I'm a yoga teacher!!!  But everything needs to be in balance, even "fitness."

 

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1. It would keep me fit;

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#38 of 41 Old 02-15-2011, 05:29 PM
 
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It doesn't surprise me that your son is not motivated to do anything with his time off.  I know that when I have free time after a crazy busy week, I veg on the couch.  If I had school work on top of that and a sport to go to 5 nights a week, I'd be going out of my mind.  Some kids are low key, but that isn't bad or mean they won't succeed in something they care about. 

 

I'd have his finish up in March and let him decide.  It's hard when a child doesn't feel the same way about a sport that you do, but they have the right to have different interests. 

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#39 of 41 Old 02-24-2011, 09:24 AM
 
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Let him finish out the season, then let him decide. I played sports when I was a kid and I absolutely hated doing it until the season ended, but once it was over I realized that I had tons of great memories.

 

If he's really too stressed out with work, practice, and competing all the time, you shouldn't force him to do it. I'd suggest doing some sort of physical activity just because it helps relive stress, but maybe not one that's not so demanding. He needs time to hang out with his friends and socialize so his childhood doesn't feel like a mircocosm of a work week. And, you never know, maybe he plays sports when he and his friends hang out.

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#40 of 41 Old 02-25-2011, 12:56 PM
 
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Uh, you're son is going to school, doing swim practice 5 nights a week, and meets on many weekends and you don't think he should get a chance to veg out on his days off? Sorry, but that is just nuts. Really. Everyone has a point when things are just so intense during their normal schedule that they need to back away at some point and just "veg". Chances are he would find other things to do eventually, once he quits the swim team. He won't be so exhausted from such an intensive schedule.

 

Friends are not overrated. Friends are, particularly in the teen years, very important. Not as important as family, though someone can start thinking friends are more important than family if the family doesn't respect them, and their friends do. Still very important. Friends help us learn to negotiate the vast number of social interactions we engage in everyday as adults. They teach us how to deal with conflict when one person is not in a position of authority, and can provide input on issues that are different from what we or our parents are able or willing to see. Friends give us someone to talk to when we aren't comfortable talking to our parents, or when the problem is our parents. Friends will give you a shoulder to cry on when you need it, hug when you want it, and a good laugh when that's all you need to feel better. They give us a connection to the outside world beyond what family can. My friends have given me understanding about such a wide range of circumstances, just by sharing with me what it was like to be "the poor little rich kid", "the religious freak", "the non-religious heathen", etc. The world because a wide, open, ever changing place when you have friends from all walks of life. And best of all, when I have a question about something that may come off as intrusive or slightly offensive to a stranger or acquaintance, I can ask a friend. If none of them know, they can ask their friends, and so on until someone has an answer that can be passed back to me. And I know that I'm able to do the same for them too, which is a great feeling.

 

Your son is not you. He doesn't need to get straight A's (which by the way are overrated, B's and C's means he's somewhat ahead of his peers in school. Or should be at least.) He doesn't need to be hypermotivated to make anything of himself, either. He is starting to learn who he is right now, and the kind of schedule you want him to keep is going to only inhibit that, but forcing him into a mold that is not his own. He needs a chance to find his own place in this world, and it's likely not going to be the place that you think he should be. 

 

Start giving him space now, so that he doesn't suddenly find himself (as the PP's have mentioned) in a situation where he's suddenly, and with out preparation, pushed into adulthood with no clue on how to make his own choices, fix his own mistakes, or monitor his own behaviours.


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#41 of 41 Old 02-25-2011, 02:10 PM
 
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I think the children in your research were involved in sports by choice, and not by force. 

Friends are overrated??? You're smothering him and evenutally he's going to retaliate.


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