Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekend Ups and Downs

My son had his first soccer game of the season this weekend. Well, there was a game all right, but Kai hardly played.

It was a beautiful sunny day, seemingly perfect for soccer. Kai’s grandmother was in town and happy to get a chance to see Kai play. We got to the field and were pleasantly surprised to find that Kai’s best friend from school had decided to play after originally saying he did not want to. They had fun chasing each other around before the game. So, all looked fine.

Then the game started.

Kai’s friend had to go to the bathroom, and apparently took all of Kai’s energy with him when he left. As the other kids were running up and down the field, Kai was mostly just standing around.

A short while later, he came to the sidelines complaining that he was hot. He is really sensitive to heat. But it wasn’t like it was a 90-degree day. And he was hardly running enough to work up a sweat anyway.

I gave him water and let him take a break. And then I told him that I wanted him to go back out and play.

But then he complained that his new soccer jersey was uncomfortable. Was it itchy? I couldn’t make out the reason for his complaints. Still, everyone has to wear the jersey so I tried to get him to persevere. Yeah, that didn’t work.

As Kai’s team was running low on players, the coach said it was okay if Kai didn’t wear his soccer jersey so I had him change into a regular t-shirt. By then, though, he was yelling that he hated soccer and wanted to go home.

I was mad – no other kids were causing any problems; why was Kai being so difficult? I was embarrassed – my son was the only one making a scene in front of all the parents and I was proving to be an ineffective parent. I was frustrated – why couldn’t I be more patient and understanding with him? Or, maybe I was too patient with him? Whatever! Why can’t I get him to go back out and play?

I ended up threatening to take away his Pokemon cards. I told him that he wouldn’t be able to use the computer for the rest of the weekend. His grandmother and I told him that we weren’t going to leave until the game ended regardless of whether he played or not.

He didn’t.

When we got home I took away him Pokemon cards. He lost his computer privileges for the weekend.

But, later that day, we visited relatives and he played nicely with his cousins. And that was more meaningful than a soccer game.

Frustrations and triumphs. The weekend was a microcosm of our life.


  1. The painful (to both parent and child) but necessary follow through is what ultimately changes the situation in the child's mind...from one of empty one of forgone conclusion. It is the part that I hate just as much as my son does...but an act that is necessary to his growth...and both of us realize it.

  2. I think what bothers me is not the follow through, as I agree with you that it is necessary. But, rather, not comprehending why it was so difficult for him to play. Part of me wonders if there were sensory issues and that maybe I should have been more understanding. Another part thinks that he needs to learn to deal with it regardless.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...