Help! NAD

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mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781
Help! NAD

Ladies, I need some advice please...

Jace started soccer about three weeks ago (once a week practices). There are a lot of kids (all grouped into mini teams) and he ended up with a really great coach.

Problem: He keeps coming over to me and crying, saying he wants to go home. I keep encouraging him (because he's actually very good!) and telling him that his team needs him. His coach is really nice and encourages him also. So Jace will stop crying and go back out and then he will come back over crying again. I ask him if he feels nervous (he says yes) and I think he feels overwhelmed also, with the amount of people there, and I feel like maybe he has anxiety about it (I was the same way growing up, but once I knew what was going on I felt fine, nonetheless, he got those nervous characteristics from me).

Anyway, what should I do? Am I horrible for making him still play? He loves practicing with me and loves playing soccer, I just don't know if it's the environment that's negative for him? Is he too young and maybe I should try when he is a bit older (he will be 5 in December)?

When he did tae kwon do, he was completely fine.

Thanks in advance!

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

How long has he been going for? If it has just been the one time, it may be that he just needs some time to process and talk about it, and he will be fine when you go back. So if that is the case, I would give it at least one more shot.

I have personally not experienced this, but I do have a friend who has a very anxious little girl. There have been many activities (including soccer) where she has ended up pulling her daughter and trying again the next year. For whatever reason (foreknowledge of what will happen, developmental age?) she is usually fine the next year.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

Can someone else take him? Maybe he'd be more inclined to step out and really play if his security Mom wasn't there to run to. Jason started Wee-ball this season and I noticed that he was very outgoing the whole time but he wanted to leave early for each of the practices I attended and stayed for the ones I didn't get to go to.

I wouldn't give it up quite yet.

indigoV51's picture
Joined: 09/19/03
Posts: 101

We had this problem with my oldest son at the same age. He was so anxious but we made him finish out the "season" and it frustrated us because he was so talented! We waited until he asked to do a team sport again and it wasn't until 3rd grade. He was still really anxious and had no problems at practice but would sorta freak out at the games. He got a bit better toward the end but we realized that although he is really talented in athletics, he just can't handle the pressure.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

This morning will be his 3rd time. He keeps saying he doesn't want to go, and then I reminded him his coach had a surprise for them, and he said "Oh yeah. Then do we play soccer after??" I said, "yes" and he said "Oooooo" (in that "I don't want to" tone).

Unfortunately I don't have anyone else to take him besides myself or his grandmother. He would probably be worse with his grandmother, lol.

He keeps saying, "My back hurts, so that means I can't go to soccer" or "My belly hurts, so I can't go to soccer."

UUUUUGH. Why are kids so frustrating, lol. Thanks for everyone's help so far!

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

I would probably allow him to quit and try again the next year (though I'd be disappointed because we all like to watch our children do something they are good at). Typically, I'm not one to let my children quit something until they have completed it because I don't think it sets a good example. But Jace is young and perhaps he just isn't ready yet. It is obviously stressing him out, and because soccer isn't a must-do I just wouldn't continue to put him through that. You can still practice soccer at home with him and he will likely be more ready next year.

Last season when Madi was in a combo dance class I watched several Moms shove their little girls into class crying and screaming because they didn't want to go. It wasn't because the kids hated to dance, but simply because they just weren't ready developmentally. It ticked me off that the kids were forced to go because I felt sorry for them, but also because it was disrupting my child's class and she was eager to have fun and learn. It especially annoyed me because I waited an extra year to enroll Madi until I was sure she was ready and wouldn't cling to me when it was time for class to start.

Not trying to be judgmental, just offering my opinion. I bet he looks super cute in the uniform though, doesn't he? lol

Joined: 07/24/10
Posts: 208

We had the same issue with our eldest. He is so stinking good at throwing a baseball, but when we put him in baseball at 5 years old, he hated it and kept asking to go home. It was really hard on DH and me because we're both sporty people who like and are good at team sports, but we finally came to the realization that our kiddo is a different person. If he doesn't like team sports, that's ok. I think we, as parents of the world, expect so much of our kids these days. Sometimes we just need to back off and let them lead. Jace will find his passion and he'll let you know what he's interested in and wants to do with his time. Maybe that'll be soccer next year or the year after and maybe it won't. Soccer should be fun for the both of you, not torture IYKWIM. Good luck and don't feel guilty about pulling him!

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

"The Great Vagina" wrote:

We had the same issue with our eldest. He is so stinking good at throwing a baseball, but when we put him in baseball at 5 years old, he hated it and kept asking to go home. It was really hard on DH and me because we're both sporty people who like and are good at team sports, but we finally came to the realization that our kiddo is a different person. If he doesn't like team sports, that's ok. I think we, as parents of the world, expect so much of our kids these days. Sometimes we just need to back off and let them lead. Jace will find his passion and he'll let you know what he's interested in and wants to do with his time. Maybe that'll be soccer next year or the year after and maybe it won't. Soccer should be fun for the both of you, not torture IYKWIM. Good luck and don't feel guilty about pulling him!

I agree. If it's not fun for anyone, no need to push. The only time we pushed was with swimming, becUse we think it is necessary.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

Just wanted to add. It seems that you like his coach? Have you talked to the coach about this? I could be there is something else going on that you are not seeing from the sidelines, like another child being mean. Another thing my friend has done is have her daughter go every time and if she doesnt want to play she can sit on the sidelines with mom and cheer on her team. She started doing this because she didnt want her to get the idea that it was OK to quit once you have committed to something. Her daughter is older though, Im not sure if that is a lesson I would feel that I needed to enforce at Jaces age. It is also a huge waste of time for the parent.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

Take him out. At his age, it should be fun. If he is not having fun, what is the point?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"The Great Vagina" wrote:

We had the same issue with our eldest. He is so stinking good at throwing a baseball, but when we put him in baseball at 5 years old, he hated it and kept asking to go home. It was really hard on DH and me because we're both sporty people who like and are good at team sports, but we finally came to the realization that our kiddo is a different person. If he doesn't like team sports, that's ok. I think we, as parents of the world, expect so much of our kids these days. Sometimes we just need to back off and let them lead. Jace will find his passion and he'll let you know what he's interested in and wants to do with his time. Maybe that'll be soccer next year or the year after and maybe it won't. Soccer should be fun for the both of you, not torture IYKWIM. Good luck and don't feel guilty about pulling him!

I agree. Now, a 10 year old? different. But at Jace's age I think that he really is too young to understand the notion of commitment etc, and it should be all about fun. Stress is no fun. I hope that he loves soccer (or something else!) some day.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

It could be a couple of things. If he really liked the tai kwon do (sp?) and didn't seem to have any problems there but does at soccor, maybe he really doesn't enjoy himself there. Maybe he feels more comfortable in one environment over the other. At this age, I wouldn't push him into doing anything that makes him that physically upset. Like you said, maybe he's just too young for soccor right now... maybe try again in a year or two?

I have sort of the same issue with my DS and cub scouts. Last year we signed him up because he begged us to, and DH thought it would be good for him as he was a scout when he was young. I was fine as long as I didn't have to take him to the meetings (I have two other children and am just too worn out after working all day lol!), and he said that was fine, that he would take him. So all year long (it runs the length of the school year) he loved it. He had the summer off from meetings, and then when it came time to start going again, at first he was all for it, but now wants to back out. We've spent a lot of time and money on scouts (as his little brother has now joined as well) and I really like the positive experience that the boys get out of it. His reasonings for wanting to back out are ridiculous, he says it "takes away from his play time!" Even his dad is on my side (DH is not his biological father, although he takes him to all the meetings as I have primary custody) and says that since he committed to joining he needs to see it through, and I agree. My situation is a little different though, as my DS is nine years old. My mom gets mad at me for not letting him quit because she says she never forced me to do anything that I didn't want to do. I took piano lessons for about two years when I was around 11 years old, and then wanted to quit so they let me. I sort of wish they would have made me do it, as I now so wish that I could play the piano to my full potential... so I have that same mentality with my son now. Sorry this is so long, it's just funny that all of us moms have to go through these sorts of situations and wonder if we're doing the right thing!

carg0612's picture
Joined: 09/23/09
Posts: 1554

"Potter75" wrote:

I agree. Now, a 10 year old? different. But at Jace's age I think that he really is too young to understand the notion of commitment etc, and it should be all about fun. Stress is no fun. I hope that he loves soccer (or something else!) some day.

I also tend to agree. I tried soccar with my DS#1 when he was 4 and he had a similar behavior. A year and a half later we started him with football and got a totally different reaction. Could be the sport change but my bet is on his maturity level.

GL, and at 4 you really shouldn't feel bad about pulling him out if he's that miserable. Try again next year and I'm guessing you'll get a different reaction.

If you're not comfortable pulling him right away then have someone else take him. Kids always act differently with mommy or daddy right there. If he doesn't know you're there he may act differently. But if that doesn't work then you might want to consider taking him out.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

Here's what I would do...

1. try to find a carpool & see how he does without you.
2. if carpooling isn't an option, try dropping him off & see how he does without you.
3. talk about what to expect, how it's a lot of kids in one place but to focus on only the game on his field.
4. talk with the coach about what might be happening on the field to make him want to leave.
5. next time he comes out, encourage him to stay just a bit longer, maybe even give him an amount of time he can come back out after (5 minutes? 10?) if he wants.
6. ask him how it could be better, what would make him get back out there?
7. ask him what he would do if you took him home?
8. let him quit if all else fails. At this age it needs to be fun.

Good luck! We started Tiven in soccer when she was 4. It was small teams, tiny fields, no scorekeeping, very kid-friendly. She cried the first game & only played when we really pushed her to go out. The second game she whined & moaned the first half, and then at half-time asked when she got to play. She's been great since then. Every once in a while she'll complain about some aspect of it, but mostly she loves it & complains when it's not soccer season.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

Thank you everyone for your input. His grandmother helped a lot and played with him on the sidelines next to his team, as well as myself, and eventually he joined his team again and had a lot of fun. He expressed to me that he was scared of another boy (some little boy walked up to him and pushed him during the second practice, I saw the whole thing and was baffled that a kid would do that out of no where. I don't know, I guess I forget that there ARE mean little kids out there. Jace just looked at him and I was so proud that he didn't do anything back. I told him I was very proud of him for not pushing back and talked with him some more because he was crying) but I told him the boy won't do it again because he was across the whole entire field and I won't let him do it again anyway. He seemed to feel better after I reassured him of that. In the end, I asked him if he had fun and if he was proud of himself, he said yes. We will see again next Saturday and hopefully he will feel more comfortable. If not, then I would pull him out.

Two other little girls on his team were crying also, lol. Hopefully he is not starting a trend, hehe.

carg0612's picture
Joined: 09/23/09
Posts: 1554

Good for you and for your DS!!!

I hope next week goes even better!