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OT: Being a dad isn't easy


Hardtail

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I have a 6 yr old son who plays soccer. He isn't the greatest kid on the team... in fact, he's probably the worst. That doesn't concern me. I just want him to go out and have some fun, run around, and learn to listen to other people of authority besides myself and his mother.

 

Yesterday, I got a little over ambitious and told him that if he scores a goal, we'll go to the toy store. My only motive was that this could motivate him into getting in the game.

 

For the first 1/2, he was really trying to keep up with the rest of the kids. By the 2nd half though, he was a bit dejected, and pretty much gave up.

 

Because he didn't score a goal, I didn't take him to the toy store... a deal's a deal right?

 

I'm a hardass old jarhead, I admit. I guess I've always been raised that when you fall on your ass, you get back up... it's just something I'm trying to teach my son since life isn't fair and he's going to fall on his ass a few times. Sometimes though, I go too far.

 

I fear that I may have taken the fun away from him playing soccer. I'm feeling a little bad about all of this.

 

So... I told him this morning that if he's good in school all week, has good soccer practices this week, and does his best during the next game, we'll go to the toy store. To the best that a 6 year old could possibly understand, I tried to tell him I was wrong about yesterday.

 

I'm sure he's forgotten all about it but I'm kind of a wreck. :eek::D

 

I'm not writing this for any answers. It's certainly a weird place to put this post up but there are a few people here I call friends and it just feels better to spew it out. Since we're all musicians who try to tap into our emotions while playing, well... you know what I mean.

 

For those who've been dads longer than me, I'm sure this is but a small instance in the grand scheme of the job. I have a long way to go (not looking forward to him asking for the car keys).

 

Thanks for listening (reading).... I'll shut up and play my guitar now. :eek:

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I think it's important to follow through with promises. If you told him he had to get a goal to go to the toy store, it was important that he only go, under those conditions. I agree with how you handled it as well. Letting him know that it was wrong to ask so much of him and then giving him a more, realistic goal seems like the best solution to that particular situation.

 

Sounds like you're doing a good job to me. I don't think you have anything to feel bad about.

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Originally posted by Craig Brophy:

I think it's important to follow through with promises.

I think so too. If I cave into him just because he pouts a little, that'll set a bad precedent that'll only get worse as he gets older.

 

But... I will set the goals a little lower next time.

 

To say he's the worst kid on the team isn't quite fair either. He's the youngest kid out of a bunch of 7 year olds. Between 6 and 7 can be a big gap in terms of sports and he could very well be a good soccer player next year.

 

My job is to keep this fun for him so that he can realize his potential.

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You did fine, you have to show him you mean what you say. The original deal was too tough but that's just the way it goes. He wil hav elearnt more by you sticking by what you said in the first place.

 

On another tack, I'm a dad and I coach soccer and there's way too much emphasis on goal-scoring. In soccer, as in most sports, it's possible to be the best player on the field and not score - it's even possible to have a great game without touching the ball.

 

Make sure he's playing in small sided games (7 a-side max or it gets frustrating) and make sure he spends more time being coached skills than competing. Get him to spend time rolling the ball around on his own sometimes too - under and around his feet without looking down - in my experience, this gets the quickest results (as well as working on awareness of space to get into the places the ball will come to (very hard concept for 7 year olds)).

 

I'm sure you're a cool dad!

 

I'm sure your a cool dad

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Thanks Phil. Great advice.

 

He has a great coach that teaches skills. Goal shooting is probably about 5% of what he's teaching in practice.

 

The reason I stressed to my son that he try to score a goal is because he isn't that agressive right now. He's a very polite child (thanks to me and his mom ;) ) but I'm trying to teach him that it's ok to take the ball away from the other kid (on the other team of course).

 

In some ways, my methods worked by making him a bit more aggressive. In others, it backfired.

 

I probably am a cool dad but I'm certainly not perfect. :D

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I agree, it sounds like you're doing fine. One of the beatiful things about parenting IMHO is that it is the greatest learning experience for parents. In fact, I think we learn just as much about ourselves raising kids as they do about themselves and the world around them.

 

I am glad you posted something about kids on here.

 

good luck,

 

durwood

knowledge is power, but ignorance is bliss
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HT...don't take this wrong because I don't mean anything negative toward you or your methods for dealing with your child...it's just a differing viewpoint...OK?

 

My opinion (FWIW) is that you took the fun out of it when you made the offer in the first place. At 6 years old, he should be playing sports for several reasons...none of which have to do with material reward.

 

1. To learn social skills

2. To learn teamwork and to learn to take direction from coaches

3. For physical exercise

4. To have fun

 

If he scores a goal or if his team wins a game, that's bonus. There should be no pressure on him at this point to win. Competitiveness will come soon enough...right now it's more a social activity and learning experience.

 

However......all that having been said, I think that you have to set an example of doing exactly what you say you're going to do...and not doing what you say you're not going to do. Sometimes it's tough. You feel like you are depriving them of something by not buying them that little material thing that would be torn up or lost in a week's time anyway. What you are really doing, though, is giving them something much more valuable. An example of living up to your word that will last them a lifetime.

 

All too often people do and say things without really giving a lot of thought to the actual message that is really delivered to the child. If you give in and take him anyway what you're telling him is "You don't really have to earn things...it's just something I say. If you sulk a little, I'll give it to you anyway."

 

Once, my wife laid a roll of Scotch tape on the coffee table. The youngest boy LOVED Scotch tape. He was about 4 then. If he got hold of a roll of Scotch tape, he would literally tape everything in reach (including himself and the dog)...and he would waste a roll of tape in about 45 seconds flat. He went for the tape when she laid it on the table. She said "No" and moved it to the other side of the table. He went for it again. Again she said "No!" and moved it. He started whining and pouting and kept trying to get it. Finally, she picked it up and put it in a cabinet over the refrigerator. I asked her "What message do you think he got from all of that?" Her reply...."That I don't want him to have the tape." NOPE! The message he actually got was "No matter what she SAYS...if it's in reach, it's fair game. If I really can't have it, she'll put it where I can't get it."

 

By the way...you ARE a cool Dad because you are concerned about it and thinking about the cause and effect of what you do and say.

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Sas,

 

I'm with you on everything you said, brother. When I really think about this... who was the one who really cares if my son scores a goal? Him or me? ..... raises his hand in guilt... ME! He's fine with what he's doing right now. He's having fun and along with the other things you listed, that's all that matters.

 

Now, does anyone have a copy of that DAD's manual lying around? I need to review some things. :D

 

Thanks guys. You've been a great help.

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Originally posted by Hard Tail:

Sas,

 

I'm with you on everything you said, brother. When I really think about this... who was the one who really cares if my son scores a goal? Him or me? ..... raises his hand in guilt... ME! He's fine with what he's doing right now. He's having fun and along with the other things you listed, that's all that matters.

 

Now, does anyone have a copy of that DAD's manual lying around? I need to review some things. :D

 

Thanks guys. You've been a great help.

:D Unfortunately...you don't get that until AFTER the fact...and then you find that you wrote it along the way.

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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You're doin' fine. I love kids, but I'm low on patience. I'm really touched that you've stepped back to analyze yourself. You're already a better dad than I could ever be. :thu:
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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Originally posted by Hard Tail:

...The reason I stressed to my son that he try to score a goal is because he isn't that agressive right now. He's a very polite child (thanks to me and his mom ;) ) but I'm trying to teach him that it's ok to take the ball away from the other kid (on the other team of course)...

LOL - This is exactly what happened with my oldest (my daughter) when she played soccer when she was 5 & 6! We ended up giving up on soccer but got her into volleyball when she was 9. She really took to this sport and is now one of the best players on her team.

 

I think it's great that you realized what was going on with your son and yourself, even after the fact. Simply having this awareness is a big plus in parenting. :thu:

Mudcat's music on Soundclick

 

"Work hard. Rock hard. Eat hard. Sleep hard. Grow big. Wear glasses if you need 'em."-The Webb Wilder Credo-

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Yeah, I wrecked it for my kid and soccer. He had a Canadian for the main coach and a Marine as the asst. coach. The Canadian - mellow as can be - never raised his voice or was discouraging. The Marine could get to joking like he was with a bunch of Marines. One game the Canadian wasn't there. My son was the right forward. We kept trying to get him to stay on the upper corner 1/3rd of the field so they could pass to him. I guess it embarassed him. That was the last year he played soccer. Bad move. Must learn from the Canadian.
Raise your children and spoil your grandchildren. Spoil your children and raise your grandchildren.
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we tried soccer for the boys and it was ok and they had fun at practices. but after seeing how some coaches and parents acted at a weekend tournament we passed at returning the next summer.

the guys were not into it anyway.

sometimes i wonder if we try things on our children at too young an age.

Hartail you seem to have a good grasp on what you are doing, because you think about what you are doing.

i am no expert on children, i learn each day from my kids.

sometimes i wish i could have more patience.

i think my boys are doing ok, and we try to make sure they have options for extra activities.

what i find difficult now is balancing my attention between two boys who are close in age.

and i miss the excitement that was expressed when i came home from work. grab every minute of the early years, they grow so fast.

i miss my babies. :cry:

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Punish your kid when he does wrong, but reward your kid, not because he does right, but because he's your kid. Otherwise, your love becomes conditional in his sight.

 

And never forget, your kids decide what nursing home you'll finish your days in.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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Sounds like you're doing just fine, HT.

BTW, when you find that manual, I'd like a copy when you're done! :P

My five year old son is teaching me things (or is it that I'm teaching him?!) all the time. Hopefully I'm learning and can be better(and more patient)when the 1 month old gets older. Being a parent is the single greatest thing in my life, but the single hardest at the same time. But I do love it!!!!

Avoid playing the amplifier at a volume setting high enough to produce a distorted sound through the speaker-Fender Guitar Course-1966

 

 

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I hate to say it, but you were right to follow through with that promise, just as long as you told him you were wrong.

 

My parents do that same thing with me (note---if it's a concert I want to go to, following-through SHOULD NOT APPLY :D ). They've had enough daughters to know what's right and what's wrong. Everyone will make mistakes when they're just figuring it out.

 

Originally posted by Justus A. Picker:

I'd say the fact that you're concerned about it shows that you're doing a good job and are a good father. Once he hits the terrible-teens he'll probably disagree with that assessment but he'll eventually get over that too.

 

Grandkids are so much easier to deal with!

:D:D I personally don't disagree with it, I just.....

 

disagree with it. :)

"My two Fender Basses, I just call them "Lesbos" because of the time they spend together in the closet."-Durockrolly

 

This has been a Maisie production. (Directed in part by Spiderman)

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All of my four kids developed naturally into strong, confident and socially respectable athletes and consequently.... great people.

 

We fed them a constant diet of smiles, cheers, hugs, kisses, kind words, words of wisdom and above all else.. open ears and open hearts.

 

I can't recall ever doing or giving them anything because of what they'd accomplished but faithfully carry out routines and rituals simply as part of what they were involved in. That way we parents became part of the cycle on their terms.

 

Now that I'm single I find it's one of the things keeping me sane and fuelling my heart.

 

You will give more with your smiles and your tears than you will ever know and the only failure is to not let it show.

You're good... don't worry.

I still think guitars are like shoes, but louder.

 

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Originally posted by Crypt Picker:

Punish your kid when he does wrong, but reward your kid not be cause he does right, but because he's your kid. Otherwise, your love becomes conditional in his sight.

And never forget, your kids decide what nursing home you'll finish your days in.

Cryptic writings. :P

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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Originally posted by Guitars are like shoes. But louder.:

All of my four kids developed naturally into strong, confident and socially respectable athletes and consequently.... great people.

 

We fed them a constant diet of smiles, cheers, hugs, kisses, kind words, words of wisdom and above all else.. open ears and open hearts.

 

I can't recall ever doing or giving them anything because of what they'd accomplished but faithfully carry out routines and rituals simply as part of what they were involved in. That way we parents became part of the cycle on their terms.

 

Now that I'm single I find it's one of the things keeping me sane and fuelling my heart.

 

You will give more with your smiles and your tears than you will ever know and the only failure is to not let it show.

You're good... don't worry.

:thu:
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HT...I'm sure it was a cathartic feeling writing what you did... I've never had children but, being a 53 year old kid myself, I feel you did put a bit too much pressure on him but you fixed it afterward... Kudos to you for that... Now...I'm trying to raise a puppy and it's taking all my patience... I don't know how you guys raise children... Is there a corrolation between raising kids and dogs?
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Reminds me of little league baseball when I was 7. Coach came looking for me playing in the sandbox.

 

I agree you shouldn't worry about him scoring goals or even being motivated at that age. My parents did not encourage sports at all aven though I grew to love them a few years later. But like everyone is saying, the reason for organized sports at that age is to just be amongst other kids and learn to start thinking as a team. And most importantly to have fun. No reason to pressure him for goals. Heck in real soccer sometimes only one goal a game is scored period.

 

You didn't really do anything wrong, you were just trying to get him to focus over the whole game. Sure it would be a bad signal to back down and give in on the toy thing, its important to some degree to start valueing achievment even if this wasn't the best way to do it. Maybe just let him do as he does and try and make sure he has fun.

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Well, I'm not a dad, but often, I think people overcomplicate situtations about child-rearing that do not need to be complicated.

 

Having said that, this is going to sound complicated.

 

1. Getting anyone to do anything requires incentive. A very smart economics professor once said that the entire problem with the world is a problem with incentive. You gave your child an incentive to play better and for awhile, it sounds like he at least tried hard. In this case, you did nothing wrong.

 

2. Applying international affairs theory (I know, I'm a dumb college kid :D ), you have to commit yourself to a situation if you expect a result. You did this very well, and you didn't give in to your sons demands, even if his feelings were a little hurt in the process. If you had given in, you might have lost all credibility and ability to commit to something. That happened with my mother and her daughters when she tried to get them to clean their rooms: She tried banning them from television until their room was clean. She didn't commit to it; the result was 18 years of dirty rooms.

 

3. From a psychological perspective, I highly doubt this is going to damage your son. If he doesn't complain about soccer and still seems to enjoy it, than no harm done. If I counted every instance my parents tried to motivate me and then I failed, I'd be a miserable adult with absolutely no self-esteem. And if they constantly gave in, I'd be a demanding brat.

 

Trust me, Hard Tail, as someone who is finally about to leave the parents nest forever, there are a lot worse ways to teach your kids to fly.

Shut up and play.
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