Attention-Seeking…Shrieking at Basketball game

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    • #108605

      I just about lost it today. My 12-yr old son joined his school basketball team and today, they had a game. During the short time he played and and at one point where both teams were trying to get the ball, he was making shrieking sound effects as the ball was being tossed from player to player, as either team was trying to get possession. Each time the ball was tossed, he’d make the sound. The audience started laughing. The more laughs, the more he did it. I was melting in embarrassment. Shortly after, the coach took him out and benched him. I was so upset and mad. I felt he was not only embarrassing himself, he was embarrassing his whole team, many of whom are passionate kids and putting their best efforts. They were actually already doing so bad and then to even do that. Anyway, I am just venting. I don’t know how else to feel? Anyone had any related experience and what did you do? Thanks for listening.

      • This topic was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by dawnniTa.
      • This topic was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by dawnniTa.
    • #108620

      Hi! I’ve been there too, weird noises and all. I struggled with a protective feeling for my son (wanting to protect him from himself and others) and the sheer embarrassment at his socially awkward (or downright weird) behavior. It was difficult to avoid shaming him while also trying to encourage him to behave more normally. Honestly, I never figured out how to balance it. Sorry I can’t be more helpful. You’re not alone though. I suspect the moderator will have some good advice. (They usually do.)

    • #108762
      Penny Williams

      This may not be attention-seeking behavior at all, at least not a first. You need to determine why he was making these sounds in the first place. The game could be boring to him so he was adding a layer of stimulation to help himself focus. He may not have realized that it’s outside the social norm and just thought it would be fun or funny. Or it could be a way to relieve a little anxiety or stress.

      Once people were laughing, that reinforced the behavior. My son loves to make people laugh because he feels like he’s doing something good.

      I would have a calm conversation about this incident. Ask him why he was doing it. Explain to him that any talking or noises other than communicating plays to teammates isn’t acceptable on the court during a game. Let him know this is an unspoken rule of basketball.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #115106

      When I was a kid I always saw laughter as positive feedback, even when others weren’t meaning to approve of me. At times I wished someone would help me understand the nuances to laughter.

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