Son won't allow us to watch him play sports

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    • #47352

      We have a 7 year old son diagnosed last year with ADHD. He has always had trouble participating in group classes and activities. We have finally been able to get him involved in organized sports and he has recently started playing baseball on a local league. He has told us that he really likes playing.

      He refuses to allow either my husband or myself bring him to or attend practices. He willingly goes with his friends and, we are told, participates well and does amazing.

      Actual games are starting next week and we are trying to figure out the best way for us to be able to attend. We don’t want to have to rely on other’s to bring him to games and practices constantly and we are just hoping for the chance to watch him play. It breaks my heart that we’re missing this when it’s been so difficult for him to even participate in the past.

      We have never made a huge deal out of sports. We mainly just encourage him to have fun. I’m guessing he is afraid of doing poorly and feeling like he’ll disappoint us. He puts a great deal of pressure on himself.

      I am thinking we could kind of just start quietly showing up to practices – maybe more toward the end when he’s less likely to notice but he is very explosive and I don’t want him to stop playing because he somehow feels betrayed.

      Obviously this is just one of many struggles we deal with on a daily basis. I am just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience.

      It’s really breaking my heart.

    • #47976

      I feel for you. I know it is extremely painful for your son to tell you that he doesn’t want you at the practices/games.

      I coach a soccer team and have coached other soccer teams and baseball teams in the past. As a coach, I will say, there are certain children who perform better when his/her parent is not around. I’ve met these parents and they are terrific parents, but for whatever reason, their children do better sans parents. In my daughter’s dance and gymnastics classes parents are not allowed at the practice. Same for cheerleading. These coaches have found that the parents are a big distraction for the children, so they flat out ban parents.

      For whatever reason, perhaps your son realizes he does better alone, which might sting – but if you think about it, that is an incredible self-realization and shows an ability to identify his own emotions and maturity to verbalize them. Maybe ask him why he doesn’t want you there to try to find out if it’s fear of disappointment or something else?
      Perhaps you could practice with him at home? Start with a game of catch between the three of you and then maybe about catching the last inning of the game? And then go from there.

      If the goal is to have him participate in an activity and have fun, sounds like you’ve met those goals and that is no small achievement. If this is his first season, perhaps it is just nerves and he might be more open to parent-spectators later on. If you know any of the parents on the team, I’d talk to them and perhaps work out an arrangement where they take pictures or video and send it to you. Hang in there!

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