Thursday, August 7, 2008

I finally did it---here’s proof that I suck as a parent

I bribed my son. Out and Out bribed him. My oldest will be a senior in high school. He’s played football since 5TH GRADE. 5th, people! He claims he doesn’t want to play anymore. He can’t or won’t tell us why. Just that he doesn’t ‘want’ to. Now, I know sports aren’t the be all end all of his life, but sports DOES keep him a little on the straight and narrow, and it makes him PART of something. A team……team pride……..all that lame crap. We’ve BEGGED, CAJOLED, AND INSISTED that he play. Short of forcing him to go, by threat of punishment or worse, we’ve tried everything else we knew how to do.

I talked to Coach at ‘Mom’s Nite Out’ about my youngest, who’s a Freshman this year. And how gung-ho he is, and how enthusiastic he’s been all summer about playing. Then coach asked about son #1……..He said to tell him that there’s a ‘place’ for him if he wants to come back. And that they need all the guys they can get.

Now, I’m not STUPID…….(well, I can be air headed, but not stupid), and I know that coaches play all nicey nice with the parents…..especially the Mom’s. BUT, it gave me hope that if son #1 went to play that they wouldn’t TOTALLY punish him for his abandonment (our city is a very big rah-rah football city-----).

SOOOOOO, I went to him yesterday and offered this: We’d pay for the rest of his tattoo to be finished (the wings) and I promised him we’d fiddle around with his curfew and such so he’d be sure to get plenty of social time along with his school and football time. If he at least tried going back. Two-a-days start on Monday, and I told him we’d still pay for the tattoo if he’d give two-a-days a shot.

He’s thinking about it. I suck.

I don’t want to force him….I really don’t, but until 11th grade, football was a true passion for him. He’s fast as the wind and has some true natural talent. He’s not the best, but he’s got ‘it’. I think he’ll regret it later if he doesn’t play. They are building a state of the art new stadium, with professional turf, etc……as a Senior, it would be so cool for him. He’d be the first class, the first TEAM to play there….as a Junior, he was on the 2nd team, so it’s not like he’s a total slouch at the sport.

Besides, I just worry that he’s taking the wrong path. His friends are sweet, but party a bit, and I worry that he’s just sort of giving up. I don’t care what he does for a living, I just want him to be secure and happy-----and if he makes the wrong choices, it could be devastating. He went to weightlifting for a while right after track season, but out of the blue, just gave it all up. I just don’t know why.

There’s a fine line between leading your kids in the right direction, and being too pushy and demanding. Right now, I think I’m in the latter category. I just want to lead him AWAY from what I fear he’s heading towards.

I think he’s just thinking about it to placate me…… I imagine my bribing will not work. It makes me so sad that he’s giving this sport up for no apparent reason.

Help me, Internet……..why does this get to be so badly? I’m not a sports fan AT ALL, and I know very little about the game………It’s just that I guess I’m so proud that he was part of something so ‘big’…you know? So seemingly IMPORTANT………..and he was GOOD at it.

I’m sad, Internet. I’m being pushy, too. I’m just not up on how to parent in this situation. There’s also no MANUAL on the subject, so I can’t research it on Google, either. ARRGHHHH.

Right now he’s very mildly considering a visit to the coach for a talk. He refuses…REFUSES….to commit to doing it. I think he knows if he’d just TALK to the man that maybe he’d feel a bit of the spark… least I think he might……..but I really think right now he thinks because he quit, that he won’t play at all. I think the coach will tell him honestly about that………if son #1 would JUST GO AND TALK TO HIM.

Ok…..deep cleansing breath………..IIINNNNN….OOUUUUTTTTTT.

Ok. Enough . Obsessing. (yeah, right) Thanks for letting me vent. Believe it or not, it does help. To read my mania myself….makes me worry about my OWN SANITY…hahahaha.

Let’s see….does anyone have any ideas for dinner? I have chicken at home…..hamburger……..maybe some pork, but I don’t know. I really am not a huge pork fan. But for SURE hamburger and chicken. I need FABULOUS ideas……….bring it on!

Toodles for now.


Dingo said...

Parents should lead by example. I think you should try out for the football team as well. It can be a bonding experience for both of you!

If he's been playing since fifth grade, maybe he's just over it. Maybe, he just wants a break his senior year.

I understand that there is a fine line between encouragement and pushing. Unfortunately, I don't know where that line is.

stoogepie said...

OMG Shelly! This must be your lucky day because, unlike Dingo, I am a total and complete expert on childrearing, especially during those sensitive years after you can't beat them up anymore!

I can tell you why he gave up weightlifting. Have you tried lifting those things?!? It turns out that weights are very, very heavy.

As for the whole footbally thing, I think bribery is fine but you should strive to teach him a lesson here. Bribery only works under certain circumstances. He must ask for something that leaves room for him to continuously ask for more. So, the tat is not good enough because, unless he is going for full-body ink, his tat will eventually be done. The curfew thing is great, though! If he plays his cards right, he can keep demanding that, in order to stay on the football team, you let him stay out later and later every night until, finally, he stops by only to pick up his laundry. See, bribery gets old for both sides really fast if there is not constant negotiation. That's what keeps it fun!

But let's talk. I will join the football team for the right price....