Not to allow dc1 to do a certain sport?

(102 Posts)
MomentOfTruth Sun 16-Feb-14 11:07:40

On one side there is dc1. Bright child, usually good at sports. Things are coming easily to him.
On the other dc2 is 18 months younger and us finding things hard. He has clear social and communication problems and has always felt 'stupid' compare to dc1.

They are both doing some sport activity and I have been careful that they would both do something different in order to boost dc2 self esteem. They both do some lite competition in their own chosen sport.
Except that dc1 has now decided he wants to do the same than dc2, do the competition etc

AIBU to say to dc1 NO and to tell him to stick to his first favoured sport?

NigellasDealer Sun 16-Feb-14 11:34:45

I don't know momentoftruth, perhaps it would be good for them to do something together?
also you will have DC1 going 'ooh my mum never let me play ........... (insert sport) for ever!

BikeRunSki Sun 16-Feb-14 11:36:04

Would they compete in the same age category?

MomentOfTruth Sun 16-Feb-14 11:36:24

Agree completely about dc1 competitive side. This is something that we have been working on since he was a toddler. The reality is that dc1 is struggling to understand. He sees his db being just one year below him at school so expects him to do the same than him the year before. Except that dc2 doesn't do as well (he is doing week btw it's just that dc1 has always done very well iyswim). He will say things like 'last year I did X' as a statement when dc2 can't which doesn't do anything about his self esteem.

Also agree about teaching dc2 that he needs to enjoys himself. Which we do. But I can't stop this sibling rivalry and comparing altogether (ESP when it's dc2 who is comparing himself to dc1)

SingMoreWhenYoureWinning Sun 16-Feb-14 11:39:56

I think you're wrong to try and completely avoid sibling rivalry. Simply because you won't succeed, however hard you try and in fact are more likely to make it worse.

I have two boys two years apart. They both take part in the same 3 sports, football, swimming and karate. Obviously, ds1 (6) is noticibly more advanced than ds2 (nearly 4) in all of them.

I give them the same praise after the session, talk about their own achievements within it (eg, swimming - 'Well done ds1, you did two lengths without stopping!' and 'Amazing ds2, you managed to kick for a whole width!')

I encourage ds1 to always help his little brother and be a 'graceful' competitor (there is a fantastic episode of Sophia The First which we've seen recently about winning, losing and trying your best which has actually been a huge help with this attitude!)

If ds2 ever groans about ds1 doing more/better (ie ds1 is now in the deep end at swimming and he's still in the shallow end), I just remind him that ds1 is two years older and that when he is that age he'll probably be in the deep end too. We move on, it's not an issue.

I think if I tried to make them do separate sports it would cause resentment from both of them as time goes on.

I was in the situation as a child that I was significantly more academic than my sister. I constantly felt guilty and almost ashamed at my exam results and achievements and got so used to having to play them down that I stopped mentioning anything, even really big stuff like being accepted into the Year 11 debates team when I was in Year 9.
It shouldn't be like that IMO. EVERY childs achievements should be celebrated and compared to their own 'personal best' within that area and not their siblings.

MomentOfTruth Sun 16-Feb-14 11:40:33

They are now 10yo and 8.5yo

Smartiepants79 Sun 16-Feb-14 11:41:13

Is your older child old enough for you explain your reasons?
I think I agree with you. There is nothing wrong with saying they each have their own 'thing'. It sounds like DC1 has plenty of opportunities and not doing this one sport is not going to be a huge loss.
Th older one is not going to be massively disadvantaged but your younger son may find this hard to recover from.
Why has his brother suddenly decided he wants to do this sport. It sounds a bit like my two girls at the moment the older one only wants toys when her sister picks them up! Then they magically become the 'only' thing she could possibly want to play with!

Edendance Sun 16-Feb-14 11:43:52

I would say no, poor ds2- let him keep his 'thing'!

RedHelenB Sun 16-Feb-14 11:44:55

My dds dance - sometimes against each other sometimes in age groups. They both like the dancing , it's not about who's the best because there are plenty of other children out there with way more talent than both of them!

Sport is about competing against yourself primarily.

I still think you should allow ds1 todo it BUT you need to praise not just for winning or doing well but for improvement & effort. And I still think ds2 can surprise you - no child is best at everything all their lives!

RhondaJean Sun 16-Feb-14 11:46:54

I don't know if I'm putting it over at all well but what you need to work on is them supporting each other and celebrating their differences rather than keeping them apart iyswim.

At 10 your oldest should be able to get it.

What are ds2 good points? I don't know if you've realised but you're quite negative about him compared to ds1 - is he kind, helpful, funny, cheerful, loyal, praise him for those and stop focusing on achievementy with both boys?

RedHelenB Sun 16-Feb-14 11:47:28

But you do need to make clear to ds 1 that no one likes a bighead & boasting about what he could do a year ago is not nice to his brother.

Pigletin Sun 16-Feb-14 11:48:34

It looks like the problem is exasperated by your DC1's competitive side. I hope you're able to sort this out, OP.

I agree with you OP unless your eldest is desperate to do s

SingMoreWhenYoureWinning Sun 16-Feb-14 11:52:05

I don't know if I'm putting it over at all well but what you need to work on is them supporting each other and celebrating their differences rather than keeping them apart iyswim

I agree. What reason are you going to give to ds1 (and ds2) for ds1 not being allowed to do the same sport?

It's like a self fulfilling prophecy. By changing your behaviour, you are 'admitting' that sibling rivalry is a problem iyswim? This will not be lost on a 10 and 8 year old.

Children often play up to expectations of them...so make the expectations of them that they both get to do the best that they can for them. That they help each other and celebrate each others achievements, even when different.

MomentOfTruth Sun 16-Feb-14 11:55:26

Atm there is no way I can ask dc1 to support dc2. Dc1 is already doing a lot for dc2, starting with giving lots of allowances due to his social issues. It doesn't feel right to ask him to do more for dc2 again.

Telling them how good they are depending on their ability and their level is already what we do.
Dc1 is practicing that sport. But I don't want him to do the competition side the way dc2 is. And certainly not for that sport to become his 'main' sport.

How old are they?

I have additional needs and a disability and was overprotected til I was in my twenties and had a very tough time "growing up".

Maybe your dc2 will be better than your dc1 this time.

Also, people who love what they do often do better because they work at it.

I have a speech impediment and am visually impaired, but can speak 7 languages. Yes, my hearing helped with getting accent right, but I couldn't read Vietnamese til last year because I didn't have a smartphone with a large type dictionary or newspapers.

Agh - it's only on mn that it post too early

Unless your DS1 is desperate to do the sport. I have the same with ds2 & ds3. Ds2 is very talented on one area, ds3 has always assumed that he is worse than ds2 at everything generally so I have always steered ds3 into different activities. They both swim, but other activities are different. He needs some things that are his.

RhondaJean Sun 16-Feb-14 12:02:17

Look on it this way.

You aren't asking ds1 to do something for ds2 you are teaching him important life lessons in not being boastful and respecting others ability. By refusing him an opportunity though you ARE asking him to give up something for his brother and that way lies resentment.

Ill come back when I've worked out how to explain your attitude to ds2.

How many activities do your sons have? Ds3 started a new sport recently - ds2 wanted to as well. I said no because he already does loads on Saturdays (when the lessons are). I also didn't want him overshadowing ds3, but it is true that he doesn't need yet another activity.

LoopyDoopyDoo Sun 16-Feb-14 12:04:33

Could a third sport be an option?

whois Sun 16-Feb-14 12:05:45

I really don't see the problem with saying "no DC1, this is DC2's 'thing' and it's nice to have some activities apart"

All the posters saying DC2 needs to get used to disappointment, what about DC1? Sounds like he's the one who might need to understand a little more than his little brother about life not being easy.

Leave it 6 months or so and if DC1 is still really keen to compete then you can reassess because at the moment it just seems like he wants to do It because his brother is.

MomentOfTruth Sun 16-Feb-14 12:07:56

Oh dear I didn't think I was that negative about dc2. But yes his difficulties are certainly a big concern for me and have been a focus for me.
When you gave a child who doesn't have any friends, struggles to even say hello to the ones he knows and blows up (at home) so often that your focus is on avoiding his db to be hit again then yes the focus is on the difficulties rather than achievements. sad

And yes to 'how am I going to tell dc1&2 about it?' That was one if the reasons for me to start this thread.

SingMoreWhenYoureWinning Sun 16-Feb-14 12:12:40

I honestly can't think of a way you could explain it tbh.

If it were my two, I could probably find a way of fobbing them off...a 10 and 8 year old? No way.

I don't want to make things more difficult, but I really do think you'd be opening a can of worms by refusing ds1 if this is the only reason. The likely side effects are ds1 feeling resentful and jealous of the little brother who's getting the special treatment and ds2 feeling embarrassed that he's being treated like a child.

RhondaJean Sun 16-Feb-14 12:12:55

Negative is a harsh word - I couldn't think of a better one - your concern comes through hugely, don't feel bad it's a difficult one!

whois Sun 16-Feb-14 12:14:47

I honestly can't think of a way you could explain it tbh

You just say it's nice for everyone to have something they do on their own. Point out DC1 does x y and z and this is the only thing that DC2 has to call his own. Tell DC1 if he is still really keen to do it in 6 months you might reconsider.

Or lie and say DC1 has enough activities on.

Hodorsbitch Sun 16-Feb-14 12:17:49

YANBU. This happened to me as a child. I was the older, more academic one and my sister didn't enjoy school as much and suffered from being in my shadow academically and in PE. She was brilliant at gymnastics and I started to take an interest.

My mother very gently said wouldn't it be nice if that was my sister's thing as I had so many other areas. I really didn't mind and think it taught me to think more widely about my actions. My sister totally thrived on it and I've never regretted it for a moment.

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