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Am I being unfair to my son?

(7 Posts)
auntysocial Fri 17-Aug-07 20:55:47

Posted this in two forums as it fits both really, hope nobody minds.

My son has confidence problems and is currently seeing a councellor through the school to help him with this.

He has few friends due to being "different" from other boys, not as rough for instance.

He is bullied pretty routinely by various boys at school because he does not stick up for himself.

He spends all his free time on the PC chatting on forums or playing games, up until recently he was getting little excerise.

I decided enough was enough and I started taking both my kids swimming every tuesday night, I also enrolled my son in karate class (for the 3rd time, he has quit 3 times already and quite taekwondo once too).

This time I told him that if he joined he would be staying for a year at least, he agreed.

Anyway he went last monday and said he liked it but was not too impressed with getting beaten in every sparring matches he had, I explained that this would happen if he stands there and doesnt defend himself or counter attack!!

I asked him if he was going to continue going and he said yes, he wants to reach black belt this time.

He's just been again for his second lesson and again came out chatty and told me about a new friend he'd made...but then told me that he'd again been beaten in all of the sparring matches. I told him that this was why I enrolled him in the first place, to teach him how to defend himself.

I asked if he was going to continue and this time I got "umm probably" as a reply.

Deep down I think he wants to quit again, he's lazy and misses the time he spends on the pc. Thing is there are so many benefits to karate, especially for a kid like him that I'm really determined not to let him quit this time. I never thought I'd "make" my kids do a sport though and I'm wondering if I'm doing the right thing.

He's still saying he wants to continue but I'm sure he's only saying it for my benefit. I asked him if he would like to go to an extra class on wednesdays (this would make it 3 times a week karate training) and he gave a straight and instant "No".

It's just lazyness with him, I know it is...should I stop asking him so many questions and just treat the classes as routine giving him less chance to moan about it or let him quit (again) if he wants to?

Pretty soon I need to buy the suit and license so this is another factor to consider.

FREAKshow Fri 17-Aug-07 21:03:51

I'd say stop asking him the questions and treat it as routine, but keep it going for a few months and see how it goes. Give him a chance to give it a chance.

startouchedtrinity Fri 17-Aug-07 21:04:28

I don't know how old your ds is, but it sounds to me like he enjoys karate but your worrying away at whether he is winning any of his sparring matches is destroying his confidence. I think you need to back off a bit, really praise up the stuff he is enthusiastic about (like the new friend) but when he talks about losing, just say that he'll get better with practise. I don't know a great deal about karate but from what I've heard the warm-ups are pretty intense so he'll be getting fit. He' sretreating to his PC b/c it is safe and no-one is going to get on his back there.

And fwiw a mnetter whose dh teaches defence techniques to the forces told me that martial arts aren't suitable for teaching someone to defend themselves, you need specific defence training for that (although I do think they can help with confidence in the long run).

auntysocial Fri 17-Aug-07 21:08:17

He's 8, the more I "Go on" at him the more I realise I'm so much like my mother...

"do you like it?"
"are you sure you like it?"
"you dont like it do you?"
"so you do like it?"
"really? you don't do you? why not???" etc

It could actually be me putting him off by making such a huge deal out of it.

startouchedtrinity Fri 17-Aug-07 21:17:11

Oh sweetheart, it sounds like you care so much. I think you are right, I think you are putting him off - he's only eight and already suffering from confidence issues. Try to find as many positives as you can to big him up for, and then back off.

hls Fri 17-Aug-07 22:10:49

Have you thought of speaking to the teacher at this class? It really should be part of their job to ensure fair play- and if your son is getting biffed about too much, the teacher should pair him up with someone different, or at least give him somemore 1:1 attention to try to help him.

Try all you can to keep him going. Bullying is a pattern of behaviour which usually results in the bullied child walking away and adpating their behaviour- rather than sticking to what they want to do. They then tend to see themselves only as a victim, which is a vicious circle,as they give off a vulnerable aura which attracts bullies like bees round a honey pot. I have seen it in school (I'm a teacher and a qualified parent coach) where sometimes the kids are moved from school to school and are still picked on, no matter which school they go to.

Another idea- can you do more sport as a family? All the research shows that kids do sport because they see their parents doing it- does his Dad have a sport they can share? Can you go for family bike rides or walks?

startouchedtrinity Fri 17-Aug-07 22:12:47

Bullying - meant to say, contact Kidscape kidscape.org.uk for fantastic advice on dealing with bullying and also how to tackle a school that isn't taking enough action.

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