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  1. #1

    Default Sir, You Need to Grow Down!

    I was chatting with the dad of one of DS's baseball buddies and came away from it feeling rather down. This isn't the first time. It's happened several times before.

    When the summer first started, another mom and I wanted to continue walking for exercise as we had during the season while our sons played ball. We had agreed to just let the kids be kids and play it "sandlot" style, without structure. And whoever wanted to play got to play. Then she invited this kid, who is best friends with her kid, to play, and his dad just took over. He started running these free play games like practice. And he restricted who got to play because coaching groups larger than four kids made him uncomfortable. So no one else was notified when we had "practice." I didn't say anything, because there wasn't really anything I could do about it without casting a negative shadow on something that was supposed to be fun.

    His kid is 9, just like mine. But in every conversation, he is always implying that fun stuff is baby stuff. Like Legos--"Oh, my son went through that phase and now he's outgrown it." DS adores Legos and builds rather sophisticated models with them. He looked at me a-goggle when I said, actually, Lego incorporates robotics and engineering, esp. with their Technics.

    Today, it was that his son was reading at a 5/6th grade level, Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket, and some book about dreaming dragons, I think. I asked if they read aloud together. He emphatically said that he did not read aloud to his kid anymore, because now his kid would be in the fourth grade. He did that when he was in second. I never told him that we still read aloud together, as well as silently, and love it.

    He makes his kid read baseball history, because in order to be a great ball player, you have to know who the greats are. He said that his son would be the product of his success, and he was not finding success with his son yet. We learned our baseball history from Dan Gutman's time travel baseball adventure stories.

    Then he said, "I heard you homeschool? Oh, I could never, never imagine teaching my son all day long."

    I inwardly sighed and I really wanted to say, "Sir, why don't you try growing down?"

    What is up with parents these days??? I'm just venting.
    Last edited by vicsmom; 08-17-2018 at 11:05 PM.
    Homeschooling an only, DS9

  2. Global Village Forum Post - Dec2018
  3. #2

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    How sad! I don't understand the need to push kids so fast and hard. Things are challenging enough without that.
    A mama, who teaches college writing, as well as help her 10-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.
    I also share free and low-cost educational resources at
    http://chooseourownadventures.blogspot.com

  4. #3

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    Frustrating! Sounds like a toxic person.

    Oh they grow up too fast. I love that my kids still get joy out of kid stuff and we can nurture that with homeschooling as they don't get all the peer pressure to grow up.

    Hope you can find a way to make the situation less frustrating for you, and I hope this guy does not say these demeaning things in front of your child. If he does, have you had a chat to your child about it? I have had a few similar chats with my oldest DD recently about how when some people are feeling bad about something in their own life they go around and say things that could be hurtful to others because either consciously or subconsciously they want to make stop other people being happy/enjoying things and make them feel bad like they are. She seemed to understand that and then what these people said did not bother her so much.
    New Zealand-based. DD 10 (year 5 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 5 (year 0 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

  5. #4

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    He sounds like a total dick. Imagine his poor wife, how she is probably so grateful that he leaves the house on weekends to give her a break, even if it subjects their kid to him. “There are other adults there,” she probably rationalizes, hoping its not so bad for their DS.
    Hes going to be one of those parents pushing their kid to a medical degree instead of a history one, although it seems in this case, he is determined to get his kid into Major League baseball.
    I never got on with the “gymnastics moms”, but at least they werent overbearing like this guy is.

    Try not to let him get you down, because he’s the crazy one. Cancel your ruined playdates, and start them up again without him, or insist to him it is just a play time for the kids, not practice sessions. You dont really want to model getting bulldozed over by this guy to your son, either.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  6. #5

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    I am impressed with your ability to put up with this guy. Maybe you can feel out the original person you were arranging this whole thing with and (gently?) see if she agrees with you.

  7. #6

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    The person I originally arranged this with knew that her friend (the guy) was imposing on what we had agreed on, because she sheepishly brought it up and said she actually liked that it was more "organized." I think it made her uneasy to think that her kid was just having unstructured play.

    AM, your first sentence was hilarious! So true. You'd be surprised at how many of these dads want their kids to be major league players. So many that our little league has been gutted of the best players and coaches this fall season. Yesterday, our team received an email from a mom of twin babies saying she would the be "manger" of our team and that she won't have her full attention on baseball because of it. Then she told the parents to "hush, hush" to the boys that their new coach was going to be a "MOM" (her word), thinking they're going to be SO excited. I don't care if she's a mom or dad, but she's got to have her head in the game.

    If it's a hill I want to die on, I'll dig in my heels. But I weighed the pros and cons of this situation, and decided not to alienate Dick because he's a good friend of the woman I exercise with and I always see them at baseball practice. Also, it's hard for DS to find friends and he gets along with these kids okay, so I just let it go. When I listen to Dick, I understand that he's not intentionally trying to one-up me. Unfortunately, it's really the way he feels about raising his kid. And where I am, he's not alone.
    Homeschooling an only, DS9

  8. #7
    Senior Member Arrived RTB's Avatar
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    Ugh, what a jerk. Some grown ups are nuts.

    We have friends who like to talk about how gifted their kids are. DH and I just listen politely and blank stare. They usually stop pretty quickly when they realize we won't engage.
    Rebecca
    DS 13, DD 11
    Year 7

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTB View Post
    Ugh, what a jerk. Some grown ups are nuts.

    We have friends who like to talk about how gifted their kids are. DH and I just listen politely and blank stare. They usually stop pretty quickly when they realize we won't engage.
    Oh I really don't like when people do this (brag about 'giftedness') because I think it gives being gifted bad connotations. My oldest is gifted and its the label that is given to what she is by psychologists and sometimes I would really like to be able to say "my daughter is gifted..." to be able to begin to explain her/our issues, which are really tormenting and difficult for her and everyone she lives with and spends a lot of time with. But I never do because I know that most people will have just had the experience you have had of people bragging about achievement/success and it is not socially acceptable to be 'gifted'. It makes it quite isolating sometimes that you have these issues that you live with but are so limited in being able to discuss/explain it.

    Like when my DD had to have a day surgery and I tried and tried in her pre-op to get the anesthetist to understand that my daughter would freak out with his plan of "go into theatre awake, give her a mild sedative via needle first, and then...", even if she appeared ok with what he said at the time. He totally did not get that she was putting on a calm front but would be internally going 100 miles an hour about all the possible what ifs, which creates her medical anxiety. I said she would need an oral sedative first. But no. So what happened, she went into theatre and freaked out. Major panic attack with multiple medical staff trying to restrain her and force her to have this injection, with her screaming out "save me, save me, help me mama". They eventually gave up and the anesthetist was really pissy about it. They did the next surgery on the list, so that she could have an oral sedative. Like I originally advocated for. Now the only part of that experience she remembers is the horribleness of her panic attack and treatment by the medical staff, which makes any future medical care even more stressful. But at the time when you are sitting there in tears not being listened to, "she is gifted so she over thinks things and get anxious" just has no understanding and feels so weak. Yet according to her testing and psychologists, the origin of all her issues is her 'giftedness' I feel if she had a more socially acceptable label it would be easier sometimes. And I much prefer the term 'rainforest mind' but even fewer people understand that.

    But I do know those types of people you are talking about. My sister (who also has a gifted child) and I often talk about them and how they probably more have high achievers/bright kids because you would not be all going round full of "my kid is amazing" if you actually had a gifted kid because it is rarely about the achievement and frequently about the less than amazing issues associated with having a brain that functions at high speed.
    Last edited by NZ_Mama; 08-20-2018 at 07:41 PM.
    New Zealand-based. DD 10 (year 5 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 5 (year 0 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

  10. #9
    Senior Member Arrived RTB's Avatar
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    @ NZ_Mama - exactly. I really, really want to inform them that their kid is bright, that gifted is a whole new ball game. Also, ugh, hugs to you all, what an awful medical experience!
    Last edited by RTB; 08-20-2018 at 11:43 PM.
    Rebecca
    DS 13, DD 11
    Year 7

  11. #10

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    He sounds insecure and/or as if he is living vicariously through his son.
    I have encountered proactively defensive reactions against homeschooling many times, in the form of the "Oh, I could *never* do that!" statement.

    If the person is really being snide, I have no problem with answering similarly snidely, "No, you probably couldn't!"

    If the person seems genuinely self-doubting, I would be more likely to ask gently why they think they couldn't, and if they are interested, describe some of the ways we've done it, to illustrate that it's not actually a microcosm of a schoolroom, and you don't even have to teach everything directly, yourself, if you don't want to: there are so many online resources these days.

    When he said his son would be the product of his success, does that mean the product of the son's success, or the father's?

    Some parents crave validation they feel they are lacking, and try to get it through their kids. Reflected glory, and all that. Of course, we're all parents, and all proud of our kids, and that's a good thing. But when a kid has to shoulder the burden of carrying the parent's ego on their own shoulders, that's never good.

    Sorry for them both if that's the case.
    Middle-aged mom of 4 kids spanning a 10-year age range, homeschooling since 2009, and a public school mom also, since 2017.

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Sir, You Need to Grow Down!