My son signed up for Football. At first he went to all the practices and is doing great at it. Now that school has started (he stated junior high and new school) he is fighting that he does not want to go, that he is getting really bad headaches. He says it is to hard with school and Football. Do I let him quit, or make him finish the season? Any advise?
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My son signed up for football. At first he went to all the practices and was doing great at it. Now that school has started (he started junior high and new school) he is fighting that he does not want to go, that he is getting really bad headaches. He says it is too hard with school and football. Do I let him quit, or make him finish the season? Any advice?
Although I don't normally advocate kids quitting something once they've started, I think you should let him quit if it's interfering with his schoolwork. My son just started middle school this year and the adjustment from elementary to middle school or junior high is tremendous. The schoolwork is also harder and perhaps your son is finding it too difficult to juggle both schoolwork and the extracurricular activity he's chosen. If that's the case, then I believe that grades and school work should always come first. Perhaps he can try football again next year once he's had a chance to become adjusted to his new school, schedule and work load. Good luck! (09/07/2007)
One thing I wonder, and not sure if this could be a possibility, is could there be something else going on? Like someone giving him a hard time at school? If he is having horrible headaches (you may want a doctor to check him out) it could be stress related, especially if someone is possibly bullying him.
It may be worth having him checked out because of the headaches either way, he is still young and shouldn't have headaches like this and maybe the doctor can talk to him to see if there is anything else going on. Maybe let him talk to the doctor one on one.
Best of Luck, Kim. (09/08/2007)
I think if your son really doesn't want to do football this season you should let him quit. Maybe he really doesn't have time for both. Then again, you could always sign up again next year. He is only in junior high, which the transition the first year is very tough. I say give him one year to settle in and then ask him next year if he's comfortable doing football or even another sport. (09/08/2007)
I think you need to determine if he is really having headaches first of all. And if he is, he needs to see a doctor. It might just be stress. If he is really stressed, I would allow him to go ahead and quit. School and his health should come first. (09/11/2007)
I would let him quit so long as it is not a trend, to try something and quit it. In that case you are just teaching him that whatever he doesn't like he doesn't have to do. Life isn't like that. And check out those headaches. Maybe it's just stress, but maybe not. (09/11/2007)
Bad headaches are a symptom. In contact sports, like football, it could mean an injury, like a concussion. It could also be stress, but all the kids have stress at this transition, so it would have to be a symptom of something more than the usual stress.
Of course, he should quit football. He should also see a medical doctor to check out this symptom. At this age, football is a learning experience, not an opportunity to suffer. What's the rush? (09/11/2007)
By the Oracle
Going to a new school could be a problem as he has to make new friends, and maybe he has some issues with his new class mates. There is a lot of bullying that goes on in school. You should try to find the root cause. The decision to let your son play football is yours alone and not one from the feedback of posters. (09/11/2007)
Yes, let him quit! Adolescence is the process of his finding what sorts of things he is suited for, so let him sample a million things (with his taking some responsibility for costs).
Football is famous for concussions that have lifelong effects including blinding, untreatable headaches, and spinal damage. I would not insist on his finishing what he started in such an optional, supposed-to-be-fun thing. If it were math or science, he would have to keep going to fulfill the requirements. But this is sports!
Let him have fifteen favorite sports, for live-long fun and variety, instead of one that his parents made him do until he hated it and hated them. I sure do know how confusing it is to try and figure this out. Nothing about parenting is self-explanatory! Just remember we're all on your side and you have all of us for friends in this! Good luck! (09/11/2007)
I would try to get to the bottom of it before making a decision. Are his grades dropping? Is someone picking on him? Does he just not have enough time to do whatever fun things he used to like to do? There is value in learning to stick with something once you've started, but there is also value in putting your schoolwork first, before extracurricular activities. I'd say if he just doesn't feel like it anymore, it's not a good idea to just let him quit, but if he seems to have a valid reason, maybe quitting is worth considering. (09/11/2007)
Speaking from experience - I'd say first get the headaches checked out. Did he get hit and perhaps have a concussion no one was aware of? If he checks out fine - encourage him to play.
We have 2 sons - one would not pursue h.s. sports and he was very good. I'm afraid it was friends who did not play that caused his decision. We fought and argued but gave in - he got mixed up with the wrong group and I won't get into the rest.
The other went as far as being a h.s. star - school state champs in both baseball and football. Got red shirted in 1st yr of college for baseball and then decides he doesn't want to play. Who knows why? In some cases, I say they do need to make their own decisions. BUT team sports provide a lot of discipline and friend support. Try to persuade him to stick with it for this season if physically he checks out. Good luck - you'll be in my prayers for guidance. (09/11/2007)
By all means, let him quit. What if you won't let him quit and he hurts himself badly? You will never forgive yourself.
Quitting something more important, like school, is another thing. (09/11/2007)
By Lily May
I agree with what everyone has said.
That being said, we never allowed our son to quit something he wanted to start in the first place. He had to at least finish the season, year, job whatever. The headaches are another issue. They should probably be checked out no matter what, to ease your mind. He may just be using them as an excuse. Junior high is so tough for kids anyway. Be sure to let him know that you are letting him quit because of your concern for his health and that you agree with him that his schooling comes first.
We never had that issue, as our son always carried a 4.0 average and he loved sports. Good luck with these years. They are rough for parents also! I'm glad my days of Jr. high are over! (09/11/2007)
Lisa, do you think that perhaps something happened at a practice that he was made to feel intimidated, or was bullied because of size or stature, or humiliated by a cruel remark? It does seem strange to me if all was well and he was enjoying the sport. One would think he would be eager to be on the team. Hope this works itself out and he is once again doing what he enjoys. (09/11/2007)
My daughter had exercise-induced migraines and once we got those under control by her neurologists (after several hospital stays-definitely not FRUGAL!), she is back on the track and doing well! Stress, changes in atmospheric conditions and her menstrual cycle were her triggers. Have him checked by a doctor, and good luck! (09/11/2007)
Lisa, this is a good question. I am a parent of a son that quit football due to an injury many years ago, also a former coach for 10 plus years and a former football player as well. First, I hope you and your son have a good relationship and you are open to talking with him about anything. I am very concerned about the headaches, are they real or imagined and have they been an ongoing health concern?
Find out for what reason he truly wants to quit football at this time. Address that and if it still seems as though it is the best decision at this time, then fine. It is not the end of the world, children are resilient, and by not wanting to play football does not make him a quitter, though we do not want to make it easy for him to walk away from things when it gets tough. This is how character is built. If you both decide that football is not for him at this time please identify with him the real reason and allow him to grow from the choice. Then just love him! (09/11/2007)
Your son may be having issues other than football. How involved is his father, or dad in his life? Any male role model in his life? Let him quit football for now, and have him go for a complete physical. Talk to him (not at him), and find out his concerns, and his long term goals/ambitions. His desire may not be towards football. Whatever his ambition may be, what you need to teach him is to educate his mind by going, and staying in school. Leave the door of communication open so he can talk to you anytime he so desires. As much as you love him, let him be on the driver's seat with your guidance. (09/12/2007)
Wow! I am amazed at the amount of people who say let him quit! My parents never let me join any sports, cheer-leading, or drill teams because of the expense. I grew up with low self esteem and I think a lot of that could have been boosted by being in something...sports or otherwise. On the other hand, I have a friend who allows her child to sign up for baseball, soccer, etc. and then quit when something does not go his way. He's only nine and he does have a pattern developing that can only steer him towards being a quitter.
I would get to the root of the issue first. Did your son not know of the time that would be consumed in practice and games? Check with the coach to see if there are any issues with him being a part of the team, bullying, etc. I think telling you his studies should come first is his way of getting out of staying on the team. I do not believe he should be allowed to quit unless a doctor says he has been injured and should not continue. Plus, I am sure that you have paid for uniforms and equipment and such. (09/13/2007)
I read about half the responses and quit. I had had enough. Isn't it possible that this child has 'had enough' of the pressure? Whoever encouraged him to play is part of the problem: he doesn't want to disappoint anyone. Then there's the real issue of school work. Isn't an education the reason he is in school? Sure, some kids get athletic scholarships, but it appears he would never be a candidate anyway. He doesn't need to be treated as if he has done a 'bad' thing. In fact, he should be commended for having the wisdom and courage to recognize that he cannot give his best to either activity and the courage to admit it.
He should be told that he has made an informed decision and that this will be useful as he continues throughout his life. It is a shame that we parents and coaches (my son is a coach) try to relive our lives through our children. You are blessed with a sharp student who doesn't need sports to make him a 'better, well-rounded' individual! (09/13/2007)
Thank you for all the posts. The football playing was his idea. His father is into toy trains and I have never seen a football game. His problem is he does not like going to practice, he just likes playing in the games. It is a fight every night to get him to go, but then he gets mad when they don't play him in the games because he was not at practice.
His homework does get done. I let him know he has the option to quit, however he put all this time and work into it, and he is good at it, so why give up just because you don't like to practice? I think it is now becoming a thing where he is trying to be lazy. If it does effect his school work, then he will have no choice but to quit. (09/14/2007)
By wacky camper
After raising 2 kids, I look back and I should have pushed the academics more than the sports. That is where they can get more scholarship money than in sports. When my kids were small, if they started the season, they finished. (09/15/2007)
Reading back through the posts - he wants to play in the games, but doesn't want to go to practices, then doesn't get played because he misses practice? Let him know he's keeping himself out of the game because he's not practicing. Let him play pick up games in the neighborhood, but tell him if he doesn't practice, he won't play. Don't fight with him about going to practice - make him responsible for letting you know when he needs to go, but take him when he asks. If he misses enough, he'll be dropped from the team. (09/17/2007)
"Why give it up just because you don't like to practice?"
Because when you don't go to practice, you're letting your whole team down and frankly you're probably not that good of a player if you don't practice. He just doesn't like practice. That explains everything right there. He wants the glory and the credit, but he doesn't want to put forth the effort. The question isn't whether or not to let him quit, the question is whether or not to use this teachable moment to help him learn responsibility.
Use it. Make him go to practice. Show an example of being responsible, even if he isn't. At some point he needs to learn to finish what he starts and that rewards come after hard work. His coaches are trying to teach him this by not playing him when he hasn't been to practice. They are probably hoping you will get on board. (09/18/2007)
Lisa, your son wants to be star by not exerting effort. Teamwork is very important in a football game. Let him quit, otherwise it's just a problem for the team he belongs to. (09/20/2007)
Thanks to everyone for their input. I did not let him quit. He ended the season last week. I am glad I did not let him. He was so upset the season was over, that he was in tears. He found something he truly liked to do. He was upset that the practices and season were over. He made so many new friends, and his grades for just starting JR high are A's and B's. I think he was just seeing that his other friends could still do things after school and he had to buckle down and do homework, that it bothered him. I am so glad he stayed with it. It actually helped him to stay away from the bad influence kids, and meet new nice ones. (11/05/2007)
By wacky camper