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General Parenting Issues The purpose of this forum is to discuss general parenting issues related to children with AD/HD(ADD & ADHD)

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Old 11-04-17, 03:43 PM
andiemarie andiemarie is offline
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Sports?

Hi,

I am a newbie here, my son was diagnosed with ADHD about 6 months ago with ADHD as well as ODD. He is only 6 years old, it has been very difficult for our family but we really want to help him as I know he wants to do well.

We have been trying to keep him active and recently signed him up for a soccer team. He is really struggling to focus and play. He stands on the field and looks up at the sky making faces, talks and distracts his team mates.. he's not helping the team and getting into the game.

He seems to like to go to soccer and the team, and at times he gets into it when it's a smaller group and does well.

Is this typical ADHD behaviour? Is sports either a good idea as some kids can hyper focus, or a bad idea? Maybe he is better suited to more one on one?

He is not on med right now (we are in process of switching him) so perhaps we can stick with it and see if he improves with med?

Also, he is much 'younger' emotionally, so I am wondering if he just isn't ready for team sports.

Its very sad to see him out there on the field and not sure if his brain just can't cope with so much at once and don't want to affect him negatively. His coaches are yelling at him to go for the ball and he just doesn't.
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  #2  
Old 11-04-17, 04:54 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Sports?

Here are my thoughts about sports and kids-especially adhd kids:
When I was a kid sports were standard, with standard seasons and standard schedules and started at a slightly older age. When I played soccer I started in third grade and it was a rec league . I played though my 18th birthday but only in the rec league because I did theater and music which conflicted with the school sports schedule.
Now kids are starting sports like soccer at age 4 or 5. They are playing in a league and for school.They have heavy practice schedules and game schedules and the drives to games are farther and farther away. If child plays sports it can dominate the family's weekend. Then you factor in other activities and school work and then we expect them to wake up on time like angels at 6 am and have no trouble getting ready for school...Im sure you can see where Im going here.

Then you factor in the parents who are already planning on Jonny getting a scholorship to college even though Jonny is in 5th grade so they yell and hollar at games, question the coach about playing time, get private lessons
and freak out when jonny misses that goal/base/ball.
These same parents want jonny to be well rounded so he plays more than one sport and is in music and clubs.

Then there is the adhd kid.The adhd kid can be and feel physically awkward. I have no evidence other than my three adhd kids but they were all physically awkward with coordination when they were little. This was different than being socially awkward. Sports can be INVALUABLE for an adhd kid assuming he has the interest. But adhd kids are 30% less mature than their peers so in your son's case he is operating with the emotional maturity of a 4-ish year old. Adhd kids are already suffering from a host of impairments and being inattentive is a big one. When kids are your son's age its very hard to keep them engaged with learning the sport which can be the boring part. If you ever see a cluster of about 8 3 foot tall kids on a soccer field, you can bet there is a ball somewhere buried in the middle and usually just the goalies down field somewhere blowing on dandelions. All they really learn is to kick, run and follow the ball at this age and if there is not a lot of action to engage your son, you can bet that the clouds are more interesting.

Its hard to tune out the distractions on a good day, now imagine having adhd and being expected to look out for this little ball when the blue sky, birds, worms, cars and planes are calling your name.

If a child with adhd expresses any sort of interest in sports I say go for it and tap into it.But if they struggle maybe wait a year and try again and also consider that maybe sports wont be their thing.

Back to Jonny..
He knows his dad expects him to score and the team to win and when he sees andiemaries' son picking up rocks to study and playing with the grass he gets mad. So he decides he is going to tell andiemaries' son that he sucks at soccer and get all his friends to say he sucks at soccer too. This goes from teasing to bullying and the coach plays it off as boys will be boys. But the coaches yell at him too, and the other parents.

Andiemaries' son gets really down about this and his self esteem takes a huge hit.

I am not trying to be overdramatic its just my way of explaining myself.
I think kids are way overscheduled and that in a lot of cases the fun is taken out of sports which is supposed to be the reason for playing. The expectations that we can have for these kids to be perfect and have the world- there just isnt enough emotional space for all that. We create undue pressure on them and expectations that make a child feel like a failure if they dont meet them.
We are raising human beings, not superheros.

IMO the resources for helping kids with adhd and other mental health issues are not enough. There still isnt enough understanding and help at school and many times families (especially those without stellar financial means) do not have the wherewithal to maintain the skills being honed in school at home.

The last thing you want to do is set your kid up to fail. Failure is great dont get me wrong. Its an awesome lesson on personal responsibility but not letting that happen on its own naturally, instead of sort of greasing the wheel for it to happen unnaturally doesnt teach the lesson.

I know Ive gone on too long here.
TLDR: If he does not have the emotional maturity to be playing with other kids his age, and a keen interest in it it could harm more than hurt.
Its not about skill either. If he stinks at it but loves every second then let him fly. If he is world cup amazing but hates it, let him go.
If he isnt so good AND hates it its only a matter of time before he resents you for it or he gets hurt.
JMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andiemarie View Post
Hi

I am a newbie here, my son was diagnosed with ADHD about 6 months ago with ADHD as well as ODD. He is only 6 years old, it has been very difficult for our family but we really want to help him as I know he wants to do well.

We have been trying to keep him active and recently signed him up for a soccer team. He is really struggling to focus and play. He stands on the field and looks up at the sky making faces, talks and distracts his team mates.. he's not helping the team and getting into the game.

He seems to like to go to soccer and the team, and at times he gets into it when it's a smaller group and does well.

Is this typical ADHD behaviour? Is sports either a good idea as some kids can hyper focus, or a bad idea? Maybe he is better suited to more one on one?

He is not on med right now (we are in process of switching him) so perhaps we can stick with it and see if he improves with med?

Also, he is much 'younger' emotionally, so I am wondering if he just isn't ready for team sports.

Its very sad to see him out there on the field and not sure if his brain just can't cope with so much at once and don't want to affect him negatively. His coaches are yelling at him to go for the ball and he just doesn't.
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I carried a watermelon?

I've always been one of a kind. It just hasnt always been positive.
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Old 11-04-17, 05:04 PM
peripatetic peripatetic is offline
 
 
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Re: Sports?

i wasn't in team sports until i was older for the same reasons you cite.

i *did* however, get into running early in life as a way of getting activity and, ultimately, now i am still a runner and it helps me clear my head.

perhaps see if he's interested in the camaraderie, the "team" part, or if he just wants an activity. i haven't done martial arts, for example, but i've known people who got into it early on and found it beneficial.

if he *is* into the "team" aspect of it, maybe have him go out for track?
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Old 11-04-17, 10:36 PM
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Re: Sports?

You said he seems to like going to soccer, but have you specifically asked him if he wants to do it? Maybe he enjoys it enough sometimes, but would really rather not be there? You could ask him if he would rather wait a little longer before doing sports or you could ask him if he would rather do something else instead and give him a few options. 6 yrs old is still pretty young.

I was the same way with sports. Distracted, could never pay attention to the rules or what I was supposed to be doing. I was also very uncoordinated and just all around bad at everything. People actually requested not to have me play with them.

My oldest son is also a daydreamer, very awkward/uncoordinated, and has never been into sports. I've thought about getting him on a swim team because he is tall, lean and a good swimmer, but he told me he didn't want to. I got him into other activities, like Boy Scouts and chess. Maybe your son would like martial arts. It's something I've considered and I hear it has benefits for kids with ADHD.

I also don't think I could handle the rigorous sport schedule. That's the major complaint I hear from so many moms, how much time their kids' sports take up. It's just ridiculous.
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Old 11-06-17, 01:13 PM
andiemarie andiemarie is offline
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Re: Sports?

Thank you kindly for the insight. I agree, he might not be ready for team sports, and I really don't want to push him on it. He does seem to like the boys and the team aspect, keeping score and playing when he's in the mood, but I think when he's feeling insecure in an aggressive group he goes oppositional and won't try at times. He also seems very distracted. Luckily the team is only 1 practice and 1 game a week and the coaches are very supportive and always include him no matter what and try to help him. There are the "Jonny's" but not too bad at this age, it's still not too serious.
I was hesitant to pull him out midway through the season, as I wanted to give it a chance. He seems to be happy about going some days and other days he's very defiant. I think we will continue for now and see how it goes. I also have a ADD daughter who was similar without the defiance and she is now 11 and very into soccer, although it took her a few years to be able to focus.
When the season wraps up, we will reassess and maybe try martial arts or something he seems to have interest. He likes art and is able to hyper focus on that as well as some video games so maybe we will look into something creative. He has so much energy I would like to have him in something active. Boys scouts is something I haven't looked into, but might be perfect. He really does need social skills as he is still hitting kids at school etc..
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Old 11-06-17, 02:30 PM
Caco3girl Caco3girl is offline
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Re: Sports?

My son is ADHD, we didn't know that back then. I told him he had to play a sport and I didn't care what sport, just pick one. He picked baseball. He started at 6u, he knew NOTHING, but the coach was nice and he picked it up pretty quick. By that spring he made the all star team.

Now he is in 10th grade. He still LOVES baseball and it is shaping his entire life. He's talking to colleges about playing there, he has his own niche at school because he's a baseball player and he's good at it. YES, he still spaces out watching people walk outside the fence when he's in left field but he tries to stay focused when the batter is actually up.

I also have an ADHD 8 year old daughter, she LOVES cheer and has just started basketball. She is pretty good at both and given any area that is open she will spontaneously just do a round off or a cart wheel...why...because she can : - ) So I haven't experienced this "ADHD are awkward kids" thing. However, when my daughter was in t-ball at age 5 she got very distracted by the white chalk lines, lol!

I would suggest he plays soccer for complete seasons, as long as he wants to play soccer. If my daughter winds up hating basketball she will finish out the season and we will try something else. I would of course also recommend baseball :-) My son wasn't medicated until 8th grade and he was still able to excel in baseball, but it all boils down to what does the kid like. My daughter did NOT like baseball, so we moved on, no big deal. Just go with his likes, eventually you will find his "thing".
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Old 11-10-17, 02:00 PM
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Re: Sports?

I did what I had to do in school as far as sports. I dropped PE as soon as allowed in high school because I have no interest in sports. Perhaps I lack a sports gene. I cannot watch a single sports or gymnastics or Olympics. Fortunately, my family didn't force that down my throat. They all liked sports...not fanatically, thank goodness. Sports are good for some children But don't force it if they really have no interest at all.
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Old 11-18-17, 09:47 AM
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Re: Sports?

At that age maybe a better place is to start in a recreational league that is not as competitive. There is plenty of time for competitive sports when they’re older.

My ADHD son had a hard time processing what to do next fast enough to play basketball. He could dribble, make baskets, and had the core skills, but couldn’t make decisions fast enough during real game play. For that reason baseball might be a good option.

Some suggest martial arts as well. Either way, if a child doesn’t like a sport after playing for a season it’s probaly time to move on.
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