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    #201308 - 09/18/14 09:28 AM Boys and sports, sigh....
    cammom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/11/13
    Posts: 299
    How do you help young gifted boys who are kind of "nerdy," immature, and uninterested in traditional sports.

    My DS7 isn't exactly non athletic- he swims and does martial arts. He is just uninterested and anxious about traditional sports (soccer, basketball, baseball, etc). Unfortunately, he wants to make friends and is a square peg- accelerated in academics, and not a "guys guy."

    I love him just as he is, but he's unhappy. He's not making friends amongst the other boys, and is being left out of recess games like soccer because he's not "good." (granted, he's refused offers of soccer, or basketball skills seasons etc.).

    Anyway, I'm feeling a bit at a loss- DS is different. We've known that for a long time.

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    #201317 - 09/18/14 09:56 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    howdy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/13
    Posts: 279
    I might ask the teachers or administration if they every facilitate athletic games that are out of the norm during recess. I am sure your kid is not the only one being left out.

    Although it is not common, I have heard of programs like this nowadays to counter the obesity epidemic. There are other games like wall ball, four square, or obstacle courses (american ninja warrior is very popular) that the kids who don't like traditional sport may enjoy.

    It is worth a try to see if you can get the staff more involved in getting the kids involved.

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    #201319 - 09/18/14 10:00 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    Cammom, I could write exactly the same post literally point-for-point just changing 8 for 7. One of DS' problems is he can't follow the ball sports visually, and partially that and partially inflexibility and partially the not "good" aspect; he doesn't want to get anywhere near it. So, recess is a bit of a loss when those are the activities.

    Kinda like mon's #2, I emphasize that DS is making a conscious choice to not participate as opposed to having a victim mindset.

    He is also experimenting with outside groupings like scouts.

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    #201320 - 09/18/14 10:01 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    cammom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/11/13
    Posts: 299
    Thank you master of none. I think you're right- sports in an "in" but there may be a variety of reasons why he's not making friends as handily as the other kids. I expect that his intense personality and some social awkwardness also contribute. I will explore that with his teachers.

    The question is whether DS wants to be involved badly enough to spend time on things he is indifferent to or actively dislikes. My DH (sporty and "guy's guy) worries that being the odd boy out will damage DS and we should insist on some skill training so he can at least be included.

    Me, a square peg myself in school, I believe that DS should do things that he enjoys and consequently, is willing to put the effort into. My opinion is that traditional sports have a short window and a short shelf life unless a child has some natural aptitude and is willing to train. I'm female, however, and may not understand the dynamics of "boy" friendships and interactions to be a good judge.

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    #201322 - 09/18/14 10:10 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    My DS15 who is in H.S. does martial arts, bikes to school, and is in the marching band. He is an active boy, who likes hiking and camping but never been interested in sports. Marching band takes the place of a sport. It's been very good for him socially, and the band is filled with a lot of the more "nerdy" kids who don't care for sports. The band lives for it's competitions and my son wouldn't go to a football if he wasn't in the band.

    As your son is still young and can't join an activity like marching band, I would encourage him to take up a musical instrument. And maybe see if your school has other activities or classes that are geared more towards his interests.

    Good Luck, I've been there and I know it can be hard. My son has only gotten more social over the past year.


    Edited by bluemagic (09/18/14 10:11 AM)

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    #201325 - 09/18/14 10:23 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    Polly Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/29/09
    Posts: 330
    Well we're there too, DS 7 and not into sports, unless a spontaneous game with fun invented rules. We just moved to a new district and it is awesome in many respects, but it is also more sports oriented. At the old school PE was all about jumping around just having fun, just anti-obesity activity oriented. Here it is skill building time, "fun" drills and races that emphasize rules and competition although they say the opposite. Recess at the old school was mostly free for alls on the play equipment with 20 different things going on , here there is a more uniform culture with the girls virtually all doing make believe play and the boys playing soccer (every single day, wouldn't that get dull?). One group of 2 boys are best friends and play by themselves, but DS would be the third wheel there. Recess here is also limited to the grade rather than a mix of ages, which really diminishes the novelty one might find out there.

    DS is destined to play with the girls I think for the next couple of years. That's okay by me! Luckily he likes being the "monster", "dad", etc for them so seems to be getting along okay, wistful about not being part of the boy play though. But recess is ridiculously short now so over all too soon.

    No great advice, just posting so you know it's not just your DS.

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    #201329 - 09/18/14 11:03 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    suevv Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/10/12
    Posts: 381
    Hmmm - my DS6 is actually physically quite gifted and can whack a a baseball out of the park. BUT - he still chooses not to play team sports. We offer the option but don't push it. I think he has a strong sense that it's a bad place for him emotionally. His intensity, perfectionism and anxiety just take the fun out of it for him for now.

    On the other hand, he bikes, swims, walks our dog, hikes, etc., and keeps physically quite active. This is imperative for him. Without that physical stuff he doesn't sleep or eat well, and quickly gets into a downward spiral. So - I do think physical activity is a huge help but we don't get it from organized sports.

    We also don't get friendship from organized sports. We did facilitate him finding a couple close friends by letting him bring some nerd-ish things to school. He has a couple Magic the Gathering decks in his backpack at all times. He also has a rotating selection of "grown-up" books and magazines on topics of interest - currently super cars and oceanography. It's surprising how quickly other members of his "tribe" gather to him when he pulls these things out. This has been especially helpful in his school after-care setting where the kids get more choice in their activities. But it also helps out at lunch and recess, and that's a time that can either be used for making friends OR awful memories of isolation and rejection.

    Anyway - for now he gets solo physical activity and has a few close friendships forming, and it makes all the difference in his happiness.

    Regards,
    Sue

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    #201330 - 09/18/14 11:05 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    suevv Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/10/12
    Posts: 381
    Funny thing is, when he was first born, I always joked that I'd be delighted if he grew up to be a marching band, cross country, nerd-ish kid. I <<>> I was describing an easy kid. Now it looks like I'm getting what I asked for, all except for the "easy" part. What a fool I was!

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    #201333 - 09/18/14 11:27 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    somewhereonearth Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/17/13
    Posts: 351
    When DS8 was about 5, he was trying to make new friends at his new school. I heard him say to a group of boys, "I really hate those Boston Phillies!"

    My DS is just like yours. Doesn't know and doesn't care about team spots. Has no sports talent or ability either. We've offered to put him on little league and soccer. Zero interest. He does fine at recess because he likes creating cool games. He does great socially in most areas. There are other boys who are like him so he is not singled out. We live in a large immigrant community. Likely DS knows more about cricket teams than baseball teams. Nothing really to offer you other than we have similar boys. Try to have him seek our others like him, if he can.

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    #201335 - 09/18/14 11:35 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    HelloBaby Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/10/09
    Posts: 313
    Originally Posted By: cammom
    The question is whether DS wants to be involved badly enough to spend time on things he is indifferent to or actively dislikes. My DH (sporty and "guy's guy) worries that being the odd boy out will damage DS and we should insist on some skill training so he can at least be included.


    How about having your DH play some balls with DS?

    I would work with him to get comfortable for who he is (uninterested in traditional sports), which is easier said than done.


    Edited by HelloBaby (09/18/14 11:36 AM)

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