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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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    #201336 - 09/18/14 11:51 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    I was a total clutz at age 7, so bad that my mom wouldn't let me carry the eggs when we unloaded the groceries. At age 9 my mom signed me up for football. As we were not a football-watching family, the only thing I knew about it was that I could get hurt. But I did it anyway, and that was basically the turning point for me and athletics.

    Your DS's response sounds like something I'd expect from my DD9, who is always telling herself she's no good at things, because of unrealistic expectations, which lead to task-avoidant perfectionism behavior. We have to PUSH her to get through that. We put her in situations where she has to try, and then, having success, we celebrate those successes, and remind her how her attitude was to start. It's a very long journey, and she's still capable of extraordinarily negative self-talk, but there are a number of domains where we've been able to tackle them in this manner, one by one, and seen our DD develop self-confidence and a growth mindset within those specific areas. As the breadth and scope of those successes increases, we're hoping she can stitch that patchwork together into an overall quilt of confidence (how's that for bad metaphors!).

    So my advice would be, one, figure out how important this is to you and your DS. If it's the case that he really WANTS to participate and is holding himself back due to perfectionism and self-confidence issues, then I'd suggest it's time for a push. So, rather than saying, "Would you like to play sport X?", you could approach him with, "I want you to play a team sport this year. Which one will it be?"

    And if it's not that he really wants it but is holding himself back... I'd let it go.

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    #201354 - 09/18/14 01:19 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 602
    Loc: Europe
    Another one who could have written that post for her DS7.

    while i'm hoping for the constant soccer playing craze at recess to fade at some point by upper elementary, not playing soccer in Europe can hurt you socially way beyond school age. But I am expecting another 10 years or so worth of PE teachers to shove it down his throat, so no need to force him into soccer club now. He would just sink. So,he'll have to play with the girls (which he prefers anyway) for a while longer.

    DS actually really got into the spectator aspects of soccer during the World Cup, and his way of sort of participating in the recess games was crafting the red and yellow (and green and black) cards for refereeing, making up elaborate fair play rules over and beyond the official ones,learning stats about teams by heart, drawing the intricate design of the Brazuca ball, and (according to what he told me) occasionally jumping into the fray and scoring 3 or 4 goals for his team, the last one I am sure being pure wishful thinking but he seemed to enjoy the fantasy.

    I make him do martial arts too (he is reluctant to do any sport, I finally gave up on making him swim, but even though he does not want to go to judo training he enjoys it once he's there and it helps his coordination no end) and I am hoping for it to become "cool" among his classmates soon.

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    #201355 - 09/18/14 01:21 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: Dude]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2638
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    I was a total clutz at age 7, so bad that my mom wouldn't let me carry the eggs when we unloaded the groceries. At age 9 my mom signed me up for football. As we were not a football-watching family, the only thing I knew about it was that I could get hurt. But I did it anyway, and that was basically the turning point for me and athletics.

    Maybe at age 9 it was touch football. But NYT headlines such as Brain Trauma to Affect One in Three Players, N.F.L. Agrees causes me to doubt that we would allow our sons to play tackle football, not that they have expressed the desire to do so. I'll admit to not knowing if the results for the NFL can be generalized to college and high school football. Soccer with heading may also be disallowed -- there have been studies on that too.

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    #201394 - 09/19/14 05:30 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    cammom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/11/13
    Posts: 299
    Thank you for the responses everyone. It seems I am not the only going through this- I think we will continue to try (in a low maintenance, non pressure kind of way) some sports that use a ball. It's a bit about finding commonality with the other kids, but I also think DS could benefit from learning a bit of this kind of coordination.

    Interestingly, I was watching "Endeavor" on Masterpiece Mystery the other night. It's set in the UK and naturally most of the men are obsessed with "football." Endeavor feigned interest (or at least cultivated a polity expression) when one of the "blokes" tried to converse with him about an upcoming match.

    It was humorous because Endeavor has no interest in sports (prefers opera and books) and doesn't spend time on things he doesn't care about. He is also a determined, brilliant, and compassionate character- not a "guy's guy" but manly in his own thoughtful way.

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    #201396 - 09/19/14 05:49 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2638
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: cammom
    Thank you for the responses everyone. It seems I am not the only going through this- I think we will continue to try (in a low maintenance, non pressure kind of way) some sports that use a ball. It's a bit about finding commonality with the other kids, but I also think DS could benefit from learning a bit of this kind of coordination.

    I'd guess that I am at the 5th-10th percentile or lower (worse than almost all guys) at baseball, basketball, and football but may be at the 50th percentile at tennis. I think tennis, racquetball, and squash are worth trying. Tennis is a lifetime sport -- my dad played with me until his 70s. I enjoy playing with my children now. If you consider sports with Ivy admissions in mind, a relatively obscure sport like squash may be a good bet. It's tough to compete with the mass of talent chasing professional dreams in football, basketball, and baseball.

    Regarding popularity, I'll note that I became more popular in high school when the advantages of befriending someone who can help you with math and physics became apparent.

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    #201398 - 09/19/14 06:09 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1453
    Loc: NJ
    Quote:

    not a "guy's guy" but manly in his own thoughtful way.


    Hey I like to think that I am manly in my own thoughtful AND sometimes thoughtless way LOL
    _________________________
    Become what you are

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    #201425 - 09/19/14 09:33 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: Bostonian]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    If you consider sports with Ivy admissions in mind, a relatively obscure sport like squash may be a good bet. It's tough to compete with the mass of talent chasing professional dreams in football, basketball, and baseball.


    And don't forget the oboe, the instrument of choice for the hothousing parent. But in this particular situation, the parent is trying to help the child win friends, and being good at squash has the same social currency as an oboe solo.

    There are other reasons to play team sports besides multimillion-dollar contracts or a golden ticket to Yale.

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    #201429 - 09/19/14 09:48 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: Dude]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3993
    Originally Posted By: Dude

    And don't forget the oboe, the instrument of choice for the hothousing parent. But in this particular situation, the parent is trying to help the child win friends, and being good at squash has the same social currency as an oboe solo.

    Please save us from all bad oboe players (that would be somewhere in the upper 90%s of oboe players)!
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #201436 - 09/19/14 10:36 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    suevv Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/10/12
    Posts: 381
    Oboe? Based on the screechy, scratchy noises I hear on walks through our overachieving, golden-ticket obsessed, false-modesty-as-the-norm neighborhood, I always thought the hothousing parent's instrument of choice was violin coupled to dire threats.

    I could really shake some people up if I start mentioning the violin versus oboe mistake.

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    #201437 - 09/19/14 10:41 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    notnafnaf Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/14
    Posts: 199
    Try violin vs viola. Our babysitter wanted to do a strings instrument but she felt that violin was overdone so she went with viola. Not that I can tell the difference between violin and viola.

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    #201443 - 09/19/14 11:11 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: cammom
    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.


    cammom, I haven't finished reading all the replies yet and will post again with a reply that addresses your OP, but fwiw I did want to jump in here with a thought/perspective for you. I'm female too :), my dh is male smile - we have continued to enjoy team sports throughout our adult lives. Neither one of us is athletically talented and so we weren't the kids in school going out for varsity teams etc - but I wouldn't necessarily discount participating in a team sport for a child simply because it's perceived to have a shelf life. My dh and I have played on rec leagues in our community (which offer all kinds of ability levels), teams through our workplace, and pick-up games with friends. We've played volleyball, soccer, flag football… you name it, there is almost always a league of some kind where you can play it as an adult if it's something you like to do smile

    The other thing I'd consider is that even if you are a child and you play on a team of some sort for a short duration - even just one season - there is something to be learned and experienced from playing team sports, whether or not you use the same physical skill set ever again. And it's a way to make connections among peers, as you've noted.

    polarbear

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    #201447 - 09/19/14 11:40 AM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    Melessa Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/11/12
    Posts: 393
    I could have also wrote this post about ds7 last year. My son is not physically able and was told he could not play by the other boys. He could sometimes get the girls to pretend they were all animals or something similar. Mostly, he read on the playground.

    This year he is at a gifted private. Ds is actively playing at recess with the boys- sometimes team sports and others imaginary games. He is much happier.

    I'm sorry to hear that your ds is not being included. It's hard to be different. Maybe he could start another game with friends? Or play with other kids who are not in the game? Does the teacher see what's happening at recess?

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    #201452 - 09/19/14 12:07 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    Anyone know of any actual elementary level team sports that don't require visually tracking balls?

    I know there are teams that are clustered individuals (e.g. swimming.) But if there is some merit to team sports, I'd be curious to find one that is acccessible. One I thought of is rowing (starts at middle school ages,) any others?

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    #201455 - 09/19/14 12:35 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    ashley Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/26/12
    Posts: 639
    Originally Posted By: cammom
    How do you help young gifted boys who are kind of "nerdy," immature, and uninterested in traditional sports.


    You could try playing soccer with him (kicking the ball around your yard or at the park) to see if that helps in getting him interested.
    Team sports are a great way to socialize, bond with friends and teaches team work besides other things. There are winter camps and summer camps for team sports and you could see if attending one is an option for your son. From observing the social dynamics between 6 year old boys, I think that playing a sport involving a ball is the quickest way to make friends smile

    Originally Posted By: cammom
    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).


    Wait until your DS gets a black belt! All boys love cool nina tricks and your DS will be very popular smile

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    #201456 - 09/19/14 12:36 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: Zen Scanner]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: Zen Scanner
    Anyone know of any actual elementary level team sports that don't require visually tracking balls?

    I know there are teams that are clustered individuals (e.g. swimming.) But if there is some merit to team sports, I'd be curious to find one that is acccessible. One I thought of is rowing (starts at middle school ages,) any others?


    Dunno if this helps, but my DD9's elementary school has intramural flag football. Unless you're catching/defending passes, it's more about tracking people than tracking a ball.

    Another intramural sport they have is track, which is the kind of "clustered individual" sport you mention. It could be a team sport if they run relays, though.

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    #201457 - 09/19/14 12:38 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    cmguy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/30/14
    Posts: 387
    Also wrestling and maybe scouting (not really a sport but you can do lots of cool stuff with peers like rock climbing, hiking and archery).

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    #201458 - 09/19/14 12:40 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    For the playground there is tag. There are lots of fun, informal games that can be played without balls. My girls scout troop used to play at lot of group games, very few of them involved balls. At camp we used to play capture the flag, but that is a long involved game that takes a lot of area.

    Some area's have track programs for elementary age kids. I had heard that freerunning gyms are becoming really popular. But I guess these are more clustered individuals like swimming.


    Edited by bluemagic (09/19/14 12:42 PM)

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    #201461 - 09/19/14 12:51 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    DrummerLiz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/20/14
    Posts: 57
    Loc: Midwest
    My DS6 is super athletic. Loves to bike, swim and will play tag with anyone. On the flip side he has zero interest in competitive team sports. He has tried soccer twice and baseball. He really does not like sports. I support that. We discovered fencing a few months ago and he is in love. He says that it is his favorite sport! He's met some great kids who are a lot like him and he feels part of a group.

    Are you part of a gifted and talented group in your area? We have found a few families through ours and our son has a best friend that is a boy his age for the first time ever who loves science as much as he does and music.

    It's all about helping your kid find his niche and in our sports driven american culture where boys are "supposed" to play and talk about sports it makes it harder for the rest of us who have sensitive, intellectual little boys.

    I also agree with the suggestion of music. I highly recommend a drum kit! Great energy burner and it's fun! My son plays a variety of instruments and he has so much fun with his drums.

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    #201464 - 09/19/14 01:42 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2513
    Originally Posted By: DrummerLiz
    We discovered fencing a few months ago and he is in love. He says that it is his favorite sport! He's met some great kids who are a lot like him and he feels part of a group.


    Mind if I PM you regarding fencing at that age? I began fencing as a teen, but I'd like to expose DS (almost 3) to fencing earlier.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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    #201465 - 09/19/14 01:47 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    DrummerLiz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/20/14
    Posts: 57
    Loc: Midwest
    Totally Aquinas! :-)

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    #201468 - 09/19/14 02:08 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: DrummerLiz]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    One of ds7's redeeming features socially is he likes sports and is good at them. As long as he can play soccer at lunchtime he is fine. In NZ, however the major male sport is rugby union and I really don't want him doing that.

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    #201474 - 09/19/14 03:17 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: aquinas]
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    Originally Posted By: aquinas
    Originally Posted By: DrummerLiz
    We discovered fencing a few months ago and he is in love. He says that it is his favorite sport! He's met some great kids who are a lot like him and he feels part of a group.


    Mind if I PM you regarding fencing at that age? I began fencing as a teen, but I'd like to expose DS (almost 3) to fencing earlier.

    I looked into fencing for my son at one point, a family friend was taking lessons. The fencing studio's/camps around here start around 7/8 year old.

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    #201475 - 09/19/14 03:26 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    DrummerLiz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/20/14
    Posts: 57
    Loc: Midwest
    Bluemagic, our city Sword Club just started a class for 6-8 year olds last fall. Our son started in the Spring and he loves it. The instructor is young, but very serious, so if anyone goofs around they are out of class for the day. Safety is paramount!

    My son does not like fighting, ninjas or anything related. He said he did not want to fence until we went to watch a class and he was hooked. He liked how the teacher was in charge and respectful of all of the children. It's a small group, anywhere from 5-9 kids. They just bought new plastic practice sword that have a sensor on the tip. The kids can fence way longer now because the new swords aren't so heavy. They play games and are learning stretching and how to warm up. In the summer when they do camps they combine fencing with chess. He feels very happy and part of a group when he is there.

    If you have a mature kid I recommend talking to the club and seeing if they'd let your child try a class. Our son is ready to move up to the 8 year old class with skill and maturity, but he's not tall enough to compete with 8-10 year olds yet! :-)

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    #201478 - 09/19/14 03:48 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: cammom]
    momtofour Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/27/10
    Posts: 228
    I'm afraid my experience isn't immediately helpful, but I hope I can give you some hope. My older son was very similar to yours in elementary. My younger son is athletic and spends any free time playing sports, watching ESPN, organizing his fantasy football, or playing his Xbox sports, etc (my oldest does play Civilization on Xbox... right, that fits, doesn't it).

    Yes, it has been much easier for my younger one in terms of fitting in. BUT, I personally don't feel like more sports would have changed anything for older ds(actually, in addition to martial arts, he did soccer for 6 years, but he wasn't particularly good and he didn't love it). It took a while, but he eventually found his niche. For him, it was running (I was shocked to find out he was good at it, since he was slow, awkward, and ungainly in elementary), music (another shocker, but we found an instrument he loves), and typical stuff for gifted like math and chess.

    One thing that did help him relate to other boys, at least on an everyday level, was reading about sports. In fact, it's one of the reasons we keep a newspaper subscription (we also did SI Kids). He enjoys talking to dh and his brother and I think he knows that knowledge of sports is kind of a currency when talking to other guys. No, he doesn't particularly love playing or watching football or baseball, but he watches enough and reads enough to sound conversant. I get that this isn't going to cut it for a 7-year old, but it did help quite a bit as he got older (definitely by the time he was 10, kids were pretty chatty about college and professional sports and it helped him fit in).

    Honestly, though, I wish I hadn't worried as much. By 6th grade, a lot of kids had dropped out of organized sports, or started specializing in one, and recess was no longer an option or an issue. My younger son usually played those recess pick-up games, but he would also happily sit out at times to play card games, or chat with friends. My older ds was/is happy with his own company, but if yours feels sad at being left out, I'd talk to the teacher and see if he or she can intervene. That's not uncommon at our school, even though the teachers aren't with the kids at recess (they talk to the monitors, assign recess "buddies," suggest other games, etc).

    It can always be awkward or discouraging to feel like the odd one out, but I think your son will find his place eventually, and hopefully there are at least a few other boys who also aren't sports mad.

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    #201480 - 09/19/14 04:03 PM Re: Boys and sports, sigh.... [Re: DrummerLiz]
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    Originally Posted By: DrummerLiz
    Bluemagic, our city Sword Club just started a class for 6-8 year olds last fall. Our son started in the Spring and he loves it. The instructor is young, but very serious, so if anyone goofs around they are out of class for the day. Safety is paramount!
    I think it's aquinas that wants this advice. My DS is 15 and very very busy right now, with marching band, aikido, and robotics club. My DS is not particularly interested in fencing right now but it was something I though he would like in his early teens. He probably would still like it, but there is only so many hours in the day.

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