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ADHD Parents Together
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Need advice asap

I’m having to call another parent tonight, so any insight asap would be appreciated. Sigh....here goes:

My son plays football at recess with a group of his friends. He’s been complaining for months that they cheat and then they taunt his team when they win even though they cheated (paraphrasing what my 8yo is saying). He complains about it most nights almost to the point of tears. He’s a little bit of a justice warrior, which is funny because as an ADHD kid he has little control when following classroom rules. However, when it comes to sports, you follow those rules! We’ve given him what we thought was great advice, tips and tools to handle it, but I’m afraid we’ve failed him. Today, he tackled 2 of the “cheaters” because they were taunting him and his team. “We won, we’re winners, you’re losers” usual 8yo stuff. I got a text from one of the cheater’s moms and told her I would call her tonight. My first question and then a little history. Would you consider this bullying? (It’s been going on for about 2 months) I know this is his perception and I’ll try to get the other side of the story (I’m hoping to get from the other parent tonight) My son had several incidents last year and this is his first real incident this year, so we’ve made great progress. He’s been on Metadate CD for 2 weeks now and doing much better in the classroom. I thought things were starting to look up and this happens. I know you Moms know how I’m feeling....when things start to go right, the ball drops again. It is exhausting. So to recap, would you consider this bullying? (My initial thought was no sounds like regular 8yo behavior, but maybe no?). How do I tell this mom (one of the cheaters that my son tackled) that her kid is a little cheater, taunter? My son has talked to my husband more in-depth about the cheating. I don’t understand football, but he gave my husband specifics about what they are doing to cheat and my husband does agree that they are being unfair.

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They are 8 yearnold boys. I believe your son was showing restraint by not acting on it before. However, that being said you still have to be political because you don’t know if she’s the type to run to the school. (I know I am probably ticking off a bunch of moms reading this). Calmly explain what’s been going on. I wouldn’t apologize for your sons behavior (that’s just me). Explain his frustration and why he did what he did. This is part of socialization on both boys parts. This is how it’s done. Then, , each parent talks to their son and explains it to them. The other mom should explain to her son that if he runs his mouth and taunts this is what happens.

Hopefully she will handle this well and the kids will be ok by tomorrow. In my experience, boys are very resilient and will go back to playing soon. It’s the parents who sometimes make a big deal over it.Just my opinion. Good luck!

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I would also add to ng24's comment that when it comes to playing sports, I emphasize with my kids good sportsmanship and what that means. When playing sports you're going to come up against unfair reffing, taunting, fouling from players on the other team, and all kinds of things that can be frustrating. So the question becomes, how do you handle these unfair situations when they arise, because they will. And when my son doesn't handle a situation well, which also happens I have him take care of the apology whether it's in person, or through a letter. It's an opportunity for him to learn to take personal responsibility for his actions when he responds in an inappropriate way. These situations are never easy, and it sometimes feels like our kiddos aren't learning, but they are.

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Reg2018, we’ve been hammering good sportsmanship into his brain forever, It’s not registering, don’t know why!?!? When he’s involved with organized sports, I usually let the coaches handle it. Back when he was on an indoor soccer team, he got shoved and the kid scored a goal. I usually don’t say anything, but the coach didn’t see it, so I said something. He sat us both down and said that sometimes kids play unfairly and the coaches and or refs don’t see it. You have to make a choice. Do you want to stay upset about it or do you want to continue to have fun? I thought that was the best lesson ever! I always tell him winners never cheat and cheaters never win.

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The fact that you continue to teach your son good sportsmanship is the consistency in parenting, which is wonderful. You're doing a great job. And the fact that your son is struggling with learning it is the ADHD part. Learning is gradual and happens over a long period of time. It happens. It just takes longer than it takes for other kids.

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Good luck and thanks for sharing. Mine is 11, and honestly what come out of her mouth and reality are usually pretty far apart. Not saying this is happening in your case. Just know our special kids have are pretty smart and can convey a situation in a way to get you in thier side. Btw love love "justice warrior"..... Our is totally defender of Truth and all that is unfair and unjust in the world. Wonder why adhd kids do this? Anyway, hugs and i hope it goes well.

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Agree completely! I called the mom to tell her my son’s side and asked her to talk to her son to find out his take. Regardless, it didn’t justify my son tackling hers.

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First of all, kids at that age still live in the moment, however, people with ADHD are more sensitive and tend to ruminate about something that might not be as much of a big deal to the other person. The fact that you heard from one of the Moms, means that her child is also sensitive. Kids often need our guidance when it comes to expressing how they are feeling. Most importantly, kids need to learn to resolve conflicts on their own. It starts when they are young with guidance from parents and teachers. If they don’t learn the proper conflict resolution, then they will always be running to someone else to step in and handle their issues. I wouldn’t make an issue out of it by calling all the parents involved and apologizing for your child. Talk to your son about showing good sportsmanship and talk about better options he might have used if it were to happen again. If a Mom calls you, you should respond by saying that you feel that the boys should work out this conflict on their own and suggest that they meet for ice cream or at one of those trampoline places etc. to discuss and then have fun. Explain to your child that you know that he’s capable of working out his differences with the other boy together. When you get the two boys together, ask them each to take a turn telling what happened. Then say “ How did that make you feel?” to each boy. Then kind of recap and ask the boys for suggestions on how they could have handled things differently. Guide them if they don’t know how to articulate it but always make it their resolution not yours and tell them how proud you are that they worked things out on their own. Chances are, they’ll have high fived and been off to play together before you can finish your coffee.

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I know! My son is so negative too. It’s frustrating trying to get him to see the positive side of anything!

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I don’t know why but your full post didn’t show up for me initially. I like the idea of having the kids work it out. They definitely need to learn these skills sooner rather than later. Thanks!

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What an awesome response!

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As a parent, I take my children’s view when helping them work through a problem, but I know their perspective may not be 100% of the story. It also never goes well when we point out another child’s fault to their parent. If possible, I would approach the other parent like a teammate—-“It seems our children have been at odds. What can we do to keep the situation from getting out of hand to this point again.” I have a very rule oriented daughter too. We have had to have many discussions about where we can ask for strong rules and where we can’t. We can’t control other people and their choices and sometimes we have to walk away from a game if cannot live with the way it is being played. Just like in real life.

Having this kind of problem is not a sign that you are doing anything wrong or that there is anything wrong with your child. It is just real life and kids learning how, with so many different people in the world, we get by without knocking elbows with each other too often.

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Thanks. I think we were too focused on establishing rules last year that now he’s a stickler for them. We are working with a behaviorist who visited the school on Monday. She has some strategies that she’s going to work on with him.

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Sounds like you are doing an awesome job. Your boy is very blessed to have you!!

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