Monday, November 5, 2012

Teaching commitment, how far should we go?

Chuck and I are in the middle of a disagreement.  Not a terrible one.  Just a small one that we both have views on.  This disagreement is different in that we can also see the point of view of the other person and it's valid as well.  Here goes:

Ren is playing soccer.  He just doesn't like it this year.  However, we told him he must finish out the season and follow through on the commitment he made to us and his team.  Once the season ends, he no longer has to play.  He has already decided that this season will be his last.  We're okay with that.  He is ready to try something else and t-ball is right up his alley.  He has terrific hand/eye coordination!

The dilemma and conflict sets in here.  Our typical SAY soccer season has ended.  CS was finished 3 weeks ago and A played her last tournament game 2 weekends ago.  Ren's team, well, they are pretty awesome.  They qualified for the area tournament which had them playing SAY teams from the surrounding communities.  That started 2 weekends ago and carried over into this past weekend.  He played the semi-final game and the finals (against the only other team from our community to go to this tournament).  These last two games were in the rain and it was frigid.  He. was. unhappy.  After the semi-final win, it was mentioned that the team has qualified to go to the state tournament.  Wait, what?!?

There is another small, side issue to Ren's soccer season worth mentioning.  Ren didn't play to his fullest this year because he was just over it all.  This has brought on ridicule and general meanness from a few of the boys on the team.  He has been told by the other kids that he is 'stupid, an awful player, the reason why they lose, among other things".  We did bring it up to the coach and he chatted with the boys in question, but things still get said out of earshot of the coaches.  Ren's self esteem is suffering and for a kid that already deals with being different, this isn't helping.

Back to the "his team is going to state tournament" issue.  We are divided on what to do.  On one hand, we feel he needs to see his commitment through to the end.  I mean, he may not be the best player on the team, but he does try hard and helps out.  He has been to every practice and even sat on the sidelines and cheered when he was out due to pneumonia.  He was committed to his team and has celebrated each victory (and two losses) with the rest of the team.

On the other hand, he is so over soccer.  He missed his sister's birthday party this weekend because of tournament games and that tore his heart apart.  Thankfully, he had a small 'window' between games and he and Chuck rushed home to help sing "Happy Birthday" and grab a cupcake.  We also have this issue with the kid who has said something to him.  We believe this child is only repeating what he has heard someone else say, but we are unsure of this.  We just have a hard time believing a 6 year old could come up with those things on his own.  I will be chatting with the coach again this week and I'm also taking it to the next level and pulling the parents aside as well.  It's also cold and Ren has already had pneumonia during this season.  I'm not sure I want to risk him getting sick again.

We don't have the details yet as to what "state tournament" requires, but we aren't sure Ren will be participating.  We want to chat with the coach and see what he feels.  We ask Ren about it and he just wants to stop now.  I think he needs to follow through and finish the season.  Chuck says to chat with the coach and allow him to step aside.

What are your suggestions?


  1. I think he needs to finish it out. He is part of the team that has made it thus far. My feelings are if you allow him to step down you are teaching him not to complete was he has started and you can let down those that need him. He doesn't have that much left...I know it sucks when you kids are in stuff they hate. BUT they made the choice to start it they need to finish it. Just my thoughts.