Sterling (8) is really struggling with school work and doing simple chores at home- so we took away soccer this year until he can prove that he can focus on getting his schoolwork done. I feel like I’m a horrible mom and am really struggling with not letting him do it anymore. Is that too far? We’ve just tried everything. He isn’t listening and is being destructive- I feel like soccer would be a good outlet, but I can’t keep giving him reasons to not focus on school. What would you do?! Help?!
I personally would not. This has been a hard year. Let him has his fun.
I would maybe consult his doctor or school counselor… they might advise that soccer would help more than harm. And the counselor could probably be a good resource
I would not take away soccer, he needs the exercise and an outlet. Maybe take away games, computers, TV.
Have you had him checked for something like dyslexia or ADD?? I was tested in late second semester of high school for tracking and retention when reading. I definitely had an issue.
I’m not an expert but have you had him tested for ADHD? A lot of times when kids “struggle” in school it’s because they are bored and the material is either not challenging enough for them or engaging. Like I said, I’m not an expert but it may be worth looking into.
I feel the hardest part of parenting is being consistent with punishments. I’ve threatened my son that if he doesn’t put in his whole effort when doing swimming lessons (he’s really struggled with swimming) then I’d take him out of hip hop class which he loves, so far I haven’t had to follow through but I believe you’ve made the right choice maybe just take him out more on the wknds to run around and kick a ball? And he can join the team again when he does as you ask
Such a healthy activity, mentally and physically. I’ve read that students who participate in sports do better in school. Of all things to take away, a physical outlet should not be the one.
I think you gave it a try and if it’s not working or you think it’s harming more than helping let him go back for the next season. I can see your reasoning for taking it away but sports are a good commitment for little ones and they learn a lot more than just the sport. Is he having problems at soccer too? Then I could really see taking it away because you don’t wanna let him be disruptive to the other children. Maybe you can make it into something positive and let him earn it back somehow like everytime you have a good day we’ll give you a sticker and if you have x amount of good days you’ll earn it back. I think he’s old enough to prove to you if he really wants it or not just don’t make it too complicated.
I don’t think that punishment will motivate him to be a better student. If he doesn’t have an outlet, it may actually make things worse. I would be more concerned with finding out why he is struggling so much. He could have a learning disability or there could be social problems at school, maybe he is depressed (yes, it can happen in young children and it often makes a difference to grades).
Have you had his vision checked!
My son could no longer participate in football because he couldn’t pass Algebra class. It was downhill from there. I would not take away his sports.
Absolutely. School should always come first. Followed by attitude at home. Then, extra curriculars. If he can’t handle the first two, he can’t handle adding soccer to it either. Extracurriculars are a privilege. Not a right. There are other ways of getting in physical activity that don’t require playing an extracurricular sport. If soccer is through school, most schools require passing grades in order to participate. As the parent, YOU lay the rules on what is appropriate and not appropriate behavior. And it’s important to follow through when those lines are crossed. If you give in now, you’re just teaching him he can do as he wants. Who would you rather have teaching that lesson? You, and now? Or when he’s an adult and his boss has to teach him or worse, fire him for not following the rules? Rules are there for a reason. He learns nothing id you feel bad and cave. If he asks why he can’t, tell him the truth. And tell him. The exact way to get back what he lost. That’s the only way he will learn.
I would consult a developmental pediatrician for further guidance.
Idk. I don’t agree with taking away sports as a punishment.
DO NOT take away his soccer. Everyone needs an outlet and if you stop that he will harbor feeling of anger and resentment towards you. It may be a good idea to have him tested for learning disabilities and ADHD as well as ODD
I would never take away sports. It’s the only thing that really keeps my kids active all year. Electronics, snacks, tv, friend time, literally anything else but not something that keeps kids healthy and active. Just my opinion.
Maybe he is truly having a hard time at school & could use you to help him & understand him so he can do better. Some kids don’t know how to ask for help when it’s needed.
My daughter dances on a competition team… dance is everything to her. But she knows she needs to keep her grades up or ill pull her. Thankfully I’ve never had to threaten her… I do recommend having him tested fur adhd and it dyslexia… good luck to you
That’s the rule in my house … school comes first. If you can’t keep up your grades, then no soccer, no dance class or no school plays/musicals.
Sports is actually an outlet for most kids. I wouldn’t punish him by taking it away
Stick to your guns mama. Education first.
What connection are you drawing here? Is soccer taking up too much time so he is unable to complete schoolwork and chores? If not, the two are completely unrelated, and your consequence doesn’t accurately address the problem. For an 8 year old, I feel like this consequence would be way above his ability to understand and successfully complete for an entire year in order to gain soccer back. You need to find something that affects him day to day. “Hey buddy, when you complete your chores, you can go outside and play. If you wait too long, it will be dinner time, and you won’t be able to play.”…or something like that.
Have they been virtual or back and forth between in person & virtual? This has been my sons (7 almost 8 ) worst school year to date. I think it’s just all the change/non consistency… he usually rocks at school but this year has been a real struggle for all of us. I wouldn’t take baseball away from him tho. His dad threatened to take away his water park birthday party this summer if he didn’t start trying a little harder and focusing a little more, but we’re all trying to give him a little grace!
I think everybody is having trouble in school right now this whole past year has been horrible and doing chores kids no kids I know of likes doing that but if soccer is something that he really gets into and does good at I would let him do it and see if he can get together on the school work and chores
Have him tested for ADHD and I’d give him back soccer. Probably a major stress reliever for him.
As a mom with a teenager who lived and breathed sports,I never took away a sport all together, he maybe missed games because of poor grades or attitude but never the whole season… when covid hit, all his sports were taken away without warning and to see his mental health decline daily was something I never though would happen… Sports was my son’s identity, all he knew and to lose that has cost him. School is important but so are sports. There are things your son can only learn by playing sports, help him find the balance, he is old enough to talk to and help come up with a plan to do his work and play soccer. Let him be involved in the decision making…
Get him evaluated for ADHD
The school would have kicked him off for having bag grades anyway he needs to learn he don’t get to do a fun activity if he can’t act right at home and do what he’s told get him tested for adhd and get him into a learning program through school where they will give him more one on one
Ima have to disagree with a lot of y’all. I mean in high school students can’t play if they have bad grades, that makes them want to work and do better academically so when its game day they dont have to sit on the bench.
Have you checked with school staff to see if this has been on going? Got worse with pandemic? Have you consulted his pediatrician? There very well could be a reason for his behavior. If you have the all clear from these professionals that there’s no issues explaining his behavior, (although most children have been struggling during the pandemic), then I could see trying consequences. But make sure first with the professionals that he is able to focus, and use self control.
Maybe use soccer as a reward ?
School is a struggle for some kids. Id talk to his teacher to see if he should be evaluated. I personally wouldn’t use a sport as a consequence if he enjoys it and it makes him feel good about himself, but once I took something away, I didn’t give it back.
I understand school comes first, but I also believe kids need extra curricular activities. I would just make sure he is completing assignments, work something out with his teachers. So many children have been struggling due to covid.
I know someone whose son has serious emotional issues. They were thinking about taking away basketball, but his therapist recommended they not do that. Because basketball was the one thing he did he felt good at. Maybe he’s got more going on than you know about? Especially if he’s doing virtual schooling. Maybe he needs to be talking to someone?
I don’t know, I just thought I’d throw that out there
Are there no learning challenges? I had massive trouble keeping up with school work and completing chores growing up because of ADD, despite actually being a good student most of the time. There were years I was on honor roll and then boom, failing. I understood somethings but not others. I never stuck with a task so chores always looked like I didn’t care, but I just got easily distracted. Especially if you gave me a new chore while completing the first chore. In that case soccer could be the only thing keeping him together. My feeling is unless the lack of ability to function is a direct result of the time or energy he puts onto soccer, then ok. You cut back or eliminate the issue. If you can’t be sure, and you aren’t absolutely certain his drop off isn’t related to a mental, physical, or emotional change that is out of his control, then taking soccer could be the worst thing you could do.
No, one has nothing to do with the other
The children have had 12 months of disruptions, uncertainty and lack of a proper education at school and in normal life and now you want to take the one thing he loves🤦♀️ find out why he’s struggling, does his vision need checking, ask school what he’s struggling with, take him to the dr for tests if need be.
I understand your point with taking it away. But it may be an incentive to stay focused.
In my kids school, you can’t play a sport if you’re grades are below a C I think it is. I’ve done what you did though. I had my oldest stop every extra curricular activities until grades were up
I wouldn’t take away his sport because I find there is so much value in team building, confidence, and athletic habits. Missing a year of training can put you behind next year as well.
I instead would take away phone, ipad, tv, toys, treats etc.
I think it’s the right move! My school district won’t let kids play if they are failing anyway. You have to maintain a C average to even practice. I would tell him when he can do his work and be calm then he can go back but until then, no. Kids need to learn that sports And fun activities are not the most important thing in the world and they have responsibilities to do or there is consequences.
Could maybe be an underlying learning issue that he may be doesn’t understand he has so it’s making him angry. If you haven’t already I would maybe check for learning problems with a doctor and see if that may be a cause
I feel like taking a sport away may not be the best…what about video games? Screen time, etc?
Just because he’s 8 doesn’t mean he doesn’t battle things like depression( with depression comes lack of interest and effort) , he may just not have the words to communicate what’s really going on with him… maybe just try to find out WHY he isn’t doin school work anymore. What’s the underlying reason for this issue and go from there but I wouldn’t just take away one of the only things he is actually putting effort into… that may just cause him to want to give up more
Does he have any type of adhd?
Please don’t take away extracurricular activities as punishment for kids that age. It’s been repeatedly shown to be counterproductive. They need to get their energy out, exercise, and socialize. It has a lot of positive benefits that will actually help with concentration. If he’s having problems focusing at school, I would speak with his teachers and pediatrician for advice. There may be an underlying cause. ADHD runs in my family. Not saying they have that, just that there may be something going on that you might not have thought of.
Usually I’d say no way totally a good call but with everything going on i do think you have cut him some slack there’s a pandemic they can’t go anywhere learning is different from day to day any moment school can be pulled from under kids feet all of that is a lot to cope with and can make grades be lower and cause struggles in school that may not have been there before
Is it possible to have an earning system rather than an all or nothing for the whole year? Like sign him up, but make sure he knows in order to participate in the weekend’s game, he must meet small expectations during the week. A week at a time is a lot more manageable for an 8 year old than a whole year. I’m 38 and taking away something I love for a year would permanently discourage me.
Good lesson to Learn now. He gets to Jr High/High school its NO PASS NO PLAY
Sport is the 1 thing I would never take away from my kids.
The day my brother got kicked off the football team for poor grades, was the day he dropped out of school. For a lot kids, sports are the only reason they even try to do well at school. Without that, they don’t have any reason to want to excel.
I wouldn’t ! I would definitely threaten it but maybe try doing more one on one every day after school and in the morning before school check all his work third electronic I know parents hate this because some feel like this is punishment for them as well but it always and I mean always works if you don’t back off and keep their feet to the fire until they improve
High school and middle school do the same. If they don’t make the grades they don’t play.
I don’t think taking away a sport in which he is active will help you, Its not like it’s a treat (however much he enjoys it) it’s team building, confidence building, health building etc And children who do sports are often (not always) academically better, I think you need to find out what’s going on in regard to school and behaviour and then work on that, I truly believe taking sport away will only see things worsen for you as you’ve taken away any outlet for stress/frustration the child has.
What would I do? I’d talk to him more frequently, ask him about his class, friends, what makes him happy etc. I see a lot of suggestions of things being taken away but that doesn’t resolve the underlying issue which is you don’t know what’s bothering him. Once you find that out, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a solution.
If it was me, I’d try to find out about his classes, what he likes or dislikes about them, what he prefers to do etc. find a compromise. Make sure he understands responsibilities and balancing things he likes, to what he needs to do in order to prepare himself to be a responsible adult. Everything is in moderation and in harmony. Not putting much effort in one area can cause issues later in life. Even if he’s a kid, mentioning these important aspects can be a good foundation for the years ahead. You can’t just remove something as a threat and force him to listen. He doesn’t learn anything except that you’re the one making the rules. Providing him the insight will help him decide what is best for him without the needless struggle. Good luck
I would look into other issues first, like an unseen learning disability. I wouldn’t take away an active sport, kids need exercise and you may find he does even worse. Idk. Talk to your peds.
Almost all schools won’t let you play a sport if you have below a C average so taking away soccer now will have your child study more to keep the grades up so they CAN play sports
What grade is he in?
removing his physical outlet in order to get him to be more focused and less destructive/high energy will definitely be counterproductive. removing some other privileges may help but i would not recommend not letting him play the sport that likely recharges him and helps him blow off steam.
Also if it was a sudden onset, make sure he isn’t being bullied or something or that nature. I wasn’t good in school at that age, my 4th grade teacher was so mean to me. And my oldest son acted out because of bullying. I put my foot in some behinds at that school. Around 11 he started acting out again only to discover he had sleep apnea and needed his tonsils and adenoids out. After that was resolved his sleep, behavior and bed wetting issues were resolved… so find the root of the cause instead of taking away things that are good for him .
Yes! You are absolutely doing the right thing. School is more important and sports comes second!
I had that problem and the more that was taken away made me more rebellious
I was always told not to take sports away from my son when he use to get in trouble … it not only effects him but the team. If he is on one
Please don’t take soccer away from your son iam actually begging you as this as a punishment was not a good thing for my son at all ( my son needed his sport but he wasn’t alloud by the school because of this ) this is where his self destructive behaviour started I thank the world everyday that now his 18 his made a complete turn around . Good luck with everything
School would have done it anyway. He needs to learn responsibility, more importantly, he needs to learn. Responsibility always comes first before play. Dont beat urself up about it. He needs to earn it. Ur being a mom and all kids need discipline.
Where my kids goes you have to maintain a certain grade to be able to play for the school. Sports i wouldn’t take away maybe phone hanging out w friends but sports is a good thing and can lead to wonderful futures
As a veteran teacher I think it depends on the situation. At this age, is he struggling because he is just being defiant? While possible…there is usually an underlying issue which could vary between structure at home, lack of rules, or maybe there is an attention/executive functioning issue or a true learning issue. Taking a sport away may destroy his self esteem, making him feel like a failure and frustrate him more.
First question to ask: Is there structure at home? Meaning…is there a set routine of expectations such as homework at certain time, sleep at certain times, etc. (Chores are the last of my worries…academics come first.) If you don’t have a visual daily schedule of expectations at home…from hour to hour, I’d take the time to make one ans post it in his room or in the kitchen. That way all expectations are clear.
Second step: conference with teachers to see if they notice any learning issues or attention issues. If they do…maybe evaluate to get him the proper support.
Third step: sit with him at a set time everyday. Many parents are often busy with work and expect kids to just get their academic homework done like we did when we were younger. It is way different times. School and expectations are sometimes more rigorous. As a teacher mom, I have sat with my own children for endless hours on many nights helping to complete homework. It was mentally draining after a full day of work and responsibilities…but once they got to middle school, they already knew expectations. At home, school is the most important expectation…and that’s why I sat with them for endless hours. They knew it was important.
So I’d say, sit with your child before or after soccer to complete work and see how they are doing. If you can’t for some reason…get a tutor to help out on days there is no soccer. It’s a hard sacrifice, but putting in the time will make a world of a difference.
If you don’t nip this now…it will only snowball. Sounds like there is an issue with the use of the word “destructive”…maybe stop for a moment to ask him nicely what exactly is going on. You’d be surprised what answers you may get from a simple and safe (without anger or nagging) conversation.
Personally…I wouldn’t feel bad for taking away anything! I’ve raised 3 boys! Now 19, 17, and 12. Taken away more than I can count! School is the most important in my house and it’ll always stay that way! Just my 2 cents! Lol.
And yes…I have 3 very respectful, kind, and brilliant boys! All of them in honors classes! And they still love their Mama!
Does he have ADD? Something deeper he’s stuck on mentally? My mother went to college got her masters because of me. I was the first diagnosed in my area with Add. I’m 48 now. Years I struggled. She’d call me a liar about homework chores. Still hasn’t apologized in so many words… just dig a little deeper
Sports are good outlets for kids dealing with emotions. Don’t take away physical fitness, team comradely, and fresh air away from him. Find punishments that actually make him get outside more. This has been a HARD year on everyone and soccer might be his only realm of normalcy.
Give it time
Sit down with him
See why he is not doing well but please don’t take it away from him
It could be something is frustrating him and soccer is his way of taking off his frustration
I’d be torn as well but stick to it. I have an almost nine year old girl who is down right defiant! I have had her tested and a mental health evaluation since we have had on going issues. She is plain out defiant and blames her troubles on others… "I could of done this but YOU MADE ME Not be able to! So now we have to find other ways to nip this in the ass so she can be a functional adult.
No way. He needs positive reinforcement. He is 8 years old.
Maybe get to the root of his behavior and address that. This makes me sad for him.
Idk have you ever tried to figure out why he’s struggling instead of taking away?
Let the kid play soccer. School is ridiculous this year. Life has literally been out of normal for over a year. Don’t take it away.
I was that child that my mom excluded from sports, friends, social activities, I was homeschooled and always at home or church. Please please don’t do that to your child. Looking back I can see the frustrations my mom had and I see why ppl say it’s a reward for them. But they need an outlet without you and something for them. I saw myself getting more frustrated and more rebellious because I had nothing to lose.
Playing soccor is a privilege not a right and in order to play grades have to be up in almost any sport that’s involves schools it’s the same rule bad grades you get benched or kicked off until grades are better your not a bad mom so what he’s 8 he understands school is important the only exception is if it’s his first time getting bad grades but if it isn’t take away and I would also speak to his teachers see what you can do to help him improve because there is a difference between struggling and just not wanting to do it …
When you join a team, you commit to being there and being a good team member. I don’t believe in taking away team extracurriculars because you aren’t just punishing your child, you’re taking away a member of the team that counted on them to be there. Commitments are obligations, even if they’re also fun. So no, I wouldn’t be taking away soccer. I would be seeking support from school and/or a counselor or therapist to help reshape his behavior. I would be seeking support from his pediatrician to determine if there is an underlying issue (ADHD, for my child who also struggles with these things). If I need to take things away, it’s going to be privileges like video games, tv, dessert. But not soccer.
I think it is a mistake…maybe suspend in increments ie. 1 or 2 games. When you are draconian, they rebel or get depressed. Also positive reinforcement. Ie. Do all chores for 2 weeks then you get xyz. Also how is his prayer life! Pray with him and over him. You.will see a change in attitude for the better!
Let him play soccer. Look at the kinda year they have had with school. It’s not easy what so ever. Let the boy have some fun
He might be getting bullied or have a eye or ear problem, some kids struggle when those things are not working properly, taking away things he likes might seem like a punishment to a 8yr old , have his ears and eyes tested, and just preserver, my children know that mum does everything so it’s an expectation from them but my own fault cause I do do everything, but they moan when mum stops lol
This year has been hard enough being stuck in the house. Everybodys struggling, maybe hes not handling it well. Offer incentives as well as punishments. Talk about trying to turn over a new leaf with eachother and why things are so difficult.
1st talk to him,but extra curriculars are a privilege
Ask the coach to talk to him. That may help. Coaches are always there to help in a good way and sometimes they listen to them more than to us.
Have you talked to his pediatrician about testing him for ADHD? I only ask because I, myself have ADD. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was in 4th grade in the mid 90s. I know what it’s like to try and function on a daily basis and feeling like nothing is good enough and you, as a child DONT know Why you keep getting “punished” no matter how hard you try. It leads to a lot of guilt, self esteem issues, and feeling of worthlessness. My 2 boys also have ADHD so now I get to see the parenting side of it all. A diagnosis of ADHD does NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO MEDICATE!!! My boys started with play therapy sessions every week, something that wasn’t available when I was a child. It is amazing how much you can help your child through opportunities not available without a diagnosis. Such as an IEP with the school to help him stay focused. It will also help you with resources on how to help him stay on track with chores and such at home.
Definitely get him tested for ADHD/sensory issues. Just had this done for my 9 year old and it has made a world of difference in knowing how to help him.
If he’s not performing well in school and not doing chores he doesn’t play. If he can’t listen to you or go by the rules why give him what he wants? He has to earn it! 8 or 18 doesn’t matter. You can follow the rules in soccer you can follow them at home as well. He’ll get it together eventually. Stick to your guns mom!!
Mother of three adults with the benefit of retrospective: I wouldn’t do it. He’s only 8.
Tough decision mama. I believe kids need an outlet for their energy and many times if they have a little more to do they learn time management. Also I believe that kids are on a team and the team depends on all their players.
One thing my parents made a point of was never taking away things that were good for us. They would take away video games, certain toys, maybe ground us or not allow us to have sleepovers. It was a good thing for us to understand when we were younger. It is an idea. I don’t think you are doing anything wrong because as kids get older, they have to have a decent GPA to play sports anyway.
You do what you gotta do momma…school is important and so are grades…if they don’t learn this at a young age then its just going to carry thru to older years. Nothing wrong with taking a privilege away for disapline and regain respect.
So me and my husband have different views on this. Our son is almost 9, he’s played soccer since he was 4. I say school should come first if he’s not doing his school work then he doesn’t get soccer but my husband thinks he should still be allowed to play. So we just ended up doing that all his school work had to be completed 100% before practice on those days and if he was misbehaving at home when it came to work he would run 1 or 2 extra laps at practice. The running helped get that energy and anger out. Now he’s not playing this season because our states youth league is requiring masks to be worn during practices and games and my son has asthma that is worse in spring so we decided to wait until fall for him to play again. And I can tell he’s not playing simply based off his behavior.
Considering what everyone’s been through the last year yah it seems too far. He’s only 8. Tons of kids are struggling in school.
I understand where you’re coming from. My sons dad is strict but we never took sports away. The team building he will learn will only solidify that family is team one! Let him experience another adult with rules and how they apply and the importance. Reinforce those along with positive feedback when he’s doing his chores, and y’all will be fine.
Hes only 8 years old… give him a break and let him be a child…
Let him play soccer and build some confidence and pride again. After the last year, he needs the commaraderie and outlet for energy buildup. Friends can make all the difference.
so he is struggling…and you take away something he enjoys and is his outlet…right…
Ok I have major opinions about that my parents took away any and everything from us with the snap of a finger. I will never take things away from my kid that are good for them. I won’t take extra school away from them, sports, books, coloring, food, church from them etc. At that point you aren’t teaching them anything at all you are just making them resent you.
I will take away things like, a trip to the movie, video games, dessert, extra toys, tv, trips with friends, make them do extra chores, the whole thing, but things that are GOOD for them for the long term, and forgive me if I sound rude but I genuinely don’t understand what you are teaching them by taking life from them?
School should come first. But taking away soccer isn’t the answer.