Some days, getting up and going to practice is just too much. Much like adults calling in “sick” on because they just aren’t feeling it and need a mental health day, kids need the same.
No matter how much a kid loves the activity they are involved in, some days you just gotta stay home. I’ve run into those days. I have had days where I forced my kid to go to practice and he ended up having a good time, but there are other days that I’ve turned around and gone home because it wasn’t in the cards and it wasn’t worth the tantrum and the drama.
Kids have bad days too. They have days where they are tired and cranky and going to hockey or whatever the activity is is just too much for their little brains and bodies to handle. My kid has gotten off the ice and we’ve gone home. Granted it is upsetting sometimes because let’s face it, hockey is a large running tab. But for the most part, I’m learning to recognize when we just need a break. And honestly, most days Jordan is fine and excited to go. But other days, he doesn’t want to. (I tend to make him go anyway though and he ends up having fun.)
You need to recognize the days that it isn’t going to go your way and your kid is better off at home than on the ice or the field or whatever it is you have on the agenda for the day.
I wrote last week about a kid who got in a fight and his over zealous dad. This week, dad was at it again.
I was sitting with a few other parents that I’ve gotten to know pretty well, when this guy starts pacing around. He went back behind where the zamboni doors are. I looked at the one dad and said, “I’m 100% sure you’re not allowed back there.” He agreed. He was back there banging on the glass, trying to get his kid’s attention. Ugh. There is always one of these, no matter where you go.
There was another dad and his two kids sitting on the other side of me. We talked about how this guy’s kid got in a fight last week. He told me it was pretty disheartening to see because this is his kid’s first time playing hockey and it left a bad taste in his mouth. He said he thought at this age the game would be pure and fun for his kid. I felt terrible.
I just reassured him that that was an isolated incident and that I’ve never seen anything like it before. This is an overall really nice group of parents, wonderful coaches, and really nice kids and I’m not familiar with this guy at all other than seeing him last week. He felt a little better after I said that and said the kid is probably learning the fighting and instigating at home.
And it is likely he is. Like I said before, at this age, these kids aren’t learning that at practice. I know for a fact they aren’t learning it from this group of coaches. I closely monitor how the coaches and the high school kids who assist in practice interact with the kids. I see a lot of kids laughing and having fun, so they are doing something right.
There was about 15 minutes left in practice and Jordan got off the ice to go to the bathroom. As I was getting him back onto the ice, this guy starts complaining to me that he’s pissed at these coaches and they are useless. His son isn’t participating and the coaches aren’t doing anything about it. I just looked at him and said, “Well, you can’t make your kid want to play” and walked away.
Hell, my kid had just asked if he could be done when I took him to the bathroom because he was tired. Yeah, I’m sure he was. We stayed out last night to see a movie and he had a friend over this afternoon to play. But I reminded him he only had a few minutes left, so he went back out, ended up scoring a goal in a shoot out drill and was one of the last kids off the ice. I know when he’s melt down done and just kinda like “meh” about things. He wasn’t too tired to stop. He got a drink of water and hit the ice and was happy he did.
This guy’s kid wasn’t having it. He was sitting on the ice. Then he did the one thing we all cringe to see: he opened the doors and walked out on the ice and dragged his kid off.
He could have handled this a million different ways. He could have opened the doors and called a coach over and asked to talk to him and find out if something is wrong that he doesn’t want to participate. He chose to humiliate his kid in front of the other kids and make himself look like an ass. I’ve called the coach over to talk to him before when I thought something was wrong with Jordan, like if he’s looking sluggish and I think he might need his inhaler or a water break. You can handle these things without embarrassing yourself and your kid.
His kid didn’t want to play today. It’s going to happen. S0me days my kid doesn’t want to either, but I’m learning to assess the situation to see what the issue is and if he should go or if it isn’t even worth the fight.
Today that kid either should not have been on the ice or his dad should have talked to a coach to see if he could find out what the problem was. But it’s really not the coaches job to force someone to want to be there, because you can’t.
There were 25 other kids on the ice who wanted to be there and wanted to have a good time. I’ve seen the one coach take his own kid off the ice and have him sit to the side because HE was just having a bad night and didn’t want to be there (he has 2 other kids on the ice too so leaving wasn’t an option). But he at least got the one who was having an “f this” night out of the way. Because there is literally nothing you can do.
If your kid is having a bad day, just let him or her and let them move on to the next day. You’ll both be happier.