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Old 09-11-2014, 12:02 PM
 
3,268 posts, read 2,369,240 times
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Yesterday was my 3.5 year old son's first day of "soccer." I put that in quotes because at that age it's isn't really a sport, but more of an excuse to get out and exercise, play with kids, learn instructions, etc. All the good stuff that supposedly comes with team sports.

I was horrified at my son's behavior during this 45 minute session. It was blazing hot (we're in FL) and the sun was beating down onto the field and one of the 3 coaches didn't show up, so what should have been 3 groups of 10 turned into 2 groups of almost 20 (some of the other groups also came and joined as well). Just far too many kids for anyone to really be able to corral. Not an excuse but certainly didn't help matters.

Everything started off fine, they started by kind of running around in circles. My son followed, no problems. Then they handed out the soccer balls and this is where he went haywire. One kid kind of shoved him, "Pete"as we'll call him shoved back. These two went back and forth for a solid 20 seconds of shoving and yelling until I had to walk out there in front of all the parents and ask him to place nice, "No hitting please or else we'll go home!" Calmed him down for a few minutes.

After that it was chaos. Most of the other kids, aged roughly 3, seemed to be following instructions somewhat well. My kid would run off on his own frequently, when he came back it was shoving match after shoving match. I must have had to walk out and remove him from the situation at least 3 times. At one point he literally ran 200 yards away from everyone to a shed in the corner of the fields. When I reached him he said he had to go "pee pee."

I guess I expected more. My son is very playful and has had some minor hitting/pushing issues....nothing like yesterday though. If my kid had been one of the well-behaved ones and I saw "Pete" doing that to other kids, I'd surely have wondered who the hell his parent was and what they were doing at home. I feel like we definitely show ample affection and discipline with him but maybe we're missing something. "Pete" is an only child but he does go to preschool twice a week half days, the other days he's with an au pair, which frequently involves activities with other children.

I'm probably overreacting to this but wondering if other parents have experienced this behavior and what they did to help improve it.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:08 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
4,294 posts, read 2,881,254 times
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If you are talking about a 3 year old I think he need time. They are still too young to follow the rules,
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:19 PM
 
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You are over reacting tad....3 year olds often wander off or just do their own thing. It's not uncommon for some to get over whelmed and act more aggressive than typical (which has nothing to do with him being on only child or not).

Take a step back and regroup... now that he's been there once it might go smoother next time. ...keep working on ways for him to express his frustration without hitting and shoving....and don't stress if he goes off on his own.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:29 PM
 
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You should enroll him in hockey. It's cooler, and shoving is a valuable skill.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:29 PM
 
3,268 posts, read 2,369,240 times
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Good advice. Can you tell I'm a first time parent??? My only thought was - why are the other kids following instructions and behaving and mine is the only one acting out? I guess that's where I get a little frustrated, but I understand every child is different.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:33 PM
 
35,121 posts, read 37,816,014 times
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I think the biggest mistake you made is to threaten to take him home if he did not follow instructions and then you did not take him home.
You kept going out to the field to correct him which means he now knows that no matter how he behaves or what you threaten in regards to discipline, leaving, not watching television, no candy etc. is an empty thread and he will continue to do just as he chooses to do because there is no repercussion for his behavior.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
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I think it's pretty normal behavior. 3 year-olds behave a bit like puppies, they need continuous redirection. Don't beat yourself up.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,488 posts, read 15,923,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
I think the biggest mistake you made is to threaten to take him home if he did not follow instructions and then you did not take him home.
You kept going out to the field to correct him which means he now knows that no matter how he behaves or what you threaten in regards to discipline, leaving, not watching television, no candy etc. is an empty thread and he will continue to do just as he chooses to do because there is no repercussion for his behavior.
Although, my children we never in soccer they were in several different sports activities and it was very unusual to even have just one adult per ten three year olds, let alone twenty. Normally, there would be one adult coach and one or even two helpers or parent assistants for ten three year olds. I don't know if that was common or not but that has always been my experience.

As CSD pointed out, if you say "We are going home, if you do X" and the child does X, you need to immediately go home.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:47 PM
 
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Good point, hadn't thought of the veiled threat.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zimbochick View Post
I think it's pretty normal behavior. 3 year-olds behave a bit like puppies, they need continuous redirection. Don't beat yourself up.
This.

I always looked at these things as a really GREAT way to give 3-year olds enough exercise they'll be exhausted and sleep. Whoever invented soccer/kick balls did the world a huge favor.
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