The Good Boy

I sit here about to cry. I worry so much for my son. Cole is such a sweet and sensitive boy; he is caring, loving, generous, laid back and kind. That is who he is. And his father is so hard on him for this. Luke approached me today saying HE is worried for our son. As he began to tell me why, tears welled up in my eyes. I wiped them away because I don’t want Luke to see.

Luke went into the story of the last football practice and how Cole teared up twice that night. Luke thinks Cole is too soft and his future will be damaged by his sensitivity. At the beginning of practice, Cole was lined up against another boy and was dominating him. When the other boy gave up and quit, his father approached the coach upset by how Cole was tackling him…you know, the way they’d TAUGHT Cole to be aggressive (against his nature).  In return, the coach felt he had to speak to Cole to make a good showing to the other father. So he “coached up” Cole on proper blocking. Luke went on to say that after this “coaching up”, Cole was then lined up against a much larger, more aggressive boy. Cole then gave up and got a firm talking to from Luke which brought around the first set of tears. I stopped the story at this point and told Luke that I don’t blame Cole one bit. He was initially doing what he thought he was taught to do, yet he gets a talking to for it. It’s confusing to a child. It’s confusing to ME! And I don’t wonder why Cole hates sports.

After this instance, Cole became disengaged in practice and was caught rough housing with another boy. Luke let it go on until the two were on the ground wrestling. At that point, he pulled Cole up and gave him another talking to for not paying attention. And the second set of tears came.

Luke further explains that several of the other boys on the team have big egos and that Cole has none. He thinks this will keep Cole from being successful later in life and does not bode well for him making his way forward in society. I held my opinion until he was able to complete all his thoughts. Then I had to speak…

Nothing is wrong with a child that is sensitive to other’s feelings and needs. What exactly does having a big ego get you in life? Isn’t it more about self esteem? And what is happening to my son is that his self esteem is being beaten out of him. He is often told by his father that he is a disappointment. And a disappointment at what? SPORTS. He brings home all A’s on his report card. He is often commended for his behavior toward others. But because his father loves sports so much, he expects his son to.

Luke also spoke of a neighbor kid that constantly picks on Cole. He teases him about his hair, belittles him, and physically challenges him even though this kid is a year older than Cole. Luke is disappointed that Cole “takes it”. Luke’s response has been to tell Cole to punch him. It sickens me that he is teaching my child to solve his issues with violence especially knowing it goes against every grain in my child’s body. This kid is a bully; he is an asshole. And he’ll grow up to be an asshole. Shouldn’t we teach him to stay away from such people? Shouldn’t we get involved? Luke says that I don’t understand being a boy and perhaps I don’t but I do understand bad behavior, assholes and bullying. I knew the kid was a bad seed from the first moment I met him. I have given him more than his fair share of chances but at some point, I feel the need to take it to a meeting with the kid, his parents, my kid and me and my husband. The kid’s parents should know their son is bullying others. If they choose to do nothing, that is fine but they should know. And my child shouldn’t be encouraged to tolerate it or violently react to it.

This is probably the most complex issue Luke and I have. He heard me out today but I don’t think things will change. He will continue to be on Cole for not excelling at sports. He will continue to yell at him at home over things like putting on his shoes in a timely manner…something he rarely ever raises his voice about toward our daughter.

Maybe this pains me so deeply because I never had any positive reinforcement from my own father.  But Cole is a good boy. And I don’t want him to develop the egotistical, non-empathetic ways of his father.