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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Jul 22, 2013
 
DEAR AMY: After our 9-year-old grandson struck out several times playing baseball, I asked his mother if he was feeling down about it.

She talked with him, and he said it wasn't his fault, it was the umpire's fault.

Is this normal thinking for someone his age? Do you see problems down the road with this type of attitude?-- Grandma

DEAR GRANDMA: I do think this is "normal" thinking for a 9-year-old, and this is why 9-year-olds aren't allowed to vote, drive a car or play pro ball. Mature and compassionate adults must step in to correct this thinking.

This boy's parents (and other family members and adult mentors) should work with him, starting now, to introduce and reinforce the idea of taking personal responsibility for his actions. Parents are a child's first and most influential coach. They should demonstrate accepting personal responsibility for their own failings and the ability to be resilient and good-natured through failure.

I shared your question with Mike Terson, former public address announcer for the Chicago Cubs and an experienced coach in youth sports. He has seen many baseball games (and many strikeouts). His response: "Plenty of professional baseball players strike out a lot. Every player at every level strikes out. The key to youth sports is having fun.

"Striking out isn't fun, especially striking out all the time. This child should be encouraged to realize that what happens in baseball is about as critical as the outcome of a family game of Monopoly. And if he is upset about striking out, that is something that he can work on and improve. If he doesn't have the desire to do the work necessary to improve, baseball might not be of interest to him. He should be encouraged to try some other sports or activities that he might enjoy more."

DEAR AMY: I am an 18-year-old college sophomore who has an unhealthy, win-lose relationship with my father. On the "win" side, he is a financially successful businessman. He granted me a loan-free education throughout private school and university.

My older siblings and I have matured into similar hard-working, confident young adults. We have all worked since we were 15 and are all pursuing a higher education.

However, on the "lose" side, my father is emotionally and sometimes physically abusive. He loves his family and we love him, but he will cuss, scream, shove, spit at and threaten my mother and us.

Neither medication nor therapy has helped him. He demands respect because he showers us in presents. He is furious if we refuse, and if we accept he uses guilt against any rebellion to his abuse. A "free" college education is hard to turn down in this economy, but is it too steep a price for putting up with his aggression?-- Troubled

DEAR TROUBLED: Your education is not "free." It is costing you very dearly, and you could continue to pay the price for a long, long time.

I hope you will choose to do what you know you need to do and reject the abuse and the spoils that attend it. Visit the dean's office and office of financial aid at your school to see if you can finance your own education. Develop a strategy to emancipate yourself and hope that you can then turn around and inspire and assist your mother and siblings.

If your father threatens or physically abuses you, your siblings or your mother, you should call the police. Perhaps the reality of legal consequences for his behavior would inspire your father to commit to change. Regardless of what he chooses to do, you should strike out on your own. I give you credit for knowing that this treatment is unacceptable and that it must stop.

DEAR AMY: "Stuck" raised the topic of making "loans" to family members.

Do not ever make a loan to a family member. If they fail to repay you, hard feelings inevitably result. Make gifts to them, and leave it at that.-- Lisa

DEAR LISA: Unless there are actual repayment terms, a family "loan" is really a "gift" and might as well be called that.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#2
Jul 22, 2013
 

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1- Guess baseball isn't his sport. Maybe he'll have better luck with soccer.

2- Nothing is free, honey.

3- Enough with the dam stereotyping! I'm working hard to repay a family loan and I haven't missed a payment yet!

And race-bater Obammy never should have opened his stupid mouth about Trevon! His job is supposed to be to unite this country, not divide it. If Trayvon was killed in Afghanistan, Bammy wouldn't even know his name. Can't wait until next year when we impeach his stupidass! Worst. President. Ever.
Cass

Upland, CA

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#3
Jul 22, 2013
 

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LW1 - Yep, it's a problematic attitude. A 9 year old should be able to start taking responsibility for his actions. Time for you, Gramps, to talk to your grandson.

LW2 - Tough one. I don't know what I would do. My reason tells me I would say "screw this, i'll go to a state U and get student loans," but deep down I don't know I'd have the courage. Do start by exploring financial aid options.

LW3 - Well, you can always arrange it as a loan and think of it is a gift privately, so no hard feelings would arise.

Since: Jan 10

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#4
Jul 22, 2013
 
L1: Good answer from Amy.

L2: He SPITS? That's what tantrumy 3yos do. Wow.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#5
Jul 22, 2013
 

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1 Maybe it was the Umpire?

2 Suck it up, take your dads money and blow it on strippers.

3 whatever

Since: Jan 10

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#6
Jul 22, 2013
 
RACE wrote:
1 Maybe it was the Umpire?
Nick's kid is 11 but looks 8. He's the smallest kid on his team, and among the smallest in the entire league. Pitches that are literally over his head get called as strikes.(Wow does that piss Nick off.)

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#7
Jul 22, 2013
 

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LW1: Unless he was displaying signs of it, I don’t know why you would take it upon yourself to ask him if he is “feeling down about it” or make much of an issue of it. You sound like you are disappointed and expected him to be in tears or something over it. The kid is 9 … just let him go out and have fun and don’t worry about how he is feeling about who is to blame in terms of why he struck out.

LW2: I think you all as a family need to address the issue. You all as a family need to stop tolerating it.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#8
Jul 22, 2013
 
LW1: At least it wasn't one of those games where no one can strike out. Hopefully, they even kept score!

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#9
Jul 22, 2013
 
LW1: Instead of whining to Amy, why don't you take the kid to the batting cage?

LW2: I know that I would take the money to finish college and then limit my contact with this jerk afterwards. Sorry that he's your dad.

But if you think you can swing it without his help, go for it.

LW3: Gift, schmift.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

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#10
Jul 22, 2013
 
1: Suck it up kid, baseball, like life, isn't fair.

2: Take his money, avoid hin like the plague and start your proessional life with little debt and then cut all ties. Is this using him? Yes, but he deserves it.

3: Money and family lead to nothing but problems.

Since: Jan 10

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#11
Jul 22, 2013
 
Sublime1 wrote:
LW1: Unless he was displaying signs of it, I don’t know why you would take it upon yourself to ask him if he is “feeling down about it” or make much of an issue of it. You sound like you are disappointed and expected him to be in tears or something over it. The kid is 9 … just let him go out and have fun and don’t worry about how he is feeling about who is to blame in terms of why he struck out.
And so often, kids feed off of the adults' emotions, so if a kid isn't upset about something but the adults are acting upset and like it's a big deal, the kid will start to change his attitude as well.

Like when a toddler falls down and he looks to see how people are reacting before he decides to cry.

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#12
Jul 22, 2013
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
And so often, kids feed off of the adults' emotions, so if a kid isn't upset about something but the adults are acting upset and like it's a big deal, the kid will start to change his attitude as well.
I am getting the impression from the letter that this is what is playing out. I also kind of give the kid credit for not beating himself up, like Grandma seems to think he should be doing.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#13
Jul 22, 2013
 
L1: I agree that this grandmother should not have asked whether he was disappointed. I like Squishy's idea of taking him to the batting cage.

L2: Demanding respect does not give you respect. Why do people confuse fear with respect?

L3: Each family and family members in it are different.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#14
Jul 22, 2013
 

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L1 I think it is significant that it is grand mother not grandfather who is bringing this up.It is sexist but guys have a history of team sports and know /remember how to deal with this. Girls didn't especially girls who were still growing up in the 50's which is when a grandma would
My gut reaction is Back off, lady and don't let me see you wringing your hands again.

L2 You have been living with your father for 18 years. Go away to college. Pay him lip service when you have contact. Take the college education as recompense for 18 years of BS. Thank him at graduation and move far away.(Offer your Mom a place to visit on her own)

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#15
Jul 22, 2013
 
Stina wrote:
LW1: At least it wasn't one of those games where no one can strike out. Hopefully, they even kept score!
YES. And no BS "participation trophies" at the end of the season!

Since: Jan 10

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#16
Jul 22, 2013
 
PEllen wrote:
L2 You have been living with your father for 18 years. Go away to college. Pay him lip service when you have contact. Take the college education as recompense for 18 years of BS. Thank him at graduation and move far away.(Offer your Mom a place to visit on her own)
ITA.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#17
Jul 22, 2013
 
j_m_w wrote:
<quoted text>
YES. And no BS "participation trophies" at the end of the season!
I hate that!

Since: Jan 10

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#18
Jul 22, 2013
 
Research has shown that with kids ages 5-7 or so, they need those external motivations like ribbons and trophies. You don't keep score in little league until they're 7-8 years old anyway. After that, those participation trophies go away because kids understand the game better and they understand winning and losing.

At those very young ages, it's mrely about trying to keep them interested. I'm all for ANYTHING that keeps kids active in a sport!

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

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#19
Jul 22, 2013
 
LW2 - hte younger niece is starting her final year of college, and the grant money isn't as forthcoming for 13/14 as it was for 12/13... her father made too much to qualify (and hid income too), so she's all pissy about it. yes, it sucks, kid, but suck it up for ONE YEAR... i think part of hte family issue is dad's attitude; he just laughs at her when she says she's stuck for tuition this year. <shrug> staying out of that one... but what Toj said applies to this situation too...

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#20
Jul 22, 2013
 
Aisle Sitter wrote:
LW2 - hte younger niece is starting her final year of college, and the grant money isn't as forthcoming for 13/14 as it was for 12/13... her father made too much to qualify (and hid income too), so she's all pissy about it. yes, it sucks, kid, but suck it up for ONE YEAR... i think part of hte family issue is dad's attitude; he just laughs at her when she says she's stuck for tuition this year. <shrug> staying out of that one... but what Toj said applies to this situation too...
My last year of grad school was on my own nickel. I used student loans which I paid off just before I turned 40 which coincidentally is when that kind of interest stopped being deductible on Fed tax returns. She will have some skin in the game for a years worth of tuition.

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