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Think About It... Acceptance doesn't mean you approve; it doesn't mean you're happy about something; it doesn't mean you won't work to change the situation or your response to it, but it does mean that you acknowledge reality as it is--with all its sadness, humor, irony, and gifts--at a particular point in time...~ Freda B. Friedman, Ph.D., LCSW, Surviving a Borderline Parent
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Author Topic: Keeping up with Extracurricular activities  (Read 522 times)
jbmom
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« on: February 22, 2012, 09:07:52 PM »

This question is for parents of school age kids (or recent school-age kids)

DD13 is an excellent athlete, she is in 7th grade at a small private school. Since the beginning of the year when the symptoms started to emerge - she has been hot and cold about doing the after school activities she excels at and has done for years. We let her quit field hockey to run cross country. Only to find out she quit cross country after the boy she liked/dated quit.  She quit basketball for 2 weeks due to that boy, only to rejoin the team a few weeks later on a bribe for Osiris sneakers from us. Now softball season is upon us and she is playing the same game... "I am going to be starting pitcher", followed by "I'm not playing for school this year".  "I think the coach is great, but I don't want to play"

We are totally frustrated as she bops back and forth constantly as to what she wants to do, and its hard to tease out what is real vs whether she is just trying to get a rise out of us.  Its a really small school and the sports add a much needed social outlet where she can hold her own.  We bribed her for basketball because she was isolating herself. Now we see the same game playing about softball.

Her in class behaviour has been pretty isolating, and the friendship calls have pretty much ceased.

With your kids... what were you able to maintain for activities. Did you find it best to push them to continue what they do well with? Did you let them drop it to avoid the confrontations? What's your experience?
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thinking
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2012, 11:42:03 PM »

My BPDd 14 does the same thing. I must Must MUST do an activity! We spend the money, she's involved for abit. Then wants to quit. I've noticed from my dd and the kids I have seen w/ BPD sports is good. These kids tend to become hermits. They know they don't fit in. Cutting off relationships isolating themselves happens a lot.

If I were in your shoes, and this may be wrong advise, I would do anything in my power to get her to play baseball. If you need to bribe her. Do it. Tell her if you finish the season you get XYZ. Give her a goal she can accomplish. Keep her socially interactive. Being on a team is good life building skills. Plus if she is not socializing as much the fresh air will do her good.

Good Luck!
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heronbird
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 03:47:04 AM »

I think extracurricular activities are so important foe BPD but my dd never finished any course we put her on.
I would do anything for her to do hobbies, even when we didnt have the money, I would find it. Still, I dont think it helped much.

Now I want her to do horseriding she never wanted to but now she does, Ive found out that when she is 18 she can get funding for it as she is under mental health and they are giving money out because they want them to stay out of hospital as its so expencive to keep them in.
 
Will she keep it up, judging by the past, possibly not. Still its worth a try.

Just keep trying, but being pushy does not work does it Doing the right thing
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 07:27:55 AM »

My dd rode horses from the time she was 4 on, but as she hit the teen years, there always seemed to be a problem, either with instructors, and girls at the barn, or the horses were not suitable.  So we took a rest.

When my dd was 15 or so, I got her to see a therapist for a while, forking the money out of my pocket, but then she hated the therapist, she wasn't helping her.  So I said if you want, I'll put that money back into riding lessons, figuring it would be like equine therapy.  And once again, the horses weren't right, the girls at the barn were evil, so we stopped.  By then she had a lackluster bf that she would spend hours every night on the phone with, always apologizing for something.  She moved out with him, sneaking out on a weekend I wasn't home, for a year or two, and guess what, he abused her.

Then she moved back in with us, and that is when she  become VERY unstable. barfy  (also a pun on words  grin)

She still wants to ride a horse though.  I think it is very good for her, but the whole atmosphere around the riding has to be very warm, friendly and non competitive.
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ontherox
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2012, 10:09:08 AM »

We have seen this same pattern with our dd18.  She would jump from one sport to another.  She tended to follow her friend du jour, even trying out for ice hockey in high school though she had never shown any interest in skating before, but her best friend at the time was on the team.  That ended with the relationship. But she does this with things we know she loves too.  Rock climbing would be our example, she was on a team and doing very well, then just stopped, no real reason given. It was too bad because she always came out of practice in a great mood, but we could not get her to stay with it; just another frustrating thing.
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griz
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 11:22:01 AM »

We have had the same problem with my DD16 for a long time.  She would join a sport or an activity and be all excited only to quit.  This just happened again this weekend.  She had been taking a class on Sundays that she loved and on Saturday night I went in to check on her and she was sitting there with her work with tears running down her face saying she didn't want to go anymore.  We had a long talk and she basically told me that she is tired of doing things and not excelling at anything.  She feels like she is always just medocre and never really great at anything.  I thought about all of the things she has done and she has been good at a few things but never really "excelling".  After talking I realized that the problem is that her not excelling or seeing others do better only reinforces the fact in her mind that she is not good enough.  She is a failure.  She doesn't measure up.  So I decided to try to find something that she could do that would have her interacting but not competing so I joined a gym for our entire family.  Thought this would be good for me and hubby too.  There are over 100 classes given each week and also an entire gym with special emenities like massages and facials and etc.  She seemed to like the idea and we even took a yoga class together already.  It wasn't nearly as expensive as I thought it would be and my health insurance may even cover it for her.  Her P said he would prescribe the working out as part of her therapy and to counteract the weight gain from meds.  I am hoping here she doesn't have to feel like she is competing with anyone and I told her we should set goals and when we reach them we can treat ourselves to a massage. 

Griz
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 02:05:22 PM »

Re: goals, I am passing this along in case it's applicable.  My DS when he was young had to do exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy for OCD.  (Basically, the child is exposed to the thing that induces the OCD reaction and he gets rewarded if he does not engage in the reaction.)  There is a lot of literature validating this approach for OCD.  It was emphasized to me that the reward had to be immediate and on the spot.  The rewards had to be decided between him and me because it had to be something he wanted and I was comfortable giving.  As he has very aesetic tendencies it took us two weeks to decide on appropriate rewards, which were books from a series he liked.  Since one has to do ERP several times a day, I clearly could not give him a $15 book every single time.  What I ended up doing was buying a book, scanning the cover, and cutting it up into puzzle pieces.  Every time he had a successful ERP session he earned a new puzzle piece and could put the puzzle together to see how far he had to go to earn the book, which he would receive when the puzzle was complete.  Then on to a new book.

So if one is going the reward route and have kids that simply cannot envision a long-term reward (my DD would fall into this category), you might think of an immediate reward right after she completes the activity, coupled with a longer term reward for doing the activity X number of times or reaching some level in the activity.  The important thing is that everything be decided by agreement between you and your child.  Immediate rewards can be things like an extra half hour of computer time or TV time, a pizza dinner, and ice cream--whatever is something she would enjoy and wouldn't usually get and you find affordable and not contrary to your values.  Or if your child only wants bigger, costlier items you could try the puzzle route to provide the immediate reward.
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jbmom
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2012, 04:00:26 PM »

Thanks to all that shared their experience. It definitely helps not feeling so alone in this world. Funny about rewards... DD has always done best with a rewards chart. I find them exhausting. Its hard to keep them honest, and challenged after a while.

Just last week DD brought up getting a reward for her dance competition. This is something in 3 years we have never done. But we are in a position we have never been in before so I listened to her proposal. After some negotiating and discusison with her teacher we came upon the agreement that she could have a lobster dinner (she wants to go to red lobster - yuck) if she did the best she ever did. We took out achieving certain scores or awards because I know that will backfire if she doesn't get it. We eliminated a material piece of crap that will just clutter her room. A meal -- hmm.. I feed her anyway.

She's the kind of kid that will never be motivated to do better if she gets a low score. Its not how her brain works. So we can upon the not so technical of "your best" -- how to judge it, as she told me herself she could just lie about it... but the thing about dance with her -- her experience is written all over her face... she gets that emotional high when she leaves it all out there -- so that's what we settled on.  Luckily only 3 competitions this year -- so I really hope I will be visiting Red Lobster (Yuck!) 3x. It would be an amazing feat if she coudl realize her best is all we need.  think Lobster can buy some confidence?

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js friend
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2012, 10:18:28 AM »

I know that Im a bit late on this thread  Hi!


I tried everything to get my dd involved in after school activites but after a just few weeks she would always give up.If I went along with her to watch the matches or watch her practice then she would really enjoy it and couldnt wait for the next one, but if I wasnt there it  was either too hard or she just didnt enjoy it and didnt want to do it anymore.
This was the same for EVERYTHING!...until she joined a gym that also ran womens boxing. She loved it and I could really see that she was getting out a lot of built up aggression during the training. She looked great and was eating and sleeping better and it really seemed to stablise her moods,but then she got upset with one of the coaches there and decided not to go back.   
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jbmom
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2012, 12:11:50 PM »

,but then she got upset with one of the coaches there and decided not to go back.   

Amazing how quick they can get turned "off".  DD had two bads days at school -- after a really good 5-6 days of life. Her response -- not going to Basketball. Not at all - no practice, the celebratory lunch on Friday.She is the starting center/forward, one of the high scorers and the playoffs starting tonight. 

She also has a dance competition this weekend. We came up with a plan to do both playoffs and dance... but she is just turned off to the idea. Wants to go with dance which is so much easier socially.

Just hoping this wont be her social downfall at school. Her friends just don't get it.
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