Friday, March 14, 2014


Since the beginning of time, or at least time as far as Eli's concerned, we've seen the struggle with anger. He is a very happy kid; people are always commenting on his ever-present smile. But if he's overly tired or frustrated, he can lash out. We have definitely seen him come a long way in controlling his anger behavior, but he still has his moments. (Don't we all?!)

Unfortunately, this season we've seen this manifest on the baseball field. When Eli gets to his 'point', he is not listening, argumentative over EVERYthing, and very much in the mindset of finger-pointing. This is Eli's last season in the pinto baseball league, meaning he is the 'big kid' on the team. We talked to him in great length about how cool an opportunity it is, to be the example for the team. Normally, he's a great sportsman and doesn't get down on himself or stress out too much about the game. However, we've had two games where that wasn't the case. The first time wasn't too bad; he missed a few balls and got a little upset, but turned it around. The second time, I almost pulled him from the game. He missed a few balls at first base, and then got called out at second on a close play. He came back to the dugout very frustrated and mouthed off to me about 'the ump saw it wrong'. (This is a BIG point of contention for Lehr and I as we've seen too many boys in this league 'blame' the coaches or umps. Not okay.) When Eli is in this state, there really is no reasoning with him, but I very calmly and very sternly let him know that his reaction was out of line and he needed to turn it around. (We talk all of the time about how his 'job' is to play and have fun and the ump's job is to make the calls. Right or wrong, the ump is RIGHT.)
Eli calmed himself down and the game continued, but Eli's example for the team was poor at best. No, he didn't call out the ump in a public way. No, he didn't come back to the dugout and yell or kick or throw things. But his attitude of expecting nothing but perfect plays from himself was starting to happen too often for our taste. And while his reaction in that game wasn't overboard, we don't want to ignore something that could escalate. I love that he takes his performance seriously, and I love that he strives to be the best he can be. Our disagreement comes in the purpose of mistakes. I try to remind him that 'sometimes you win and the other times you learn'...he doesn't like that too much.
I had a loooong talk with Eli on the way home. (It was just the two of us in the car.) He was receptive to everything I was saying because he'd totally calmed down by that point. I reminded him that baseball was a game that was intended to be fun. At the end of it, I told him that I would be talking to Dad more about it, but there would not be anymore baseball (practices or games) if we saw anything close to that on the field again. Lehr had the AWESOME idea the next morning to have Eli do a little research as part of his consequence. I don't remember all of the details, but Eli had to dig around on a few baseball sites to find out the stats on some of his favorite players (those that are seen as very successful). Then he needed to define a batting average and what an ump's job is. It was followed up by a big talk with Lehr about the 'assignment' and about what happened. We have not seen any issues like that again this season. Score one for Daddy.

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