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Son's demeanor going downhill - Page 2

post #19 of 36
Thread Starter 

That's a great story zipazoid. Some funny sh!t there..

 

Great insight and advice guys. Thanks.

 

So, yes, he has been showing similar behavior off the course, although golf seems to magnify it, so it must be hormones (oh crap, we got another boy and then a girl coming down the same road d1_bigcry.gif). The other day we were kayak fishing and we got on top of some feeding stripers. I started catching them left and right but he was getting nothing because he didn't put in the work to put his kayak in the right position to cast to the fish (it required constant paddling and work), so after a while he just drifted over to the bank and sat there with his arms crossed and stared at the water. Fishing, esp for stripers, is his favorite activity, so this really took me by surprise. I told him he had to work to get in the right position, and he said something like "I am!!!" He has also been talking back to his mom - once we were playing and she called him and I heard him say "What do YOU want?". When I found out later that it was my wife I had to stomp on him good and let him know that that behavior will not be tolerated.

 

Anyways, I noticed that the few times he played on his own with other people, he generally came off the course in a better mood, even if he didn't play particularly well. So, we talked last night and I told him I want him to play on his own for a while (we live 3 mi from the course and he rides his bike there) until he can get his emotions under control. He was actually OK with this and agreed (joekelly was probably right in saying he doesn't like his own behavior). I also told him this will help him establish his own game and swing keys instead of always getting stuff from me. And, I can focus more on our little girl (who has an even nicer natural swing than he does) as well as my own game.

 

Lastly, he has had lessons, but only one was during his difficult period, and I did notice it improved his attitude...for about a week until the demon returned. Next spring I will get him into a more regular cycle of lessons - kind of like regular medications to keep his spirits up.

 

Thanks again guys.

post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0ldblu3 View Post

A teenager having moodswings is no surprise, it's a symptom of going through puberty. Do you notice this behavior anywhere else but on a golf course? Getting a kid with limited life experience to see the bigger picture is a result of a growing process. Since he started with a good natural swing he is going to need to learn to dig deeper and work through the emotional aspect of the game. Even as an adult I'll suddenly "wake up" on a hole and realize that I lost my focus for the last couple of holes. Each time he plays he's building an experience base that will allow him to forget these bad shots and holes in the future.

I'm glad to hear that you are out on the course with him at this age. You will get to look back with fondness at this time together, even if he gets petulant sometimes I'm sure that there are good times going on. Chat about other stuff on the course...talk about life, friends, girls...whatever, as long as it isn't golf. Enjoy his company while you can, this is a very short period of time in both of your lives.

 

I agree, and the fact that he still wants to go out is really good.

Maybe pestonia less emphasis on the score and more on enjoying the game. That might help.

I might be asking you for advice in a few years.
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by joekelly View Post

It's normal, IMO.  He is testing and measuring you, as the dad, (chief male figure) and what that role in life means to him.  He, like all kids that age, is completely taken with finding out who he is and a big part of that is learning how to relate to others in his life. Parents, siblings, peers, girls, teachers, authorities...etc, all are changing rapidly according to his viewpoint of the world on that day. What can anyone say to help you except that you must also try to view him as a new person each day and especially avoid critical and negative comments which are never helpful.  He may indeed not like his own behaviour on the course.  If you were playing golf with your own friends, no kids, would you tell someone to 'cheer up', keep your head down, focus on the next shot and otherwise get in their face without an invitation?  Just accept the boy of the day, good shots and bad.  

Let me relate my first golf outing.  My dad and his bro-in-law and me. I knew nothing, this before TV. First tee and dad tees it up and hits it out. Uncle does the same. I run after and find dad's ball and tee it up for him.  He comes up and calls a blockhead ******* for touching the ball.  I was 7 yrs old.  Think that hurt me?  Yes, it surely did and for a long, long time. 

Cool that you like golf, now.

I remember the first time my kids and I went out (they learned to play before me), and we all assumed you could tee it up every shot. Now, I remember the funny looks from adjacent fairways.

Good thing we didn't tee it up on the greens a1_smile.gif
post #22 of 36

he might need to learn that the things or results we want do not always come easy , and hard work and perseverance are to be admired and emulated , it starts with attitude  

 

try that- imho

post #23 of 36

He who has the gold rules,,and if you are paying for his golf, his clubs, his balls, and etc,,if he wants to continue to play, he will have to play by your rules.  (which btw shouldnt be different from common golf etiquette)   If he wont play by your rules, then dont pay for him to play. 

 

My experience with my two sons was this method was effective to improve behavior and not just on the golf course.  You might be surprised at how much having a car and the keys to it will influence behavior of any teenager.  All you need to do as a parent is just be willing to actually follow thru with your rules, and the penalty for violating the rules.  It only took one day of riding the bus to school to extract the behavior that I was looking for.

 

It's also a situation, where conflict is bound to arise, when you have a young bull challenging the authority of the old bull, and it's important to find the weak spot of the younger bull,,and for most teenagers it's not having access to money.  The threat they make to just make their own, is really an empty threat, for two reasons,,one,,they wont make enough to pay all their extra expenses,,car payments, car ins, gas, and a long list of other needs,,,and two,,if they are working, they wont have the time to actually spend what they make.

post #24 of 36
Agree, normal teenage behavior. Try breaking the routine. Here's some options: Play some rounds at a par 3 course without a score card. Play from a more forward set of tees. Have him hit two shots off each tee box with two different balls (tell him it's to see which ball he plays with better, but because he is testing equipment, the round won't count, so no need to keep score) Find the easiest course around and play from the forward tees. GD and other magazines often suggest to mentally break the 18 holes down to six sets of three holes--so you are not crushed by a bad shot on an individual hole, but focus on the momentum to achieve a good three hole score.
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by dak4n6 View Post

That's a great story zipazoid. Some funny sh!t there..

 

Great insight and advice guys. Thanks.

 

So, yes, he has been showing similar behavior off the course, although golf seems to magnify it, so it must be hormones (oh crap, we got another boy and then a girl coming down the same road d1_bigcry.gif). The other day we were kayak fishing and we got on top of some feeding stripers. I started catching them left and right but he was getting nothing because he didn't put in the work to put his kayak in the right position to cast to the fish (it required constant paddling and work), so after a while he just drifted over to the bank and sat there with his arms crossed and stared at the water. Fishing, esp for stripers, is his favorite activity, so this really took me by surprise. I told him he had to work to get in the right position, and he said something like "I am!!!" He has also been talking back to his mom - once we were playing and she called him and I heard him say "What do YOU want?". When I found out later that it was my wife I had to stomp on him good and let him know that that behavior will not be tolerated.

 

Anyways, I noticed that the few times he played on his own with other people, he generally came off the course in a better mood, even if he didn't play particularly well. So, we talked last night and I told him I want him to play on his own for a while (we live 3 mi from the course and he rides his bike there) until he can get his emotions under control. He was actually OK with this and agreed (joekelly was probably right in saying he doesn't like his own behavior). I also told him this will help him establish his own game and swing keys instead of always getting stuff from me. And, I can focus more on our little girl (who has an even nicer natural swing than he does) as well as my own game.

 

Lastly, he has had lessons, but only one was during his difficult period, and I did notice it improved his attitude...for about a week until the demon returned. Next spring I will get him into a more regular cycle of lessons - kind of like regular medications to keep his spirits up.

 

Thanks again guys.

Totally late to this great thread, but the above bold set it off for me. I think, given that you seem to be the one who teaches your son, and that he seems to have a better mood when you aren't there, that he thinks you might be dissapointed with his play when it goes downhill, that you think he is doing something wrong. Or maybe you even try to correct it, I don't know.

 

But whether you actually do or don't, he may think you are dissapointed with his play, and this may make it worse for him, he gets self concious and the standard of play gets worse.

 

Just a thought?

 

And the one thing I miss on forums, is when people don't report back to let us know how everything goes :)

Just a thought

post #26 of 36
Thread Starter 

Welcome to the Trap Rouleur. Well, since you asked, he attitude is gradually improving bit by bit. He has played a bunch by himself since then, and he has been playing in our skins group lately. Playing with these folks is teaching him a lot. They are generally good golfers (2 - 12 hc) so he is picking up cues on how to manage the space between the ears. Plus they are good people and he likes being a part of 'the gang', and the competition aspect (he pays for half of his skins fee) just kind of cements the deal. If the wheels fall off he is learning you gotta suck it up and keep fighting. Plus, he is actually becoming a student of the swing - he recently asked if we could keep playing after a round so he could drop some balls and practice while I coached. I am starting to think he might be able to kick some butt on his HS team when the season starts...

post #27 of 36
My dad made me play when I was younger. I liked it right at first (age 8 or so), but by the time i was 12, I hated it. But that didn't stop my dad from making me play. Even in high school he made me play basically every weekend. And I was awful too, just resented being forced to play. My dad didn't get it. After high school I quit and my dad made many later futile attempts to get me interested again, and i just wasn't interested. In fact there were several family golf outings with the men in our family, and I was often the only one to not go.

12 years after I last played and I picked up a new set of clubs. Ironically I've played at least twice a month for the last 18 months since then. The inspiration for playing this time was my girlfriend though and not my dad. My dad just played me too hard when I was younger. Sometimes people don't like everything that you like, even if it is your own kin, and even if they are GOOD at it. I'd say give him a break and let him tell you when he wants to play again. Maybe it will be sooner than 12 years from now.
post #28 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffluck View Post

My dad made me play when I was younger. I liked it right at first (age 8 or so), but by the time i was 12, I hated it. But that didn't stop my dad from making me play. Even in high school he made me play basically every weekend. And I was awful too, just resented being forced to play. My dad didn't get it. After high school I quit and my dad made many later futile attempts to get me interested again, and i just wasn't interested. In fact there were several family golf outings with the men in our family, and I was often the only one to not go.

12 years after I last played and I picked up a new set of clubs. Ironically I've played at least twice a month for the last 18 months since then. The inspiration for playing this time was my girlfriend though and not my dad. My dad just played me too hard when I was younger. Sometimes people don't like everything that you like, even if it is your own kin, and even if they are GOOD at it. I'd say give him a break and let him tell you when he wants to play again. Maybe it will be sooner than 12 years from now.

 

I mentioned somewhere in this thread that even after a bad round he will ask when are we going to play again. No, I am definitely not dragging him out there, if anything it's the other way around.  Plus, now that he has won some skins and greenies he's definitely hooked.

post #29 of 36

He needs buckeye nut avatar.

post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffluck View Post

My dad made me play when I was younger. I liked it right at first (age 8 or so), but by the time i was 12, I hated it. But that didn't stop my dad from making me play. Even in high school he made me play basically every weekend. And I was awful too, just resented being forced to play. My dad didn't get it. After high school I quit and my dad made many later futile attempts to get me interested again, and i just wasn't interested. In fact there were several family golf outings with the men in our family, and I was often the only one to not go.

12 years after I last played and I picked up a new set of clubs. Ironically I've played at least twice a month for the last 18 months since then. The inspiration for playing this time was my girlfriend though and not my dad. My dad just played me too hard when I was younger. Sometimes people don't like everything that you like, even if it is your own kin, and even if they are GOOD at it. I'd say give him a break and let him tell you when he wants to play again. Maybe it will be sooner than 12 years from now.

I'm glad I didn't grow up in your household.  My dad was a bit pushy toward sports (he was a high school jock, I was a bookworm until 10th grade), but he gave up after 4-5 attempts.  Part of the problem was that he was out of town for work a lot and never did much with me to help me learn sports skills, so I basically had little guidance, started out behind a lot of my friends and since I wasn't good, I didn't want to keep at it.

 

OP, make your stepson take a week off.  Tell him that he needs to take a break, drain some of his negative energy away and come back more focused and eager to play.  By any chance does he do any other sports where strength and bulk are important, like football?  Does he seem a bit more hyper and have a worse complexion?  If so, your stepson may be juicing.  Two kids on my high school wrestling team came back from summer vacation a lot bigger than they had been four months ealier, with an acne explosion, not just on their faces, but on their shoulders and arms, too.  Both were highly energetic, if not outright hyper and both had become extremely moody and tempermental, becoming frustrated very easily.  Both admitted to using steroids over the summer.

post #31 of 36

A teenager? I would recommend a dimebag and about 6 hours of Floyd(Wish You Were Here, Atom Heart Mother Goes On The Road, Animals),,,,,Oops, never mind, I forget it's not 1978 anymore.

 

If it's a frustration problem then you absolutely need to have him take some time off or direct his focus on something else. But you mentioned he has only been playing for 2.5 years? That's not very much experience, he still has a lot to learn about scoring! As a parent you need to stress patience and not make golf the "end all, be all" of life!

 

Good Luck! 

post #32 of 36
Just came across thread... realize it's old but active. Without fully catching up...

Maybe suggest he reads a book about the mental side of the game? If he realizes it's common to lose ones cool, he might consider it challenging to improve that aspect?
post #33 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Groundhog View Post

He needs buckeye nut avatar.

Actually you might be closer to the truth than you think, his girlfriend broke up with him a few months back because her mom didn't like him (they were groping in her basement). Women are so often the source of men's misery...

post #34 of 36

Try playing a couple rounds of just match play (without keeping his round score).  He'll notice that even though he blows up on some holes he still 'wins' others by shooting well.  It makes it easier to 'forget' poor shots/holes.

post #35 of 36

I have two sons (grown now, 7 years apart) and both took up the game.  My oldest was a decent ball striker but the strength of his game was his putting.  He just had an excellent stroke and tremendous feel on the greens.  His downfall was his attitude.  Once he hit a bad shot he struggled to keep his game together.  When the second real bad shot happened in a round, well, that round was basically over.  When my youngest took up the game I talked to him about the older one's ability and attitude.  As he developed, he was keenly aware that if he wanted to succeed he had to keep it together.  Now he had his moments of anger and frustration when things went awry but he found the ability to use that situation to motivate him to regroup and get his rounds together.  He didn't always score great but he had the ability to come back from a big number and minimize the damage.  He ended up being a four-year, all-conference golfer in high school.  So what did I do in these situations?  My oldest just wasn't cut out for competitive golf.  He plays corporately today but understands that unless you play frequently the game of golf is feast or famine.  My youngest wanted to succeed.  He was motivated and simply had an inner desire to do whatever was necessary to keep his cool.  They simply had different demeanors. Can you change that in a kid?  It's inside them.  No magic formula.

post #36 of 36

All kidding aside, a parent needs to take control. If your child isn't behaving as expected.......you need to give him/her the ultimatum....behave or go home.  Pretty simple...............regardless of the activity.  My son is a former golfer...now bowler.  If he cops an attitude at the lanes........I fix it....as a dad if it means going home early.   He's 10yrs old and very competitive.......if he isn't rolling the rock and threatening to shoot in the 200's........he gets very emotional.  I have to check his "TUDE" and get him in line many times.

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