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Pediatrics/Boy behavior.


Hi, doctor Olson.
My name is Louise.
I have two kids, a girl, 6 years old and a boy 9 years old. I enrolled them in an after school recreative gymnastic program, not competitive. My son wasn't convinced it was a good idea when I told him, but was easier when he learned several of his schoolmates would join, too. Even so, we have to push him a little when he noticed he would loss some tv time. He wasn't in bad shape, but was getting a little lazy. The first days he resisted a little, but finally he began to enjoy the class, and even hurried us to sign for the complete period, when the "sample period" finished, before the places were out.
The program is about to end, and the instructors organized a little festival so the kids can show their progress.
My daughter is looking forward to it, but my son decided he won't participate. We asked why he doesn't want to be in, and he said he "just don't want to appear". We pressured  him a little, but he got angry and shouted he didn't want to be in that. We warned him about being rude, but he said "you didn't care what I say, anyway".
After that, alone with my husband, he asked him to let him skip the show, telling he was "dumb and clumsy" and that he would make a mistake in the show and all the people would laugh at him.
The main instructor said he was far from clumsy and suggest he just decided to act bratty, and that a light punishment woud fix the things. And suggested we should force him to appear in the festival.
I know that I forced him a little to join, but I'm not sure if it is convenient to force him more, seeing that the boy is getting anxious.
Advice, please.

And thank you.
Louise P.

Hi, Louise,

Sorry this was not answered in my usual timely fashion!

Kids have various levels of anxiety about a lot of things.  It sounds like he was initially a bit resistant regarding even doing this, but settled in somewhat.  Whether he really enjoyed this or not is debatable.

I would, as Elsa says, "let it go".  Don't force him to appear in this festival.  Honestly, even if he really liked the class and at the end had some misgivings about "performing", I still would not force him.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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