Mothering Monday: Gym class

You got to know when to hold them…

Know when to fold them…

Know when to walk away…

Know when to run.

Those lyrics keep going through my mind as I’m debating and praying about a situation with son #1.

He. Hates. School.  Hates it.  But he goes and he does what he has to do and is actually an honor student.  But all the while making sure everyone knows how much he hates it.  It breaks my heart to think of him going through his young life so miserable all the time.  It truly is a school thing, because at home for the most part he’s a really happy guy.

I’ve debated pulling him out and homeschooling him again.  But it isn’t just being at school that he hates, it’s the work.  And I really do not enjoy being the one to take the role of teacher with him.  I don’t like fighting that battle and being that “enemy” so he continues to go to school.

Anyway, with his hatred of school, a new issue developed mid year last year.  He hates, despises, abhors, loathes, detests, can’t stand gym class.  He hates the uniform.  He hates changing in front of the other kids.  He hates that the activities.  I’m pretty sure he hates the teachers.

To be honest, I don’t really blame him.

I know he just needs to get over having to wear the gym uniform thing.  I don’t like changing in front of people either.  He’s had some issues with the other boys in the locker room.  Some their fault, and some his fault.  We’ve asked if he can change elsewhere, but his only option is the nurse’s office that isn’t too convenient.  And he doesn’t want to do that.

As far as the gym aspect.  He’s not in the best shape.  We’re working on that with him.  He can’t do a sit up or a push up.  His coordination isn’t the best, I still haven’t seen him do a jumping jack correctly.  He’s not very good at throwing or catching.  And basically he feels lousy about himself in there.

Here’s our problem.  We don’t know how much of it is the autism and how much is his laziness.  Many autistic kids have difficulty with the physical exercises.  Does this mean we excuse him from some aspects of it or do we push him harder?

With his IEP, I know we can pull him out of gym and say that we will provide a gym experience for him, through walking, running, swimming and such.  We would just have to keep an exercise log and sign it.

Do we make him press on despite his dislike, or do we rescue him from something that may be, in essence, causing more damage than good?

Do we hold them, fold them, walk away, or run?

I don’t know.

So I’m praying for guidance and wisdom and hoping that today my son will surprise us and put on his uniform and do what they say and have a good gym class.

Pressing on together,



2 thoughts on “Mothering Monday: Gym class

  1. I’m thinking, why not fight the battles that will actually matter and do most good? Is forcing him to go to gym going to a) contribute to the “hating school” mentality and b) make him hate exercise? I’m thinking fight the battle worth fighting. My son has a lot of the same issues – we are now homeschooled by the way. Keeping his desk at school organized, forcing him to sit still on the floor, sitting at a desk for an hour straight taking a test….How did these thing continue to my son’s education? How did it make him a better thinker? bettter student? better person? What was the point? More importantly, what end result did I want? A boy who can sit still, or a boy who loves learning? And is that how he will work as an adult? Were these skills and rules preparing him for the real world, or are they left over rules about how school has always been done? Will he sit imprisoned in a cubicle with a neat desk or will he be allowed to create freely, walking around a conference room, scribbles on a white board, brainstorming with his colleagues? The latter I hope! Why is it important to fit children into a box they don’t fit in? I guess ask yourself what end goal is important to you – and why. Making him learn to conform and wear a uniform like everyone else, or learn that exercise can be a necessary but also fun part of a healthy lifestyle. And are there other ways to teach him what you want to get out of the gym experience? Like sitting still in Sunday school instead? Just my .02 Ultimately, every mom knows her own kids best and is best suited to making those decisions….but you asked. 😉

  2. Sorry to hear you and your son are going through this. I don’t know if there is a correct answer and you will always wonder if you are doing or did the right thing. I am here if you ever want to talk,scream or even laugh. You are a fabulous mom and your son is lucky to have you.

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