When Good Things Aren’t Good

This summer we made a difficult parenting decision. It was the decision (made together with one of our sons) that he would not play competitive summer baseball. Now before you roll your eyes and conclude that we must not have many “real” challenges, let me explain.

You can’t be around our family long before quickly concluding that we have our hands full. We are a “real” family with “real” issues, just like many others. And a few months ago baseball had begun to create its own challenges for our son and our family – challenges that we could no longer ignore.

What made our decision so very difficult was that it involved something entirely “good” – baseball. Our son truly loves the sport and we’ve learned to love it too. He’s got a fair amount of talent and it gives him an obvious sense of joy and satisfaction, as well as a much needed opportunity to succeed and excel. It’s also helped to teach him some valuable life lessons. So why did we give up baseball if it is such a good thing?

As we’ve learned from Dr. Karyn Purvis, “good” and “bad” stress often affects our children just the same.  This is why parents are confused to see their children melt down after the jump house birthday party or in the midst of an exhilarating and fun-filled day at an amusement park. This is why some kids can’t handle an afternoon at the park, a long bike ride, prolonged activities in an unstructured environment, or the anticipation of something fun or novel.

If you think about it, there are many examples of this reality. The stress regulation systems of children from hard places are often compromised and underdeveloped because of their histories. As a result, these children are more prone than typical children to being overwhelmed and spiraling into a state of fear, causing them to respond with fight, flight, or freeze. And all of this can occur even in response to “good” things.

For our son, baseball was creating an unrelenting amount of stress and anxiety. The practices, the build-up to the games, the let-down after the games, his desire to perform well – it was all simply too much. And even though we tried not to add to his stress with any pressure of our own, it quickly proved to be more than he (or we) could handle.

We knew the decision was likely to be misunderstood by coaches and other parents who couldn’t fully understand our reality. I don’t fault them.  After all, it’s not their reality. But it became clear to us just how foreign this idea was when one coach persistently encouraged me to have my son go ahead and play because, as he put it, “if he doesn’t he may fall behind and not be able to remain competitive.”  I understood and even appreciated what he was trying to do. But, as I explained to him, if we didn’t get the stress of baseball – an entirely good thing – under control, being competitive in future baseball seasons would be the least of our concerns.

It’s been a hard but important lesson for our family to be reminded of: sometimes good things aren’t good.  When this is the case, we as parents need to be able to take a step back and be willing to trade what’s good for what’s best — for what helps us meet our children where they are, address their needs, and guide them forward.  Maybe the “good” thing you need to re-examine isn’t baseball.  Maybe it’s other activities that your child regularly struggles to handle well such as parties, video games, or sleepovers. Maybe it’s certain people that he or she is around but finds it difficult to interact with in a healthy way. Maybe it’s certain places or environments that your child encounters or anticipates such as school, a friend’s house, or even church.  Or maybe it’s just your schedule and pace of life.

It doesn’t mean that these “good” things are “bad,” or that your child will never experience them as positive. It simply makes them not good for your child…at this time…in this way. And that’s ok.

Address Book Address Card adjust Air Freshener align-center align-justify align-left align-right Allergies ambulance American Sign Language Interpreting Anchor Angle Double Down Angle Double Left Angle Double Right Angle Double Up angle-down angle-left angle-right angle-up Angry Face Ankh Fruit Apple Archive Archway Alternate Arrow Circle Down Alternate Arrow Circle Left Alternate Arrow Circle Right Alternate Arrow Circle Up Arrow Circle Down Arrow Circle Left Arrow Circle Right Arrow Circle Up arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up Alternate Arrows Alternate Arrows Horizontal Alternate Arrows Vertical Assistive Listening Systems asterisk At Atlas Atom Audio Description Award Baby Baby Carriage Backspace backward Balance Scale ban Band-Aid barcode Bars Baseball Ball Basketball Ball Bath Battery Empty Battery Full Battery 1/2 Full Battery 1/4 Full Battery 3/4 Full Bed beer bell Bell Slash Bezier Curve Bible Bicycle Binoculars Biohazard Birthday Cake Blender Blender Phone Blind Blog bold Lightning Bolt Bomb Bone Bong book Book of the Dead Book Open Book Reader bookmark Bowling Ball Box Box Open Boxes Braille Brain Briefcase Medical Briefcase Broadcast Tower Broom Brush Bug Building bullhorn Bullseye Burn Bus Bus Alt Business Time Calculator Calendar Alternate Calendar Calendar Check Calendar with Day Focus Calendar Minus Calendar Plus Calendar Times Calendar with Week Focus camera Retro Camera Campground Candy Cane Cannabis Capsules Car Alternate Car Car Battery Car Crash Car Side Caret Down Caret Left Caret Right Caret Square Down Caret Square Left Caret Square Right Caret Square Up Caret Up Carrot Shopping Cart Arrow Down Add to Shopping Cart Cash Register Cat certificate Chair Chalkboard Chalkboard Teacher Charging Station Area Chart Bar Chart Line Chart Pie Chart Check Check Circle Check Double Check Square Chess Chess Bishop Chess Board Chess King Chess Knight Chess Pawn Chess Queen Chess Rook Chevron Circle Down Chevron Circle Left Chevron Circle Right Chevron Circle Up chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up Child Church Circle Circle Notched City Clipboard Clipboard with Check Clipboard List Clock Clone Closed Captioning Cloud Alternate Cloud Download Cloud with (a chance of) Meatball Cloud with Moon Cloud with Moon and Rain Cloud with Rain Cloud with Heavy Showers Cloud with Sun Cloud with Sun and Rain Alternate Cloud Upload Cocktail Code Code Branch Coffee cog cogs Coins Columns comment Alternate Comment Comment Dollar Comment Dots Comment Slash comments Comments Dollar Compact Disc Compass Compress Alternate Compress Arrows Concierge Bell Cookie Cookie Bite Copy Copyright Couch Credit Card crop Alternate Crop Cross Crosshairs Crow Crown Cube Cubes Cut Database Deaf Democrat Desktop Dharmachakra Diagnoses Dice Dice D20 Dice D6 Dice Five Dice Four Dice One Dice Six Dice Three Dice Two Digital Tachograph Directions Divide Dizzy Face DNA Dog Dollar Sign Dolly Dolly Flatbed Door Closed Door Open Dot Circle Dove Download Drafting Compass Dragon Draw Polygon Drum Drum Steelpan Drumstick with Bite Taken Out Dumbbell Dumpster Dumpster Fire Dungeon Edit eject Horizontal Ellipsis Vertical Ellipsis Envelope Envelope Open Envelope Open-text Envelope Square Equals eraser Ethernet Euro Sign Alternate Exchange exclamation Exclamation Circle Exclamation Triangle Expand Alternate Expand Arrows Alternate External Link Alternate External Link Square Eye Eye Dropper Eye Slash fast-backward fast-forward Fax Feather Alternate Feather Female fighter-jet File Alternate File Archive File Audio File Code File File Contract File CSV File Download Excel File File Export Image File File Import File Invoice File Invoice with US Dollar Medical File Alternate Medical File PDF File Powerpoint File File Prescription File Signature File Upload Video File Word File Fill Fill Drip Film Filter Fingerprint fire Alternate Fire fire-extinguisher First Aid Fish Raised Fist flag flag-checkered United States of America Flag Flask Flushed Face Folder Folder Minus Folder Open Folder Plus font Font Awesome Full Logo Football Ball forward Frog Frowning Face Frowning Face With Open Mouth Funnel Dollar Futbol Gamepad Gas Pump Gavel Gem Genderless Ghost gift Gifts Glass Cheers Martini Glass Alternate Glass Martini Glass Whiskey Glasses Globe Globe with Africa shown Globe with Americas shown Globe with Asia shown Globe with Europe shown Golf Ball Gopuram Graduation Cap Greater Than Greater Than Equal To Grimacing Face Grinning Face Alternate Grinning Face Grinning Face With Smiling Eyes Grinning Face With Sweat Smiling Face With Heart-Eyes Grinning Squinting Face Rolling on the Floor Laughing Star-Struck Face With Tears of Joy Face With Tongue Squinting Face With Tongue Winking Face With Tongue Grinning Winking Face Grip Horizontal Grip Lines Grip Lines Vertical Grip Vertical Guitar H Square Hammer Hamsa Hand Holding Hand Holding Heart Hand Holding US Dollar Lizard (Hand) Paper (Hand) Peace (Hand) Hand Pointing Down Hand Pointing Left Hand Pointing Right Hand Pointing Up Pointer (Hand) Rock (Hand) Scissors (Hand) Spock (Hand) Hands Helping Hands Handshake Hanukiah Hashtag Wizard's Hat Haykal HDD heading headphones Alternate Headphones Headset Heart Heart Broken Heartbeat Helicopter Highlighter Hiking Hippo History Hockey Puck Holly Berry home Horse Horse Head hospital Alternate Hospital Hospital Symbol Hot Tub Hotel Hourglass Hourglass End Hourglass Half Hourglass Start Damaged House Hryvnia I Beam Cursor Icicles Identification Badge Identification Card Alternate Identification Card Igloo Image Images inbox Indent Industry Infinity Info Info Circle italic Jedi Joint Journal of the Whills Kaaba key Keyboard Khanda Kissing Face Kissing Face With Smiling Eyes Face Blowing a Kiss Kiwi Bird Landmark Language Laptop Laptop Code Grinning Face With Big Eyes Laugh Face with Beaming Eyes Laughing Squinting Face Laughing Winking Face Layer Group leaf Lemon Less Than Less Than Equal To Alternate Level Down Alternate Level Up Life Ring Lightbulb Link Turkish Lira Sign List Alternate List list-ol list-ul location-arrow lock Lock Open Alternate Long Arrow Down Alternate Long Arrow Left Alternate Long Arrow Right Alternate Long Arrow Up Low Vision Luggage Cart magic magnet Mail Bulk Male Map Map Marked Alternate Map Marked map-marker Alternate Map Marker Map Pin Map Signs Marker Mars Mars Double Mars Stroke Mars Stroke Horizontal Mars Stroke Vertical Mask Medal medkit Neutral Face Face Without Mouth Face With Rolling Eyes Memory Menorah Mercury Meteor Microchip microphone Alternate Microphone Alternate Microphone Slash Microphone Slash Microscope minus Minus Circle Minus Square Mitten Mobile Phone Alternate Mobile Money Bill Alternate Money Bill Wavy Money Bill Alternate Wavy Money Bill Money Check Alternate Money Check Monument Moon Mortar Pestle Mosque Motorcycle Mountain Mouse Pointer Mug Hot Music Wired Network Neuter Newspaper Not Equal Medical Notes Object Group Object Ungroup Oil Can Om Otter Outdent Paint Brush Paint Roller Palette Pallet Paper Plane Paperclip Parachute Box paragraph Parking Passport Pastafarianism Paste pause Pause Circle Paw Peace Pen Alternate Pen Pen Fancy Pen Nib Pen Square Alternate Pencil Pencil Ruler People Carry Percent Percentage Person Entering Booth Phone Phone Slash Phone Square Phone Volume Piggy Bank Pills Place of Worship plane Plane Arrival Plane Departure play Play Circle Plug plus Plus Circle Plus Square Podcast Poll Poll H Poo Poo Storm Poop Portrait Pound Sign Power Off Pray Praying Hands Prescription Prescription Bottle Alternate Prescription Bottle print Procedures Project Diagram Puzzle Piece qrcode Question Question Circle Quidditch quote-left quote-right Quran Radiation Alternate Radiation Rainbow random Receipt Recycle Redo Alternate Redo Registered Trademark Reply reply-all Republican Restroom Retweet Ribbon Ring road Robot rocket Route rss RSS Square Ruble Sign Ruler Ruler Combined Ruler Horizontal Ruler Vertical Running Indian Rupee Sign Crying Face Loudly Crying Face Satellite Satellite Dish Save School Screwdriver Scroll Sd Card Search Search Dollar Search Location Search Minus Search Plus Seedling Server Shapes Share Alternate Share Alternate Share Square Share Square Shekel Sign Alternate Shield Ship Shipping Fast Shoe Prints Shopping Bag Shopping Basket shopping-cart Shower Shuttle Van Sign Alternate Sign In Sign Language Alternate Sign Out signal Signature SIM Card Sitemap Skating Skiing Skiing Nordic Skull Skull & Crossbones Slash Sleigh Horizontal Sliders Smiling Face Beaming Face With Smiling Eyes Winking Face Smog Smoking Smoking Ban SMS Snowboarding Snowflake Snowman Snowplow Socks Solar Panel Sort Sort Alpha Down Sort Alpha Up Sort Amount Down Sort Amount Up Sort Down (Descending) Sort Numeric Down Sort Numeric Up Sort Up (Ascending) Spa Space Shuttle Spider Spinner Splotch Spray Can Square Square Full Alternate Square Root Stamp Star Star and Crescent star-half Alternate Star Half Star of David Star of Life step-backward step-forward Stethoscope Sticky Note stop Stop Circle Stopwatch Store Alternate Store Stream Street View Strikethrough Stroopwafel subscript Subway Suitcase Suitcase Rolling Sun superscript Hushed Face Swatchbook Swimmer Swimming Pool Synagogue Sync Alternate Sync Syringe table Table Tennis tablet Alternate Tablet Tablets Alternate Tachometer tag tags Tape Tasks Taxi Teeth Teeth Open High Temperature Low Temperature Tenge Terminal text-height text-width th th-large th-list Theater Masks Thermometer Thermometer Empty Thermometer Full Thermometer 1/2 Full Thermometer 1/4 Full Thermometer 3/4 Full thumbs-down thumbs-up Thumbtack Alternate Ticket Times Times Circle tint Tint Slash Tired Face Toggle Off Toggle On Toilet Toilet Paper Toolbox Tools Tooth Torah Torii Gate Tractor Trademark Traffic Light Train Tram Transgender Alternate Transgender Trash Alternate Trash Tree trophy truck Truck Loading Truck Monster Truck Moving Truck Side T-Shirt TTY Television Umbrella Umbrella Beach Underline Undo Alternate Undo Universal Access University unlink unlock Alternate Unlock Upload User Alternate User Alternate User Slash User Astronaut User Check User Circle User Clock User Cog User Edit User Friends User Graduate User Injured User Lock user-md User Minus User Ninja User Plus User Secret User Shield User Slash User Tag User Tie Remove User Users Users Cog Utensil Spoon Utensils Vector Square Venus Venus Double Venus Mars Vial Vials Video Video Slash Vihara Volleyball Ball Volume Down Volume Mute Volume Off Volume Up Vote Yea Cardboard VR Walking Wallet Warehouse Water Weight Hanging Weight Wheelchair WiFi Wind Window Close Window Maximize Window Minimize Window Restore Wine Bottle Wine Glass Alternate Wine Glas Won Sign Wrench X-Ray Yen Sign Yin Yang 500px Accessible Icon Accusoft Acquisitions Incorporated App.net Adobe Adversal affiliatetheme Algolia Alipay Amazon Amazon Pay Amilia Android AngelList Angry Creative Angular App Store iOS App Store Apper Systems AB Apple Apple Pay Artstation Asymmetrik, Ltd. Atlassian Audible Autoprefixer avianex Aviato Amazon Web Services (AWS) Bandcamp Behance Behance Square BIMobject Bitbucket Bitcoin Bity Font Awesome Black Tie BlackBerry Blogger Blogger B Bluetooth Bluetooth BTC Büromöbel-Experte GmbH & Co. KG. BuySellAds Canadian Maple Leaf Amazon Pay Credit Card American Express Credit Card Apple Pay Credit Card Diner's Club Credit Card Discover Credit Card JCB Credit Card MasterCard Credit Card Paypal Credit Card Stripe Credit Card Visa Credit Card Centercode Centos Chrome cloudscale.ch Cloudsmith cloudversify Codepen Codie Pie Confluence Connect Develop Contao cPanel Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution Creative Commons Noncommercial Creative Commons Noncommercial (Euro Sign) Creative Commons Noncommercial (Yen Sign) Creative Commons No Derivative Works Creative Commons Public Domain Alternate Creative Commons Public Domain Creative Commons Remix Creative Commons Share Alike Creative Commons Sampling Creative Commons Sampling + Creative Commons Share Creative Commons CC0 Critical Role CSS 3 Logo Alternate CSS3 Logo Cuttlefish Dungeons & Dragons D&D Beyond DashCube Delicious Logo deploy.dog Deskpro DEV deviantART DHL Diaspora Digg Logo Digital Ocean Discord Discourse DocHub Docker Draft2digital Dribbble Dribbble Square Dropbox Drupal Logo Dyalog Earlybirds eBay Edge Browser Elementor Ello Ember Galactic Empire Envira Gallery Erlang Ethereum Etsy ExpeditedSSL Facebook Facebook F Facebook Messenger Facebook Square Fantasy Flight-games FedEx Fedora Figma Firefox First Order Alternate First Order firstdraft Flickr Flipboard Fly Font Awesome Alternate Font Awesome Font Awesome Flag Font Awesome Full Logo Fonticons Fonticons Fi Fort Awesome Alternate Fort Awesome Forumbee Foursquare Free Code Camp FreeBSD Fulcrum Galactic Republic Galactic Senate Get Pocket GG Currency GG Currency Circle Git Git Square GitHub Alternate GitHub GitHub Square GitKraken GitLab Gitter Glide Glide G Gofore Goodreads Goodreads G Google Logo Google Drive Google Play Google Plus Google Plus G Google Plus Square Google Wallet Gratipay (Gittip) Grav Gripfire, Inc. Grunt Gulp Hacker News Hacker News Square Hackerrank Hips HireAHelper Hooli Hornbill Hotjar Houzz HTML 5 Logo HubSpot IMDB Instagram Intercom Internet-explorer InVision ioxhost iTunes Itunes Note Java Jedi Order Jenkis Jira Joget Joomla Logo JavaScript (JS) JavaScript (JS) Square jsFiddle Kaggle Keybase KeyCDN Kickstarter Kickstarter K KORVUE Laravel last.fm last.fm Square Leanpub Less Line LinkedIn LinkedIn In Linode Linux lyft Magento Mailchimp Mandalorian Markdown Mastodon MaxCDN MedApps Medium Medium M MRT Meetup Megaport Mendeley Microsoft Mix Mixcloud Mizuni MODX Monero Napster Neos Nimblr Nintendo Switch Node.js Node.js JS npm NS8 Nutritionix Odnoklassniki Odnoklassniki Square Old Republic OpenCart OpenID Opera Optin Monster Open Source Initiative page4 Corporation Pagelines Palfed Patreon Paypal Penny Arcade Periscope Phabricator Phoenix Framework Phoenix Squadron PHP Pied Piper Logo Alternate Pied Piper Logo Pied Piper-hat Pied Piper PP Logo (Old) Pinterest Pinterest P Pinterest Square PlayStation Product Hunt Pushed Python QQ QuinScape Quora R Project Raspberry Pi Ravelry React ReactEurope ReadMe Rebel Alliance red river reddit Logo reddit Alien reddit Square Redhat Renren replyd Researchgate Resolving Rev.io Rocket.Chat Rockrms Safari Sass SCHLIX Scribd Searchengin Sellcast Sellsy