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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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I know a parent who is obsessed with having his 9 yr old child

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I know a parent who is obsessed with having his 9 yr old child wrestle. The child is home schooled so he can travel from state to state. He is some type of wrestling camp every day of the week. His parents were feeding him raw oysters for the zinc and keeping him on a strict diet most of the year. The young child frequently complains about being tired and about not being able to play like other kids. He does this when his father is not present. In addition, he is required to perform hundreds of push ups every day. I really feel sorry for the child because he seeks me out when his father isn't around to complain. He says he is tired and wants to play like the other kids.

The home schooling was d/t paranoia about the school and the teaching. But in fact, this lifestyle enables the child to take trips all around the country entering wrestling matches. It is sad.

I know the parents love him but they tell him that only way he can get a full ride at Cornell University is to be a good wrestler until he is old enough to go to college. The child has been wrestling since age 6. This is all he does, day in and day out.
It is rediculous. The father is very proud of his son and only talks about wrestling to the point of sounding obsessed with it. I don't know what to do? I can't bring myself to go to any of the matches because I don't want to be complicit or appear to agree with the father's obsession.

Who can help the child? We feel powerless and sorry for the child.
Hello and Thank You for consulting a Parenting expert. It is a shame that this boy's parents are obsessed with their son and his wrestling. As I was reading tour message, I began to wonder if this young boy's father had an unfulfilled dream of being a wrestler and is now trying to live out his broken dreams through his son.What you can also do is contact your local Department of Family and Child Services to seek specific advice. I am not saying abuse is happening. However, I am concerned about the emotional well being of this child. He does not have a normal social life, he is being forced to do hundreds of push ups daily, etc. Things are not being done in the best interest of the child at all.Are you just concerned friends or relatives to the child?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am a relative....
What is the specific reaction the parents give you when they are confronted? Is this boy their only child?
Parents have their own ideas as to how they want to raise their children and what activities they want their children to be involved in no matter what others may say even if relatives are trying to steer them in a different direction. The thing that will happen is that the son will slowly start rebelling because he is being pushed too hard...especially starting from a young age. He will muster up enough courage to tell his parents that he does not want to wrestle anymore. He will develop interests in other things. He will simply get burned out from wrestling. The parents will probably be very upset but will have to accept and respect their son's desires.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

What you say is reasonable. Does that mean that I should probably stop worrying about the situation and let it alone? More than anything I need reassurance that I am doing the right thing. I can't handle the guilt. My uncertainty about what is right and wrong is the reason why I did not discuss this with anyone

If you have already stated your opinion more than once to the parents, then there is not much more you can do besides try to get the son more involved with your children if you have any. The father, as you stated, is too obsessed with this entire ordeal. Maybe someone can provide him with research of how kids need to be well rounded to get into colleges these days. There is no guarantee that Cornell will accept him no matter how great of a wrestler that he is. The older the son gets, the more intense and competitive the wrestling will be. The son will lose interest and not try as hard to win and even work out. The dad will became angry and then that is when another relative can step in to tell the dad that the son is burned out. Maybe he can start back up in high school. The son is already losing interest so it is just a matter of time before all of this comes crashing down.
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Hello...have things improved for your 9 year old relative? Let me know if you need further insight. Have a great day!