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In the last article, we meet Evan (name changed for privacy) who has come to discuss a problem with Devon, his high school son.

Helena, Ivan’s wife, was unable to make the first session due to scheduling conflicts. He was a regular supporter of his son’s basketball games. He and Helena have two grown children, a daughter and a son, who live independently. He drew attention to a pattern that now includes all three children. Their basketball team is noted as average. The three children played sparingly. The three children have been described as regular players. Helena reportedly sensed Evan’s nervousness at basketball games. She was going to give him a look that prevented any outbursts of disappointment or anger. The current offspring, Ivan says, is sitting quietly on the bench. In addition, notice how some parents sit quietly in the stands while others make angry comments.

Realizing that he is not alone in this experience, I ask Evan a question. Will he continue to attend the Devon Games? Also, is there anything he might do to experience this anxiety differently? Helena joined him for their second session.

Hi guys. Thank you Helena for joining us. Are you aware of the discussion Evan had with me last week?

“He told me all about it. I couldn’t come last week. I had a meeting to attend. Even before he came, Evan and I had a frank talk about his complaints. Since he’s been complaining… I’ve heard it for years. Our two other children experienced the same thing. Evan was calmer then.” from now on “.

What’s different, Helena?

“What’s different is that Evan brings his disgust home. We both attended our kids’ basketball games. We sat with others like cousins ​​and aunts and uncles. We rooted for our kids as well as their team. We shared their disappointments when the team lost. Looking back, their disappointments “One of the team’s losses didn’t last long. All of our kids were good students. We’re proud of their accomplishments. When a team won, we’d sometimes go out for dessert or come home to celebrate for special gifts. I don’t remember any of our kids being upset by team losses.”

How about the amount of play, Helena?

“Both of the older kids rarely have a negative word to say, if they’re playing sparingly or not at all. In a way they both seemed to appreciate being on the team. They rooted for their teammates. They both made lifelong friends that they still relate to.” We sometimes socialize with the parents. You know, come to think of it, it seems like we’re socializing with parents whose kids also play sparingly. Occasionally, some parents might comment on their kids’ involvement.”

“Helena, don’t you remember when Jeff’s father yelled at the referee at one match?”

“Yeah, I remember the referee sending a teacher into the stands to shut him up. It was embarrassing. He was sitting so close to us. A wave of silence ensued. The game stopped and then restarted. I remember hearing the basketball hit the floor loudly. Jeff was told not to come to the games for the rest of the game.” Season. His son, Thomas, looked as if blood was gushing from his body. He was very pale.”

what about now? Are there more games left? By the way, do you attend home matches?

“I can answer that. Is that okay, Helena?”

“Sure, you’re talking. That’s your problem, Evan.”

“I still attend home games. Some outdoor games too. I find myself getting antsy whenever I’m in the gym, home or away. This is the last year our son has played. He’s shown other interests. He doesn’t say much to me after every game. I wish him and the team Best before every game. The drive home from school is generally quiet. I ask him how he’s doing. I get a short answer like he’s fine regardless of the outcome of the matches. When one or both of us attend away games, the home team fans are usually noisy but not obnoxious Our side gets real calm. I sit there and applaud the boys. Sometimes I have an idea of ​​recognizing my son when he sits on the bench. He’s either talking to another player or watching the game. Shows a little bit of emotion. Supports his team and his coaches. I don’t know, maybe he’s not affected or Even handicapped by his role. I mean, he participates in all the training but only a minute or two in the games. I have this fear, you know… I don’t want to become a father complaining to his son about his activities. Honestly, neither of us have ever discussed his role and his involvement in the basketball team. Why does that bother me, and why am I here in the chancellor’s office talking about it? “

Ivan looks at Helena and shrugs.

“Maybe I can shed some light on your question, my dear. You see, a long time ago when we first met, what was I doing?”

“You used to play basketball on your college team.”

“Right, my dear.”

“What else was going on? Do you remember or do you need a reminder?”

“I remember we were in the same history class and sat next to each other.”

“so what?”

“I asked you if you wanted to study together for a big exam.”

“And what did you say?”

“You said you couldn’t because most of your time outside of class was basketball practice.”

“Did you abandon me?”

“Absolutely not. I went to your game and saw you in a different role.”

“And what did you learn about me, you know, about school and basketball?”

“I learned that basketball is just as important as commitment. Something I think your parents instilled in you.”

“Also remember, school was important to me. I worked hard both in the classroom and on the basketball court.”

Folks, what if we continue this next week? Maybe he brings Devon. Yes?


May peace be on earth and let it begin with me.

Marshall Greenstein has a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling and is a licensed marriage and family counselor and licensed mental health counselor in New York State. He has regular office hours at 415 E. Sixth St., Jamestown, and can be contacted at, 484-7756. For more information or to suggest topics, email [email protected].

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