Ralph was an exceptional wrestler in high school until a shoulder injury ended his career. Now he wants his 10-year-old son, “Carter,” to wrestle. Carter went to a few practices in early elementary school, but showed no real interest in the sport. However, he does like basketball and shows potential to be a decent player.
Right now, my grandson’s dream is to have a cellphone, and Ralph has promised to get him one — if he goes out for wrestling. I said I’d buy him a phone so he won’t have to go out for wrestling just to get one.
I’m afraid Carter could get hurt while participating in a sport he has no real desire for, and could end up being unable to play the sport of his choice. I know there’s danger of injury in any sport, but at least if an injury did occur, it would be while doing something he wants to do. And injuries aside, he should be able to pursue the sport of his choice, not his dad’s. We need some guidance here.
Frustrated Grandma in Iowa
Dear Grandma: I agree with you, and for the sensible reasons you stated. However, I would add this: It appears that your son-in-law may be attempting to relive a chapter of his life in which he failed to succeed because of his injury. To lure his son away from the sport he likes by bribing him to go into wrestling is unfair to the boy. I hope you and your daughter will talk to Ralph and tell him you think this is a bad idea, and that he will listen to you.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.