Perfectionism and pool problems

My youngest son is brilliant at nearly everything he does. Over the years, we have been in awe of his ability to be amazingly talented at just about everything. He was put on the gifted register early and he charms everyone he meets. In fact if he was not my son I would find him quite jammy.

The trouble is that because he finds life so easy most of the time he is not forgiving of himself if he struggles with anything.

He has come to the bar where there is a pool table with us twice now. On the first night, we was fine. The male customers were booing if he made a bad shot and also trying to show him how to make a better rest and so on. In typical fashion, language issues or not, he could give as much banter back as he was getting.

He has just hit that time in his life where puberty is an issue. Just as with my older son, he can change moods quickly and this happened in the bar. One minute he was giggling and the next he was in tears and left the game. I could understand that even though well-intentioned, the barrage of opinions had got to him. I also know that he would be criticising his poor shots himself far more harshly than anyone else was. In this, he is so like me. I hate to see it because I know he does not have to be perfect at all. I want to find a way to teach him young that it really does not matter. It is not about being great. It is about being happy. I want to save him some of the torture I have put myself through over the years.

Just as he was feeling so upset, the landlord’s dog walked up to him and peed all over his foot. Needless to say, that did not go down well at all. The landlord mopped up and was most apologetic. In fact both the landlord and the customer who was vocally winding my son up, both tried to make amends but my son if very stubborn, again very much like me.

The evening was saved by me offering a game of pool just for fun. We did not play by the rules and strangely as he relaxed I saw him getting so much better even snookering me on several occasions.

I have a dilemma as I would love him to have the joy of the game. However, I don’t want him to keep getting upset if he makes a mistake.

We tried again last night with similar results. A young man came over saying he has a son of a similar age and that perhaps they could play together. There is always hope in this place and most of the time heaps of happiness too.


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