For Parents 5 y/o need a break? Or not?

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momsuz123

New Member
Feb 25, 2009
18
Hi all, I have a 5 y/o level 3 gymnast who just started kindergarten (full day). She is certainly tired from the whole kindergarten thing, and I think this is the reason for her sudden change of heart with gymnastics. She use to love gymnastics, now she is saying she doesn't like it all and wants to quit. She just started in December and has really done well so far.
The problem is do I pull her out (yes, we paid for 2 meets this fall already and a competition leo), only to have her want back in in a month or 3.
Some gym moms that I mentioned this to think I am nuts for even thinking this - they say "she is such a natural that you gotta keep her in".
What do I do? We are going on vacation in week so she will get a break then.
She also also has had a coaching change in the last 2 weeks too. I don't know if that is part of her problem.
Also, she will mention that she wants to stop, but not put up a fight when it is time to go. When she is there she seems to have fun, and she says afterwards that practice was good.
Please let me know what to do. Thanks.
 
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NotAMom

Active Member
May 27, 2009
894
Region 6 (Northeast)
How many hours does she train each week? If not too many, I honestly don't believe kindergarten is the issue -- unless for some reason school work is really challenging for her.
 

sportyspice

Member
Proud Parent
Jan 10, 2009
106
New Zealand
My DD and DS had days when they were that age of not being excited about gym. The most frustrating thing is they often aren't able to articulate what is bothering them and trying to work it out is often a futile exercise. What is important is that she is not emotionally distraught or physically hurt from gym training so therefore letting her natural talent shine is in her best interests. So encourage her - and also have her reflect on the things she enjoyed in every session (there has to be something) as well as things she maybe didn't enjoy so much (hilight and lowlight) - that way hopefully she can see gym (and any sport for that matter) as being a mixture of experiences.
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
I would see if maybe the coaching change has thrown her off. It may just be a combination of all the changes that have her upset/ wanting to stop.
Would the coach let her cut back on hours for a while. I would not pull her before those meets youpaid for, I would talk to HC - see if thecoaching change is themaon issue. Change can have a big effect on kids
 

Blackie6

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Mar 1, 2007
1,284
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Yikes, could be a combination of everything? Not sure how many hours a week she trains for L3 because we don't really do L3 around here, but my DD was doing about 4 hrs week as a 5 yr old (Kindergarten) and then went right up to 10.5 hrs/week at age 6 (1st grade) and had some rough spots when school started. The gym really "hypes" her up and coming home after gym, eating late, trying to get settled for bed was no fun at first. Maybe you can work thru this in little ways...maybe have her leave practice early one night towards end of week when she may be especially tired? Or, a special treat for after practice like an ice pop when you get home? DD looked forward to after practice so she could sit in tub w/ice pop. Little did she know mommy was getting HER to to relax and calm down! We also celebrated the skills with "mail". DD would announce when she did something special and next morning she would find a congrats note on her bedroom door (made a letter w/gymnastics clip art on computer) and she looked forward to getting them. A play date with a gymie friend for before/after a practice, it always nice to go to gym or leave gym w/a friend! Friends are huge motivators too. And, maybe the vacation will be what she needs. My DD always couldn't wait to get back into the gym after vacation, it was when she missed it the most.

Coaching change is difficult too, becasue the younger ones really get attached tot he coaches quickly. My DD didn't like male coaches at that age! Anytime there was a substitute in the male form my DD was not happy. Now at 8, she loves working with the guys. Gym should still be FUN at this age though, games at the the end of practice, holiday and team bonding events are important to make them feel part of the team and develope friendships. My DD always had something to look forward too. Check to find out what is coming up at your DD's gym...mark it on the calander for her to see...maybe even something as silly as an open gym where she can play freely on anything she wants too w/a friend?

Hope this helps and your gymie sticks it out. I try to tell my kids it OK not to want to do a sport or activity, but they have to to see it thru to the end and then they may quit. Maybe your DD will go tot eh meets and get "bit" by the gymnastics bug and you'll be LOL about this post!
 
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momsuz123

New Member
Feb 25, 2009
18
She only trains 2x/week 2 hours each time. She has been doing this since she got moved to L3 in July. She is a little resistant to change, so maybe it is as you said, just too much change too soon. I too would like to keep her in the meets (only 2). I think the meets are going to be a big turning point for her - she will either love them or say she is all done!
Thanks.
 

momsuz123

New Member
Feb 25, 2009
18
I agree, it is hard for a 5 y/o to articulate what they are feeling. One minute she says she wants to stop,the next minute she says she just wants to do the meet. Then she says it is just too easy. Then it is the coach. I don't think she knows what it is.
Thanks.
 

kristilyn73

Active Member
Jan 17, 2008
1,326
Minnesota
I agree it could be a combination of things. My son just started kindergarten and is tired when he gets home and he was in a preschool day care setting for 2 years. I am surprised at just how tired he is. If he were doing an activity for 2 hours after a day at school I bet he would be tired.

I also know that when it gets closer to competition season my daughters coaches start to tighten the practice up. Things become more stressful, the coaches are looking for clean routines and starting to 'perfect' those skills. This stresses my daughter a bit.

Those two items alone might make a 5 year old unexcited about practice. I would have her hold out until the competitions. I think that once she feels how much fun they are she will start to get her enthusiusm back for the sport.

In the meantime, can she do a shortened practice one of the two nights? Maybe getting home a little earlier would help, as she is getting used to the school routine?
 

UnoMas

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Aug 16, 2008
3,736
We've had some fits with my L2 5 y.o. DD since kindy started too. She will scream and cry and say she does not want to go and then once she is there she is fine. I think she is just tired after school and wants to lay around and play and watch TV! I mean, when you're tired that has to sound much better than working hard at gym practice!!!:)

I say keep her in for the meets and if after all the bling and glitz of the meets, she is still unsure about wanting to go, then re-evaluate keeping her in or not. My DD absolutely loves meets..loves getting her medals and ribbons. They hang on her wall and she is so proud of them!!

Hang in there. I think most kindergarteners have alot of adjustment issues anyway, let alone kindergarteners who are also gymnasts!;)
 

gym law mom

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Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
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USA
I would encourage her to hang in there for those 2 meets. As everyone else has said, she's been through alot of change in a short time and it certainly can throw her off. Do make sure she knows that you will support her whether she wants to keep doing gymnastics or not.

This is a time to keep an eye on her. If she seems too tired, cranky, starts to complain about going to practice, then maybe pulling out from the team program is what you have to do for this year. Just take it 1 day and 1 practice at a time.
 
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cher062

Guest
sounds more like Kindergarten is the problem. a full day Kindergarten is a big change in a 5yo's life. I wouldn't pull her from the team at least not yet. i think with the week break you have coming up she might be renewed. I think I would use this as a lerning lesson too. you know - you have a commitment to a team and if you want to quit at the end of the season (after the meets you paid for) that's fine but we need to follow through with this. Usually after a month or so they just want to do it. If she really is balking at going and doesn't seem happy at practice however then its another whole situation but it doesn't seem that way from your post.

is 1/2 day kindergarten an option?
 

momsuz123

New Member
Feb 25, 2009
18
No, 1/2 day is not an option. But today, Saturday, she is down in the basement practicing her beam and bar routine. See, I think she still really loves gymnastics, just wants to come home after school and relax more . I made some changes for the next week with my other little gymie (who had gymnastics prior to my 5 y/o, so my 5 y/o was there an hour prior to her team). I am curious to see if this helps. I do agree, that teaching kids about committments is also important. We tell our kids that they can not quit a sport until the session is over. My sister in law always let her daughter quit when ever she wanted to, now she has a major problem on her hands and she wishes she taught more about finishing out the sports that you sign up for.
 
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Panda-girl's Mom

Active Member
Jan 9, 2008
781
I would not take seriously about her wanting to quit if she is in the basement practicing her routines. My daughter has acted this way numerous times with gymnastics since she has been on team and preteam. She probally is just tired I give her short term goals like lets do your first meet and then you can quit or tell her she can quit if she still wants to after Christmas. I would also maybe make a deal with her if she goes to practice without crying or complaining she can have a treat. I think her behavior is very common and it will most likely pass. As for school and sports my daughter went to full day kindergarden did gymnastics, dance swimming and soccer and she was fine.
 

emorymom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Oct 10, 2008
1,155
I'm sorry! I have to stop being agreeable there. Commitment to a team at L3 (or any level for that matter) is more important than school? What kind of logic is that?
There's actually no evidence that full day kindergarten is academically superior to half day kindergarten.

September is a hard month for the young ones as they adapt to schedule changes, even mine that are home schooled (as DD, almost 6, is in about 7-8 hours of non-gym classes a week, such as orchestra, chorus, Girl Scouts, dance, etc). Now this year DD is gung ho for everything; I didn't get any gymnastics balking, but I did get a lot of power struggles in the first couple of weeks about her academic work, which was her way of saying I'm coping with a lot of changes. Last year was worse.

2 hours 2x a week is really not that much so I think you should do what you're doing ... maximize her free time at home where possible and I bet by October she'll be very enthusiastic again.

My 4.5 year old doesn't complain about tumbling anymore. I posted about that earlier. Just had to get used to the schedule.
 
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cathiann

Guest
Sounds like a few too many new things at once with full day kindergarten and a new coach. Even at 5, I think your daughter can understand sticking with a commitment--you paid for two meets, so talk with her about sticking with it through those meets and then re-evaluating about how she's feeling. I'm also a big beliver in talking to the coach about the situation. We just had a girl (level 6) quit at our gym and the coaches had no idea she was talking about quitting because the parents and the girl never said anything--so discuss it with them. They might have some ideas about what's going on too--and they might see that once she gets there, she has a blast (it's just tiredness that is making her drag her feet).
 
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cher062

Guest
I'm sorry! I have to stop being agreeable there. Commitment to a team at L3 (or any level for that matter) is more important than school? What kind of logic is that?
In my state Kindergarten just isn't required as part of the public school education. Some town do have it but almost all are 1/2 day programs. There are very few full day programs. The programs that are full day (and I've taught at some) have the academic stuff before lunch a nap after lunch and outdoors after that for the afternoon. neither of my children when to Kindergarten and both are honer student have always been honor students. I don't think going from a full day K to a 1/2 day K is really a big deal. There are alot of 5yo that just aren't ready for a full day of K.
 
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canadiangymmom

Active Member
Jun 26, 2006
566
Ontario, Canada
Some gym moms that I mentioned this to think I am nuts for even thinking this - they say "she is such a natural that you gotta keep her in".

I just wanted to comment on this portion of your post. Her natural talent and ability aren't going to disappear! My daughter started gym at 7, and only went for 2 hours a week until a month before her 8th birthday. She's now approaching 11 years old, and competing level 8 or 9 this season.

While I agree with the others, in trying to have her stick it out until the meets are done, I think if she's showing reluctance at that point, a break might be a good thing. Her success isn't just related to her natural ability. She has to love the sport, and want to be there.

I feel pretty confident that once the newness of school and coaching changes die down, she'll be her enthusiastic self again, but if not, a short break, and returning to gymnastics on her own terms, may be just what's needed to re-kindle her passion!
 

momsuz123

New Member
Feb 25, 2009
18
I agree. I told my husband that I think she will excel at any sport as long as her heart is in it. I think we are going to just take it a day/week at a time. Vacation next week should help too. Thanks.
 
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