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Don't get too attached

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OrangeKangaroo

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It sounds terrible, but my DD gets so excited this time of year as many new girls try out for team and they are all so lovely and nice they are potential friends. Maybe it's the age but I have to remind her not to get too attached, as they may not last the week or become permanent members of the team. How do others handle it? It seems weird to say " don't get too attached" thoughts?
 

ayyyrial

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Why not stay friends with them! It's good to have SOME social contact outside of gymnastics. Unless them not making team would be a dividing factor.
 

Aussie_coach

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The pre teens at our Gymnastics club have a very different reaction to new kids. They want to know how good they are, are they going to better than them and so on. At that age they always have a status in the class and they worry that new kids are going to upset that.
 

GymCMLA

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I bet she is such an amazing welcoming committee for them! It is hard to enter a new team practice even for a day or a week. I bet your daughter excitement to meet them and be friends is such an asset to her team. I'd praise her for this "role" she naturally fits into.
When my dd came to her first try out at a new gym lat year, a girl form camp was there waiting outside with couple others for the doors to be unlocked. As soon as she saw my DD, she screamed hello and ran to hug her. Ice broken immediately! I bet your daughter is a bright spot for these girls transition:)
 

GymDad9.9

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My daughter's team currently has a new teammate who is proving to be a distraction to a very nice team chemistry in place. Ugh.
 
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duyetanh

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This might sound strange, or even heartless, but my child, while excited there would be new people joining, never really concerned herself with bonding with them. She is one though to take time to assess people, and while friendly, would have no problem doing gymnastics where she knows nobody. She is odd that way. She is not a self centered or heartless child by any means, but her mindset is one of, well, it's their loss if they don't want to do it. And I am pretty sure that if there WAS someone she really liked, she would ask to keep in touch with them, like she did when she changed schools. So, if this is something you can pull off, tell your child that if there is anyone she wants to keep in touch with, you will help try to make it happen.:)
 

l.c.o

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The pre teens at our Gymnastics club have a very different reaction to new kids. They want to know how good they are, are they going to better than them and so on. At that age they always have a status in the class and they worry that new kids are going to upset that.
^this!

DD has both been the new girl, and has "accepted" new girls. Girls are very territorial early, it seems. She's definitely been "excluded", just as I'm sure she has probably excluded other new girls.

That said, if they're truly "nice," then my DD seems to give them a shot, and can appreciate it when they're "good". DD's group just got two new girls, and as far as she's concerned, one has potential for friendship, and the other, not so much so far. Got to love middle schoolers.
 

NutterButter

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My DD is very excited about a girl who just joined. She really wants to get to know her. This girl seems to have much more talent than DD but DD doesn't seem fazed at all by this. At the same time though, she feels very threatened by a much younger group of girls that just moved up to optionals (and will probably be skipping 1 or 2 levels so competing with DD next year).
 

kris

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Part of the reason we chose the gym DD is currently at is how welcoming the current team girls were. I understand wanting to protect your DD from being hurt when the new girl doesn't stay, but it's great she's so open to welcoming new people!
 
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OrangeKangaroo

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Thanks for all the thoughts- she has tons of friends gym and school and she is at a large gym that draws from up to an hour away so hard to keep in touch as they are most likely not in our direct community. She's middle of the pack gymnast so used to kids having more or less skills than her. Just a little hard to see her excited at the new faces then some are gone. Thanks for letting me share.
 
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fuzi

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I was thinking about your question throughout the day. Kids tend to make friends easily, but friends become increasingly hard to make (and keep) as your get older. If she's excited to meet new people and the prospects of new friends, why not remind her, "She may not decide this is the right gym for her, but why don't you ask for her phone number and we can set up a play date." That girl trying out at her gym might end up being her BFF, at the gym or not.
 
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bookworm

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We have never been at a gym that was local to us, with the closest one being about 40 miles away and our last one 80 miles away...and that has never been a factor in my girls making friends at these gyms, and keeping them...myself included. We still see friends from all 3 gyms we were in because we make the effort. People were usually very welcoming when we went to a gym so that was always a plus.
 

twinmomma

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We partly chose DD's new gym because of how welcoming the kids were. Gymnastics isn't everything. They will always have to learn to work with people smarter, better, faster, or vice versa, weaker than they are. It's life. And I think the team being welcoming represents a larger culture in the gym, just like having girls NOT being welcoming would reflect a culture I wouldn't want my daughter in.
 

Gymmommy71

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The pre teens at our Gymnastics club have a very different reaction to new kids. They want to know how good they are, are they going to better than them and so on. At that age they always have a status in the class and they worry that new kids are going to upset that.
Gosh - sounds like a very internally competitive gym that pre-teen girls would have that attitude towards potential new teammates/friends :(.

Yeah, my DD makes assessments on new people's abilities (what are they good at, bad at, etc.), but is usually way more interested in learning about them as a person (where do they go to school, how old are they, what are they like) and figuring out if they are nice or not, than she cares about how them joining the team will impact her "status" at the gym. That almost sounds like the Abby Lee Miller dance moms pyramid, but only for gymnasts :(.
 

OzZee

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My youngest dd makes 'best friends' at every camp etc she does. I just say that's lovely.
If pressed I will take a phone number but it usually amounts to nothing and she has moved on fairly soon making more new friends and spending time with the multitude of friends she has already amassed (through various activities).
I say be glad she is friendly and lives meeting people and if she is upset about a new friend leaving then deal with that disappointment then.
 

coachmolly

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Hopefully your DD's friendliness will be a factor in getting some of these girls to stay, it's always nice for a kid coming in to feel welcomed and accepted right from the start. After hearing about the teams where the pre-teens are so cautious and competitive towards new girls, I am incredibly grateful for my group of girls! They've welcomed a handful of new girls through their time together as a team and have always been so welcoming and kind. And while I'm sure they have some idea of who the better girls are in the group, or if a new girl is better than them, they really don't let that carry any weight. As we look ahead to level changes in the spring I'm hopeful they will be just as warm and welcoming of girls who are moving up and into their group.
As far as your DD, it's so good for her to be so welcoming and kind to new girls. And even if they don't wind up at your gym, their is always I chance they could wind up at meets or camps together, so their is no harm in trying to stay in touch, especially if they really seem to "click." It's so easy these days with technology- even if they have to set up a time to text/call/facetime via mom or dad's phone.
 

GymDad9.9

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Hopefully your DD's friendliness will be a factor in getting some of these girls to stay, it's always nice for a kid coming in to feel welcomed and accepted right from the start. After hearing about the teams where the pre-teens are so cautious and competitive towards new girls, I am incredibly grateful for my group of girls! They've welcomed a handful of new girls through their time together as a team and have always been so welcoming and kind. And while I'm sure they have some idea of who the better girls are in the group, or if a new girl is better than them, they really don't let that carry any weight. As we look ahead to level changes in the spring I'm hopeful they will be just as warm and welcoming of girls who are moving up and into their group.
As far as your DD, it's so good for her to be so welcoming and kind to new girls. And even if they don't wind up at your gym, their is always I chance they could wind up at meets or camps together, so their is no harm in trying to stay in touch, especially if they really seem to "click." It's so easy these days with technology- even if they have to set up a time to text/call/facetime via mom or dad's phone.
My daughter's team has had three new girls join in the past few months and her and her teammates have been pretty accepting. Two of the new girls are very sweet, the other not so much and as I mentioned earlier in this thread she is proving to be a bit of a distraction. In addition to the girls welcoming newcomers, team parents also make an effort to introduce themselves to the parents of these newcomers usually done at the end of a practice. Helps foster good team spirit and makes the parents feel welcome and part of things.
 
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l.c.o

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Gosh - sounds like a very internally competitive gym that pre-teen girls would have that attitude towards potential new teammates/friends :(.

Yeah, my DD makes assessments on new people's abilities (what are they good at, bad at, etc.), but is usually way more interested in learning about them as a person (where do they go to school, how old are they, what are they like) and figuring out if they are nice or not, than she cares about how them joining the team will impact her "status" at the gym. That almost sounds like the Abby Lee Miller dance moms pyramid, but only for gymnasts :(.
Well, I am not the author of the post you refer to, but I "liked" it.

My DD is in a pretty darn competitive gym with lots of great girls. My DD is also very introverted and is quite slow to warm up to people. Anyway, DD had been with her same training group for 1.5 years. One new girl started and at first my DD really did try to get to know her a bit, and thought she was ok. They were never mean or exclusionary to her, to my knowledge based on chatter from the kids... I would hope this to be the case everywhere. And if it wasn't, I'd have hoped that the mom wouldn't have let her come to DD's gym.

As soon as she "officially" started though, said girl immediately started telling my DD and teammate's all about how their gym works, and in the process, actually really offended and hurt my DD.

Now, said new girl didn't necessarily KNOW what she said would be/was hurtful. DD made an initial attempt to correct the girl, she held her ground, and a bit of preteen/early teenage BS got started. New girl just competed a level above any other girl in the group's highest level... this does not help the situation along. Add in another new girl who competed an even higher level and knows other new girl... Well...

So, the above example is the context which I took with the original post you quoted. Not so much some gym-mandated thing like dance moms... But girls seems to understand their "place" in the gym... One is great at beam, one is a great all arounder, one always gets her bar skills first, so-and-so is "lower" on every event, but is a great cheerleader to her teammates. They each have a role, which seems to peak in importance around middle school age. So plop in a few new girls to a small, tight-knit group of girls, and it's a recipe for drama. It doesn't always happen, and I love it when that's the case, but it sets the stage for it. My DD has now officially been on both sides of it. I don't think it's NICE, but it happens. :( And I don't think it reflects the kids' personalities directly, but rather their insecurities.

To OP, I'm glad your DD is so welcoming. I hope that never changes. :) It's hard whenever they get to know each other and then someone moves on. We've made an effort to remain friends with old teammates from all over (some or of state). With effort and FaceTime, etc, it's possible!
 
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