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For Parents Guilty!!!

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skfleming255

Member
Jul 29, 2007
169
OK! Confession time! I have bribed my dd. She cannot get above a 9.35 on floor, even though she is EXTREMELY capable of doing so. Little mistakes (ones she can correct, but just doesn't think about during competition) like straights legs, arms up by ears, etc.... continue to be her demise.

Well, so we made a deal this a.m. Get up to a 9.5 at the meet in 2 weeks, and receive a Webkinz of your choice (pink pony). I got on ebay and ordered one this a.m. b/c I am sooo hoping she hits this goal.

We'll see!
 

ZJsMom

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
May 11, 2007
998
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USA
There's a fine line between bribing and helping kids learn to set goals. And a lot of us cross it on occassion. :D When ds played t-ball, I was so concerned about him hanging out in the field paying no attention whatsoever to the game, I started paying him a quarter every time he touched the ball. I wasn't trying to make him into an allstar, I just wanted him to pay attention to where the ball was. :rotfl:
 

gym law mom

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Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
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USA
I can understand your frustration but scoring in the 9.3 range on floor is not at all shabby!!! Sorry I forget how old and what level your dd is?? Linking a reward to a score is risky. Neither she nor you can control that score. Next meet they might judge floor easy or tough. So, she could end up with say a 9.0, but did the best fx of the year OR she gets a 9.6 and you still see the little mistakes you're talking about. Depending on age, it could just be a matter of concentration and maturity. Also it puts alot of pressure on her because kids start thinking only about the score and make silly mistakes in the routine.

We have a family at our gym with 2 dds on teams. They discuss the scores they expect the girls to get on each event(I don't know if there is a reward involved) before each meet. Older dd is on my gymmie's team and the parents would set scores of like 9.5 on bars. What happened? She never got the 9.5. Instead there were about 3 meets in a row where she fell on her squat on(this was L7) or just had some goofy mistakes. Then the tears started. At one meet she cried all the way through beam warm up(after a less than 9.5 bars) and almost her whole beam routine which didn't score too well either. I never once saw this girl leave a meet with a smile.

My advice is save the Webkinz for Christmas and tell her to just work on the little things in practice----the less she thinks about numbers, the higher the numbers will go AND she won't feel like she has to be a 9.5 to get your approval.
 
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flippymonkeysmom

Guest
I always tried not to focus on the score too much as well. I've seen routines scored very differently at different meets. First place on floor at one meet might be a 9.8, then that same girl might get first at the next meet with a 9.1. Giving kids an incentive to fix some things at meets - lots of people do that. Actually of you think about it - that's the whole idea of medals and trophies, lol. Good luck to your dd tweaking her routine - it sounds like she is doing great.
 

ZJsMom

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
May 11, 2007
998
Pacific NW
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USA
gym law mom does have a good point. I wouldn't want to give a kid the message that a 9.35 "isn't good enough." That's a great score that should be celebrated. If you want to stick with your incentive/bribe, why not tie it to a specific goal within her control rather than score, like remembering to keep her arms by her ears in your front handspring and straight legs in whatever skill.
 

mariposa

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Sep 25, 2007
3,529
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I don't like rewards for anything, we don't use star charts or anything in our house either, but I am sooooo tempted to do this with beam turns at the next meet. Iknow I won't do it, but I would love to tell her that if she did both turns on ONE foot (she always touches the beam with the other foot) that I would get her X thing.

I do think though that if you ARE going to use the reward thing, it should be for meeting other goals, NOT scores. Scores can be very objective and vary by meet like others have said.
 
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flippersmom

Guest
Can you change it to something like if she works on the straight arms and legs, she will be rewarded. That way she doesn't focus on the score like some said. I've also seen girls score vary based on who the judges are at events. We can sometimes tell if the scores will be high/low based on the judges at the meet. I'd focus more on her concentrating on some corrections and if you must, reward her for these. But it will be setting her up for disappointment if she feels she doesn't do well enough or you withhold the reward.
 

gymnomore

Member
Aug 3, 2007
208
YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS ONE! I really don't believe that bribes are good for gymnasts, but we're all tempted to use them. I have myself. I bought dd a leo at a meet one time because I told her I would if she stayed on beam. She had fallen off at the previous meets. It worked very well, as she was so focused on staying on and posted one of her highest beam scores ever. I was feeling really good about this little arrangement until dd's coach blasted her at practice the next day. She told dd that she should be doing skills because she wants to and not because she got a leo out of it. She really was way over the top with her "scolding" , to the point of being mean, and it seemed to go on for the next week or two. OK, then I felt really guilty and decided not to try any more bribes. But then- *you won't believe this* one of dd's coaches offered one of the other gymmies a huge amount of money at practice one day to do a skill that was well within her level of ability. This was a skill all of the team members had, but for some reason or another, this gymmie wasn't able to pull it off even though it was a crucial skill to have to be able to compete at that level. So, after the bribe of course, she did it the first time and collected her money right in front of all the other team members. The amount is comparable to like 1/4 of their monthly tuition, so it was not petty cash being exchanged here! The girls couldn't believe it, I couldn't believe it, and neither did the other parents when they found out!
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS ONE! I really don't believe that bribes are good for gymnasts, but we're all tempted to use them. I have myself. I bought dd a leo at a meet one time because I told her I would if she stayed on beam. She had fallen off at the previous meets. It worked very well, as she was so focused on staying on and posted one of her highest beam scores ever. I was feeling really good about this little arrangement until dd's coach blasted her at practice the next day. She told dd that she should be doing skills because she wants to and not because she got a leo out of it. She really was way over the top with her "scolding" , to the point of being mean, and it seemed to go on for the next week or two. OK, then I felt really guilty and decided not to try any more bribes. But then- *you won't believe this* one of dd's coaches offered one of the other gymmies a huge amount of money at practice one day to do a skill that was well within her level of ability. This was a skill all of the team members had, but for some reason or another, this gymmie wasn't able to pull it off even though it was a crucial skill to have to be able to compete at that level. So, after the bribe of course, she did it the first time and collected her money right in front of all the other team members. The amount is comparable to like 1/4 of their monthly tuition, so it was not petty cash being exchanged here! The girls couldn't believe it, I couldn't believe it, and neither did the other parents when they found out!


I would have made my gymmie give it back. That is unfair to the other girls.
 

trcr7498

New Member
Oct 2, 2008
25
USA
YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS ONE! I really don't believe that bribes are good for gymnasts, but we're all tempted to use them. I have myself. I bought dd a leo at a meet one time because I told her I would if she stayed on beam. She had fallen off at the previous meets. It worked very well, as she was so focused on staying on and posted one of her highest beam scores ever. I was feeling really good about this little arrangement until dd's coach blasted her at practice the next day. She told dd that she should be doing skills because she wants to and not because she got a leo out of it. She really was way over the top with her "scolding" , to the point of being mean, and it seemed to go on for the next week or two. OK, then I felt really guilty and decided not to try any more bribes. But then- *you won't believe this* one of dd's coaches offered one of the other gymmies a huge amount of money at practice one day to do a skill that was well within her level of ability. This was a skill all of the team members had, but for some reason or another, this gymmie wasn't able to pull it off even though it was a crucial skill to have to be able to compete at that level. So, after the bribe of course, she did it the first time and collected her money right in front of all the other team members. The amount is comparable to like 1/4 of their monthly tuition, so it was not petty cash being exchanged here! The girls couldn't believe it, I couldn't believe it, and neither did the other parents when they found out!

That is definately frustrating. So, the coach was basically being a hypocrit by scolding your DD, but it's okay for her to bribe with money. I agree with the other parent who said they would have made DD give the money back. It's not fair to the other girls. Skills come super easy to some and not easy to others and then there are those who just maybe fell once and are scared so they have that mental block - even though they are capable of doing the skill. Bribing them with large amounts of money when the other girls are working just as hard...that is just wrong!!! Just my opinion though :confused:

I think the parents bribing or putting an incentive on a score or skill happens in every gym. I know it happens in my DD's gym (and yes, I even did it last year!!) So far this year I haven't done it, but it is soooo tempting. Especially with DD's dive roll issues :eek:
 
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bigtiny

Guest
This is an interesting discussion. Yesterday, my 6-year-old Level 4 DD came out of practice eating an ice cream. I asked her where she got it, and she said the coach bought it for her. When I asked her why the coach did that, she told me that the coach had told her that if she made three kips in a row that she would buy her ice cream. My daughter was happier about the ice cream than making her kip....
 

Tim_Dad

Member
Nov 3, 2008
414
Region IV (Missouri)
*you won't believe this* one of dd's coaches offered one of the other gymmies a huge amount of money at practice one day to do a skill that was well within her level of ability.


THAT is Unethical, and unprofessional. Treats and such are fine. But Money? No way. I would have reported the coach to the Gym owner, and if the owner was the same person, I would report it to the State chair.

I for one do reward (not bribe) effort and a job well done. However, things like "not falling off the beam" isn't really a reasonable request as far as I'm concerned. It's not like it's intentional. Showing that she has worked hard to exceed reasonable expectations is somehow rewarded.

Positive motivation works when it's limited to extraordinary accomplishments. It doesn't work when it's used for everything -- we called that 'spoiling your child'. Negative motivation, i.e. "do it right - or dire consequences", rarely works, and is never very 'motivating'.

Sometimes a big smile and a hug is all that's needed to motivate/reward a child to keep trying, or to try harder.


Std. Disclaimer: Just my opinon. We have a little motto. If you're going to do something, do it properly, to the best of your ability. "Good enough" is an excuse for not doing better. We're not always "lovey-dovey" 100% of the time. We expect effort, and progress. And DD knows it. Especially with school work.
 
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Momto3

New Member
Nov 6, 2008
39
Midwest
I think you can go overboard on bribery if your not careful. But then we are all motivated by some external factor be it praise, money, etc.
We have a funny story in regards to bribery. My husband made a deal with my daughter about her vault. I never liked the idea of "chocolate' cereals but she was always wanting to buy Coco Puffs. So my husband told her if she scored on 9 on vault he would buy her some. That was a running joke between them for a full season of L6. He contemplated buying a box to place on the vault to see if it would get her to run faster. LOL
Well she finally scored a 9 at L7 State and when she saw her score, she looked up in the stands at her Dad and imitated eating a bowl of cereal!!! She got the Coco Puffs!:)
 

gymnomore

Member
Aug 3, 2007
208
I think you can go overboard on bribery if your not careful. But then we are all motivated by some external factor be it praise, money, etc.
We have a funny story in regards to bribery. My husband made a deal with my daughter about her vault. I never liked the idea of "chocolate' cereals but she was always wanting to buy Coco Puffs. So my husband told her if she scored on 9 on vault he would buy her some. That was a running joke between them for a full season of L6. He contemplated buying a box to place on the vault to see if it would get her to run faster. LOL
Well she finally scored a 9 at L7 State and when she saw her score, she looked up in the stands at her Dad and imitated eating a bowl of cereal!!! She got the Coco Puffs!:)


That's hilarious about the Coco Puffs!!! I listened to a motivational speaker talk one time at a school function about this very topic. The guy is also a gym owner, thus the reason I wanted to hear him speak. He mentioned that small bribes are not harmful. An example would be...if everyone on the team did a certain skill X amount of times, then he would buy a package of m&m's and divide them up after practice. Very small...just enough to present a challenge but not too extreme. Kids love a challenge. I agree with that. He said that parents buy kids leos at meets all the time for a certain score, which he doesn't agree with. He also went on to say that it really gets bad when some parents (and this happens) tell their dd's that they will buy them a car if they make it to Nationals. Now that's WAY too extreme and uncalled for.
By the way, I'm the poster that told about the huge amt of money given by a coach for a skill. One of the parents called to complain, and was told by the owner that the coach involved made the decision and it was his right to do so. The parent brought up the idea that a practice like this should never take place in a gym, and as the owner, he should have prevented it. He more or less blew off the whole discussion as if it were no big deal. In other word, the parent got nowhere. (I personally would have made my child give back the money but the mother of the child did not make that choice). Someone on here mentioned that a coaches behavior should have been reported, perhaps to the USGA. True, but that's a sticky situation. No parent wants to do that and raise a big stink because that would invariably affect how their own child would be treated from that point on. So what do you do. Accept that something very wrong happened and move on.
 

bogwoppit

Former Admin
Gold Membership
Former Gymnast
Feb 26, 2007
16,727
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Canada
One of our younger gymmies, not my DD, won her first medal at a meet last year. From the podium she yelled at/to her Mom that now she had to buy her that new outfit from XXXXXX store. The Mom's face was a picture, she had to fess up in front of all the parents, gymmies and coaches that she had told her DD she would get a whole new outfit if she got a 1,2 or 3rd!

Mom was a little red in the face.

I wouldn't offer a reward/bribe for a certain score, that is just too intangible. I have bought them ice cream after a meet to cheer them up when they haven't done so well.
 
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Billy

Guest
I have used Webkins to help DD get over a fear after a fall. She was so scared that she wouldn't even try the skill. I told her she'd get a Webkin if she would TRY the skill every time she was asked, not that she had to "get" the skill. I just wanted her to get past her fear enough to at least try. But I wouldn't do it based on meet scores. Meets vary, judges vary and the girls really have very little control over anything there. But, I don't see anything wrong with a bribe/reward to help motivate in certain situations.
 
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gymgramma

Guest
At a former gym our gymmie attended, all the team gymnasts reported their grades to a designated Booster Club board member and the level that had the highest gpa percentage won a pizza party. no individuals singled out, etc. a total group effort........the kids all loved this.
 
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Smile :)

Guest
I think I am very averse to tangible rewards in general. But I agree I would be reluctant to reward based on a score since it can be so subjective. I think I am probably also averse to rewarding athletic performance although I am happy for my sister if she accomplishes her goals and we praise things like effort, dedication etc because I think those are life lessons/skills. She has just chosen gymnastics as one of her mediums of their expression.
 
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gymnut1

Guest
At a former gym our gymmie attended, all the team gymnasts reported their grades to a designated Booster Club board member and the level that had the highest gpa percentage won a pizza party. no individuals singled out, etc. a total group effort........the kids all loved this.


I'm English so please explain - do you mean school grades? Am I right in thinking the gym was encouraging the children to do really well at school. I think that is a great idea. Im sure parents liked that too. it wouldn't work here as we don't get graded each year.
 
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