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Is it normal to lose skills?

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mariposa

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My 5 year old is really upset because for awhile she had her back hip circle and now she can't do it alone. She also said that she can't always get her pullover by herself. She is really bummed and is even more frustrated that she can't do the front splits yet. She has a beautiful middle split and can lay all the way down flat when stretching, but can't do her front splits and she cried for 30 minutes tonight begging me to help her, but then not listening to any help I tried to give. Can we say tired? (She had gym tonight).

I told her it was normal, but only because I didn't want her to be sad about it. Am I correct that it is normal? They don't work on bars every time she has gym as they are kind of the lowest on the totem pole and have to find wherever happens to not be in use by the team girls and boys at the time, and I think that makes a difference.

I tried to encourage her and remind her that she has done other things recently. She is even doing much better on beam, which she has struggled with since falling off the high beam at her old gym. Today they were doing cartwheels on the lowest beam (the one that is on the floor, LOL) and the first try by herself she scraped her ankle bone on the beam. She burst into tears, came over to me and I comforted her and then told her to go "kick the beams booty" and show it who is boss. She got back in line and landed one foot on both tries, which was more than I expected, I just wanted her to try again.

Any advice what to tell her? Her coach hasn't said anything and I see her get lots of high fives, so I am sure she is doing fine. I am always proud of her and think she does amazing things for a little kid. :D

Thanks. I am sure you mamas have been here before.
 

fruitcake

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Aug 1, 2007
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Yes, it is absolutely normal when first getting skills for them to temporarily disappear. We have gone through that with front hip circles, kips, BWO on beam, standing back tucks, etc. Sometimes it is just that the skill isn't "cemented" in their brain, other times if they are growing they do have to relearn the skill since their center of gravity changes and if they gain weight then the muscles have to gain strength. Motor learning isn't a linear process, there are ups and downs no matter what you are learning. I wouldn't worry about it too much, everything will return.
 

Monkeygirlsmom

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Feb 10, 2007
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From what I have heard it can happen!!

I know my oldest just did this the other day!! when I was putting her to bed she said mommy I cant do my pull over today but I usually can!! in her case I think it was a tad of nerves since this was a new thing for her being on the preteam!!
she has been ablet o for a good year now!! but I have heard others say this has happend!!

I know when kids are learing school skills when working on somthing new they are concentratuong soo much on the new things that the old get put on hold!!
that is what a teacher said to me once and it makes sense!!

good luck shell get it back in no time!!
 

mariposa

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thanks guys. i am not worried at all. it made sense that it would be a normal thing, i just wanted to be able to reassure HER. i think she does great everytime we are there. she is hard on herself though sometimes. it didn't help that she was TIRED and grumpy. LOL.

:D
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Just wait until you get to kips. A lot of kids will have it, lose it, have it, lose it, rinse and repeat as many times as you please.
 

ZJsMom

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It's kind of a pet peave, but I hate talking about "lost" skills. It makes it sound like some magical being has swooped down and taken the skill away. I don't let my dd use that language. If you've done it before, barring some physical change (injury, losing strength, growth spurt), you can still do it. So if a child had the skill, but stops being able to do it, most likely it's a mental block or a timing/technique issue. With skills like kips and front hipcircles, the timing is complicated and they often are inconsitent for a while. I think talking about losing the skill just makes kids feel less confident and out of control, contributing to mental blocks. I would just assure your daughter that she knows how to do the skill and she'll do it again soon.
 

momof5

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This sounds a lot like how my daughter learns new skills. She is forever learning new skills and then unable to do them again for some time then gets them back again and sometimes loses them again. After a awhile she get them for good. She used to freak out when that happened and get really discouraged but after seeing this pattern time and time again now she know that if she has done it a few times that she will get it back again and has learned to be a little more patient and confident.
 

gym law mom

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Remind her that she doesn't do bars at every practice and that could make a difference in doing those skills. Point out that the "big girls" in the gym aren't always able to do a skill and they just have to keep practicing it when they are in the gym. These little ones do really look up to say a 9 yo!

As for the crying over the front splits, you might want to make a rule that she doesn't practice anymore after coming home from the gym. If she wants to do some home practice on her splits then pick days when she does not have practice and set a time limit. JBS noted awhile ago that kids should not need to practice outside of the gym if the program they're in is adequate for age/ability. I also have one that is incredibly tough on herself and with her it was front limbers----over and over and over. When she wanted me to watch or help her or whatever and she had already done some for about 20 minutes I would just get up and leave. That would usually shut her down for the rest of the day.
 

mariposa

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thanks everyone. i talked with her today about it and she understood.

i soo wish i could make her not do gymnastics when she gets home. she says it is "the best time" because she is already "all stretched out." LOL. hard to argue with a 5 year old. but i did tell her that i won't help her with stuff after gym, because she really is too grumpy. :D

i wish her coach would tell her not to practice at home, but from what i hear from the other mamas, they all do it. i don't help her with stuff mostly. she does like me to count her handstands for her though. she never REALLY wants my help. she asks for it, then tells me i am not helping her the right way.
 

melmonette

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Aug 16, 2007
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totally normal as everyone has said.
Emily always has her squat on and then not on and off and what feels like a never ending cycle.
She got her kips on her birthday in August and thankfully, they are actually getting more consistant and better but I watch a lot of the girls lose them and then get them back.
Tonight Emily was working on backwalkovers on the low beam and determined to get them but I tomorrow... who knows she will probably go back to being deathly afraid of the skill. Emily's fear gets in the way of her skills. It is frustrating but also rewarding when she finally overcomes the fear.
 

midwestgymmom

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Aug 27, 2006
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It's not surprising when children develop even as babies as they learn new things other things they previously were past get lost in the shuffle. If you remember back to maybe when your child started walking they may have quit sleeping through the night. The same holds true for developing any new skill.


My dds coach calls it putting it in your closet -it's in there but you have to look hard in there to find it and sometimes it just randomly falls out when you arent looking for it. If you dont do a skill for a while it's like you have to get it out and sometimes it's dusty.
 
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