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For Parents Keeping my big mouth shut

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Livinatthegym

Member
Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
We had the farewell cake for dd2 yesterday, and then walked out of the gym.

Since lvl 7 state, dd2 has gotten her back tuck on beam, a front giant, a giant full, a tsuk vault, and on Friday, her last day in the gym, she did a baille. Things just clicked for her once she got to optionals. She'd be an awesome lvl 8. But, she's done.

I've said before that I don't get it; however, I refuse to be the parent who makes my kid do an activity. It's not like she doesn't know what gymnastics is like. She can decide for herself. She says she wants to be done, so she's done. It's just that right now I practically have to stuff my fist in my mouth to keep myself from trying to talk her back into the gym. I know I could, but I won't be "that" mom. (All right, I will admit to saying that if she was bored in a month or two, I'd bet they'd take her back.)

Any tips for helping me keep my big mouth shut?
 
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Billy

Guest
I have absolutely no advice for you. Sorry! :eek: I'm torn on this kind of situation. On the one hand, you don't want to force your child to do something she doesn't want to do. On the other hand, it's one of our jobs to make sure our children cultivate their talents. My frame of reference is piano lessons when I was young. I begged and begged to take piano and when I was 7, I finally got to start lessons. Then, when I was 10 or 11, I wanted to quit. My mom wouldn't let me and pushed me through about two years of lessons. Then, I found I really enjoyed being able to play and I took lessons, happily, for another few years. To this day, I'm thankful she pushed me and now I can play the piano.

So the dilemma becomes what to do if you have a very talented gymnast (as your obviously is) who wants to quit but may be sorry they've "thrown away" a special gift a year or two down the road. Do you push them through or do you let them quit? I don't have any idea. Although I will suggest lots of conversation. Find out why she's quitting and make sure she's quitting for the right reasons (injury, etc) and is not just wanting to quit in order to hang out at the mall more. :rolleyes:
 
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flippymonkeysmom

Guest
The big difference though is that piano you can continue to play the rest of your life. Gymnastics at the level these girls compete is very time limited to begin with. Having to practice piano every day for 20 minutes is a lot different than 20 hours per week in the gym.

I'm not sure what I would do in your shoes. I have always told my dd she can quit whenever she wants - I don't want to be one of "those" moms either. If she was doing that well and ready to walk away - I would have a really tough time keeping my mouth shut too. It is really hard because even simply asking if she is sure and telling her it is a shame because she is doing so great can be viewed through her eyes as pressure or you being disappointed. I guess on this one I would wait and see. In a month she might miss it terribly and be back. If it is meant to be it will happen - if not she went out on a great note with some awesome memories.
 

mariposa

Proud Parent
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Sep 25, 2007
3,529
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The big difference though is that piano you can continue to play the rest of your life. Gymnastics at the level these girls compete is very time limited to begin with. Having to practice piano every day for 20 minutes is a lot different than 20 hours per week in the gym.

I'm not sure what I would do in your shoes. I have always told my dd she can quit whenever she wants - I don't want to be one of "those" moms either. If she was doing that well and ready to walk away - I would have a really tough time keeping my mouth shut too. It is really hard because even simply asking if she is sure and telling her it is a shame because she is doing so great can be viewed through her eyes as pressure or you being disappointed. I guess on this one I would wait and see. In a month she might miss it terribly and be back. If it is meant to be it will happen - if not she went out on a great note with some awesome memories.

That is what I was thinking. It is so hard because as parents, we don't want our kids to make mistakes they are sorry about later, but she has to learn those things on her own. Maybe after a break, she will miss it and go back. Or maybe she won't and as flippy said, she left on a positive note and has happy memories, no major injuries, etc. She might find her way back coaching someday, who knows.

It is a hard position to be in, but you are awesome for supporting her in her decision and I think the best thing you can do it help her find other things to do with her newfound freetime and come here and tell us anytime you want to tell her something. LOL. You can have your own thread, "Things I wish I could tell my DD, but won't." We will listen and let you vent. :)
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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Very tough spot as a mom. You see her improving by leaps and bounds in 1 yr. and then she walks away. Some kids(mine included) are very stressed by fear of success. You said this past year was her best and she was probably told by coaches etc. that L8 will be even better. Sometimes that sends a kid into a panic. All of a sudden they're being the one watched and "big things" expected of them. That place blending in with the rest of the team is no longer there---she was standing out front. I know this bothers my gymmie from time to time and her coach is also aware.

I know its hard to stay quiet when you know this could be a huge mistake, but when they get to be 10 and older, its tough to physically drag them to the gym or even reason with them at times. Give her a few weeks and then do maybe a casual lunch and shop day. See if she brings up gym at all and if she doesn't, just gently ask "why" and let it go. Who knows at this age, she may come up to you in a month and ask to go back.

((((HUGS)))))

BTW--You're being a great mom!!!!! Don't second guess yourself.
 

Livinatthegym

Member
Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
The big difference though is that piano you can continue to play the rest of your life. Gymnastics at the level these girls compete is very time limited to begin with. Having to practice piano every day for 20 minutes is a lot different than 20 hours per week in the gym.

I'm not sure what I would do in your shoes. I have always told my dd she can quit whenever she wants - I don't want to be one of "those" moms either. If she was doing that well and ready to walk away - I would have a really tough time keeping my mouth shut too. It is really hard because even simply asking if she is sure and telling her it is a shame because she is doing so great can be viewed through her eyes as pressure or you being disappointed. I guess on this one I would wait and see. In a month she might miss it terribly and be back. If it is meant to be it will happen - if not she went out on a great note with some awesome memories.

That's it exactly. Conversations amount to subtle pressure. She must own her decision, whether it's a mistake or not. Long-run, that is the best thing for her. Still, this was so much easier with dd1 because it was very clear she needed to explore the other things high school had to offer.

Funny piano comes up because I did "make" the girls take piano lessons. Now that it's a choice, they're still doing it (7 years for dd1, 5 for dd2). And yes, it is WAY different than the gym.
 
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Deleted member 1703

Guest
Ha ha - the dreaded piano lessons topic - how this must come up in some households around the world every day!!

We have been through it and I started incentivising regular practices (a spreadsheet on the piano which gets ticked for daily practice and then a reward once a month- how bad is that?) and they have all come through it with a greater keenness. We thought that by practising more they would see greater improvements and would probably enjoy it more. It has worked with all 4, although small son does attack the instrument as if it something which should be beaten into submission!! Probably not going to be a concert pianist, then...
 
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flippymonkeysmom

Guest
I actually just signed both my girls up for piano lessons yesterday, lol. They are both really excited though - we'll see how long that lasts!!!
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
I wish I had advice for you - if I did I could also give it to myself !!

DD is 7, will be 8 this summer. Last week she told my DH that she wanted to take the summer off. I told him if that is what she wants then that is what we will do (I really don't want her to quit - I did when I was a teen and regret it to this day as I am in love w/ the sport. I don't want her to regret it either) but that she needs to know some info first to make her decision.

I sat down w/ her and told her that it was up to her if she wanted to take a break she could take a break. I also let her know that in the summer she would still be able to go to the pool for the day or most of the day even when she has gym because it does not start until 4pm. I think she thought she would be there all day every day and not swimming or playing. I also told her that if she took off the entire summer that she would not move up a level and may not be able to compete at her current level because she would be out of practice.

Her gym is closed for a week so I told her she can think about it and whatever SHE wants we will do. She told us at her recital Saturday night that she does not want the summer off.

Well, now DH thinks that I have pressured her into staying. We both talked with her together and I told her that I want her to be happy and if she wants to take a break I will not be mad or upset w/ her (but I will need to put my fist in my mouth as well) that all I want is for her to be happy. That I just wanted her to make her decision w/ all the facts. I do not think it would be fair for her to think she could take the summer off and jump right back in where she was - her teammates would have all improved and she would be the same (at best) or even have lost some skills.

Was I pressuring her by telling her these things or was that the right thing to do? I as well don't want to be "that mom".
 
D

Deleted member 1703

Guest
Hiya gymmomntc2e6!

Hindsight is an exacting science.

You will only know later if you did the right thing or not and I really dont think you should beat yourself up about it. As parents, we have to make so many decisions. We also have to realize that some of them are going to be wrong and many of them are going to be right. Unfortunately, it is often the wrong ones that we dwell on.

Just go with whatever feels right for you and your family and I think that the open form of communication that you have described sounds exactly what every child needs. They need to know your own regrets in life and the consequences of decisions which you made as a child - good and bad outcomes, too.

She may still end up giving up in a few months/years time but at least you will have the peace of mind that you advised her to the best of your ability.
 
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Billy

Guest
I wish I had advice for you - if I did I could also give it to myself !!

DD is 7, will be 8 this summer. Last week she told my DH that she wanted to take the summer off. I told him if that is what she wants then that is what we will do (I really don't want her to quit - I did when I was a teen and regret it to this day as I am in love w/ the sport. I don't want her to regret it either) but that she needs to know some info first to make her decision.

I sat down w/ her and told her that it was up to her if she wanted to take a break she could take a break. I also let her know that in the summer she would still be able to go to the pool for the day or most of the day even when she has gym because it does not start until 4pm. I think she thought she would be there all day every day and not swimming or playing. I also told her that if she took off the entire summer that she would not move up a level and may not be able to compete at her current level because she would be out of practice.

Her gym is closed for a week so I told her she can think about it and whatever SHE wants we will do. She told us at her recital Saturday night that she does not want the summer off.

Well, now DH thinks that I have pressured her into staying. We both talked with her together and I told her that I want her to be happy and if she wants to take a break I will not be mad or upset w/ her (but I will need to put my fist in my mouth as well) that all I want is for her to be happy. That I just wanted her to make her decision w/ all the facts. I do not think it would be fair for her to think she could take the summer off and jump right back in where she was - her teammates would have all improved and she would be the same (at best) or even have lost some skills.

Was I pressuring her by telling her these things or was that the right thing to do? I as well don't want to be "that mom".

I don't think you were pushing too much at all. You want your children to learn how to make informed decisions. It would not be fair for you to let her make that kind of decision without knowing the consequences of it. If you think about it, we do this with our children every day. Kids need to learn that their choices have consequences and its best to know what those consequences are and consider them in any decision.
 
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flippymonkeysmom

Guest
Also - I wouldn't worry too much if she does take a little time off. Lots of girls take time off for lots of reasons - voluntarily and involuntarily. My dd ended up missing about 3 months between levels 5 & 6 because of some health issues. She was not able to do ANY training or conditioning during that time. When she went back it was tough at first and she had lost some skills (mostly bars because she had lost a lot of her strength). Within 2 months she was fine though - and actually she progressed so much they moved her to level 6 which she was thrilled about since she had already come to terms with doing another year of 5.

You will be able to tell whether she is choosing to go over the summer because she wants to or she thinks you want her to. How many hours does she train over the summer? I know summer is tough. My dd is 11 and will be training for 22 hours over 5 days this summer. Definitely cuts into some pool time!!!
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
Also - I wouldn't worry too much if she does take a little time off. Lots of girls take time off for lots of reasons - voluntarily and involuntarily. My dd ended up missing about 3 months between levels 5 & 6 because of some health issues. She was not able to do ANY training or conditioning during that time. When she went back it was tough at first and she had lost some skills (mostly bars because she had lost a lot of her strength). Within 2 months she was fine though - and actually she progressed so much they moved her to level 6 which she was thrilled about since she had already come to terms with doing another year of 5.

You will be able to tell whether she is choosing to go over the summer because she wants to or she thinks you want her to. How many hours does she train over the summer? I know summer is tough. My dd is 11 and will be training for 22 hours over 5 days this summer. Definitely cuts into some pool time!!!


I am not sure if she will continue @ 7 hours or go to 9.
 
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Billy

Guest
My DD's schedule doesn't change for the summer. She practices 11 hours a week. But, we don't have to leave for practice until 3pm (three days a week) so that leaves plenty of time for playing and other activities. Does your DDs gym do something similar or will her practice time "take up" her days?
 
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flippymonkeysmom

Guest
7 or 9 hours shouldn't put too much of a damper on her summer fun. If she still says she wants to continue I would go with that. What you could do is just be a little more lax over the summer. If she is having fun playing with friends, maybe let her miss a practice now and then. Was her decision originally to want to take the summer off related to the fact that she is now unsure whether she will move up to level 4? Sometimes at that age they don't know how to voice frustration so they end up wanting to "run away".
 

ZJsMom

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
May 11, 2007
998
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USA
Livinatthegym--

For what it's worth-- I think you're being a great mom by not wanting to influence your dd's decision. At the same time though, I think it's going too far to not talk with her about it. I understand that talking can have a subtle message, but still it's our job as parent to make sure our kids are thinking though their decision fully and to be involved in the process. You could open a conversation by saying "I respect your decision to be done with gym and I don't want you to feel any pressure to continue, but I'm just wondering what factors made you decide now is the time?"

I just feel like you should know what's going on in her head. It may be that her decision was based on something she's made up in her mind, or something that could easily be resolved. For instance, maybe there's a skill she's afraid of that she thinks she'll have to start working if she stays. If she just told you, "I'm quitting now because I don't want to do a Yurchenko," you could ask the coach and maybe the coach would say she doesn't have to and she'd happily go back.
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
My DD's schedule doesn't change for the summer. She practices 11 hours a week. But, we don't have to leave for practice until 3pm (three days a week) so that leaves plenty of time for playing and other activities. Does your DDs gym do something similar or will her practice time "take up" her days?

As far as I have been told practice will be the same M & W 4-6. thurs 4-7. So she will have plenty of time during the day.
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
7 or 9 hours shouldn't put too much of a damper on her summer fun. If she still says she wants to continue I would go with that. What you could do is just be a little more lax over the summer. If she is having fun playing with friends, maybe let her miss a practice now and then. Was her decision originally to want to take the summer off related to the fact that she is now unsure whether she will move up to level 4? Sometimes at that age they don't know how to voice frustration so they end up wanting to "run away".

there may be some frustration there. some of the other girls got their squat on jump to the high bar and she did not. This has her very frustrated and upset. Also, she has internalized the fact that the coaches were very excited about a couple of the girls getting these to also mean that since she did not - they (all the coaches) think that dd sucks. :eek:. They do not, but unfortunately that is how my daughters mind seems to work :(
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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I think just mentioning to her that if she comes back after the summer off, she will be behind most of the others and will have to work on getting her skills back is totally appropriate for an almost 8yo.I know you have some other issues with the gym(no move up to L4)---could any of that be playing in her mind? Without pushing ask her why she wants the time off. Tell her she can be totally honest---nobody's feeling will be hurt and you won't say anything to her coaches. If it comes down to not wanting to spend the summer in the gym, then you could write down her practice times and show her all the free time she'll have plus promise that if something special comes up, you're more than willing to let her skip practice or take some time off here and there.

Been through the whole "I stink" thing and I have to say since we switched gyms I don't hear it nearly at all. Also, after awhile I just stopped replying to it since you can never change their mind anyway:)

At most gyms if you take the whole summer off, they don't let the girl compete at all come fall., but if she needs the break then you are so right in supporting her and letting her have it.
 
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