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macushla

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Was wondering if you guys/gals could help me out. I'll try to make this short, but in a nutshell, I have an dd, 11 yo, who has been doing gym for about 4 years.

Every year at this time it's the same thing...the I wanna quit and try new things syndrome....msl529, if you're reading this boy, do I feel your pain! lol! And every year it boils down to the same thing, fear of going to the next level. Right now she's in Prep Op, training for L7, but had some really nasty falls this past Prep Op season.

Obviously my dh and I are very frustrated, but she won't make a decision one way or another. She says she wants to "try new things, like dance, softball and flag football" which is fine, but we don't/can't spend all the money for gym, camp, etc., if she's not going to stay for another season. We also don't want to make the decision for her........

Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
Macushla
 

bogwoppit

Former Admin
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Former Gymnast
Feb 26, 2007
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Does she still go to gym happily and work out? Does she have to go to the next level, can she cut back her hours and compete the level she is at? Mine at age 11 cut back her hours and went into a prep op type league, now she can do gym and try other things too.

The money doesn't make any difference does it, if you say she can have camp if she is into progressing, why can't she have camp if she is not progressing. Isn't enough that she is having fun at camp with her friends? If you cannot afford camp she shouldn't be going anyway.

When does she have to commit for the year? Perhaps you tell her by that date she needs to decide and then after that she has to suck it up and follow through the commitment without talking about quitting. You could tell her that this can be reevaluated twice a year or so.

11 is a tough age, new stuff, new hormones and other friends doing other things and enjoying their freedoms.

Good luck, parenting is a challenge and when you throw a sport with long hours on top of it it gets even more challenging.
 

Livinatthegym

Member
Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
We found that gymnastics is not easy to leave, even when the time has clearly come. My dd1 had an awful time pulling the trigger. She should've stopped after level 7 (before she went into high school), but she just couldn't. I feel like she stayed in because she'd been at it for so long she was just scared to leave. If she wasn't a gymnast, then who was she?

Like you we didn't want to make any decisions for her, but sometimes, I wonder if we should have? The year of "angst" wasn't good for any of us.

While I love Bog's advice (give her a deadline, and after that, no complaining), it doesn't always work. It's hard to stop a kid from complaining, and they kind of know, once the season starts, especially, that it's pretty tough for you to pull them if they start (you've already bought the leo, paid the fees, etc.) At least this was our experience. I was so ready to pull that kid, but I had so much money and time invested.

Maybe you could suggest taking that camp money and using it, over the summer, to let her try some new things. Help her discover the possibility of an identity outside the gym. She might decide gym is what she likes best OR she might be able to move on with less angst than our dd1 did.

And I will say that, though I miss the gym, the thing I like best about life without it is that school activities are much less expensive. (Don't delude yourself about having more time, though. Kids used to training 20 hours a week feel the need to fill those 20 hours with other things.)
 
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msl529

Guest
macushla, I really do feel for you! This is a tough spot to be in as a parent. It seems we have been there too many times w/ my dd (even once or twice, in the yrs before I ever joined CB). And it only seems to hit my dd in the Spring/Early Summer. EVERY SINGLE time she has gone thru this, and then decided to stick w/ it, by the time her competitive season begins, she is on fire and loving it. That is what makes it so hard to decide these things during this particular time of year. For my dd, I think a big piece of it is actually just a bit of boredom/burn-out, and then sprinkle on top of that any issues she is having w/ a new skill, teammate, coach, etc., and you have 'I want to quit'.

Anyhow, since you don't want to force her to anything in particular, I think the advice from livin'at the gym is right on. When does her Prep-Op Season run? She may have plenty of time to get back into it after Summer is over, if she decides to go back to gym.

Best of luck, keep us posted. You and I will have to share a couple of glasses of wine in cyberspace over this, sometime! ;)
 

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
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Have you asked her if she doesn't do gym this summer, what exactly would she like to do---don't let her off with just some vague answers. Then ask her to get information on 1 or 2 activities and discuss which one and why. Would she like to take the summer off and repeat her current level in gymnastics? Sometimes that's what kids need. Do tell her if she decides to take dance classes this summer then thats it----no I want to go back to the gym after 3-4 weeks.

Might want to talk with her coach about this. He/she may see or hear things during practice giving some insight into why dd seems to want to hang up the leo.
 
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macushla

Guest
Thank you all so much for your responses, it really means a lot to me! :)

Livingatthegym, I laughed so hard when I read:

I was so ready to pull that kid, but I had so much money and time invested.

I can definately relate right now!

msl529, Thank You so much for your advice. It seems like you've lived my saga and know it all to well! She is always so happy when she gets over the hump and learns her skills, it's just horrible living thru the before part! You're right, that's what makes it so hard, because you know that it's only a temporary feeling.

She did go to practice last night w/o any problem,she always does, but you could tell her heart wasn't into it at all, it was kinda sad to watch :(, so we'll see.

Unfortunately, for us, money is a concern, it costs us about $400/mo. then when you add summer camps, etc. well, you get the idea! We have to start paying for competition season in July so she pretty much has to decide by then.

I think right now we are in a wait and see mode, she's not saying anything and neither are we right now......but we'll see how long that lasts for!!

I'll keep you posted and msl529, wish those wine glasses could be real!!
 

Livinatthegym

Member
Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
Unfortunately, for us, money is a concern, it costs us about $400/mo. then when you add summer camps, etc. well, you get the idea! We have to start paying for competition season in July so she pretty much has to decide by then.

Tell me about it. The girls have been done about a year now (1 yr for dd1, 8 months for dd2), but the "kid's activity" line in my checkbook is still in the red. It wasn't the tuition. The travel expenses associated with 2 optionals was just wicked (longer distances, longer stays since they rarely competed the same day). I'm hoping to have that line back in the black by this time next year.
 
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cher062

Guest
Was wondering if you guys/gals could help me out. I'll try to make this short, but in a nutshell, I have an dd, 11 yo, who has been doing gym for about 4 years.

Every year at this time it's the same thing...the I wanna quit and try new things syndrome....msl529, if you're reading this boy, do I feel your pain! lol! And every year it boils down to the same thing, fear of going to the next level. Right now she's in Prep Op, training for L7, but had some really nasty falls this past Prep Op season.

Obviously my dh and I are very frustrated, but she won't make a decision one way or another. She says she wants to "try new things, like dance, softball and flag football" which is fine, but we don't/can't spend all the money for gym, camp, etc., if she's not going to stay for another season. We also don't want to make the decision for her........

Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
Macushla


Ok I think its great that we allow our kids to make decisions but in the end they are KIDS. We parents know what the kids will regret later with their decisions and even though we don't want to say 'Your going to do this" we certainly can influence their decisions. What would happen if she took a month off over the summer to try something else? She might not move up but she might decided that yes gymnastics is what she wants. Or if for 1 month you gave in and let her try something else and still do gymnastics with the understanding that at the end of the month she has to choose?

Like most kids my kids too have said they want to do something else but once I sit down and talk with them about their reasons for the change they usually will stick with the gymnastics because they really love it.

Most of the time they want to change because a friend is doing it and it sounds like fun but once the idea of that wears off if they loved gymnastics they always choose to go back to gymnastics. You have to know your kid and what really is important to her.
Do you want her to continue because YOU want it or because you know she really wants it.

If she is afraid of going from prep=op to the level 7 team maybe you need to assure her if she wants to stay at prep op it will be ok she doesn't have to go to the level 7 team if she doesn't want to but you would like her to at least give it a try.

good luck and let us know what happens
 

emorymom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Oct 10, 2008
1,155
I would guess in your situation I would encourage her to start transitioning into something she can feel more passionate about so she has the opportunity to really develop another activity or sport to carry her through university.

Or is this cycling common with girls who do want to continue in gymnastics into adolescence?

Is there something that the sport could do within the gyms to ease the identity issues / transition out?
 
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macushla

Guest
Well, as usual in gymnastics :), the saga continues!

My dd hadn't brought up the "quitting" subject again, but what I decided to do if she did was tell her that she "could quit" as soon as she got her flyaway all by herself and her BHS on the high beam all by herself.

I really didn't get into it in my earlier post but when I said she had a "couple of bad falls" it was with those two skills, and that's where her fear was coming from. See, I really don't care if she quits, I just don't think it's OK for her to quit because she's afraid, especially of something she's done many times before and is completely capable of doing. I also figured when she realized she could do it again, she would start having fun again.

Well, we went to practice, and she started doing her BHS on the beam again (although it was the low beam she was still doing it), then got her Front handspring front on floor (new skill for her) and she was just running and jumping around she was so happy. Then she went to bars and started working on her flyaway again, she doesn't have it, but she's progressing.

So when we got into the car she shouted "I don't want to quit gymnastics!"

So there you have it the life a gymnast and the trials and tribulations of a gym mom.....can't believe I'm not bald yet! :rolleyes:

Thanks all for listening!
Macushla
 
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msl529

Guest
That's great! Sounds like she really didn't want to quit after all, and now that she is making progress, she is happy again. Such a head trip, this sport is!

Hope she continues to have a blast and gets those scary skills back 100%. ;)
 
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cher062

Guest
So there you have it the life a gymnast and the trials and tribulations of a gym mom.....can't believe I'm not bald yet! :rolleyes:

Thanks all for listening!
Macushla


It never fails when they get frustraited and think they will never get it they want to stop but when they get it they are all happy again.

LOL I think this sport has made me gray I'm sure bald is next LOL. My heart is in my throat when DD starts doing the bigger skills - I stopped watching before I get an ulcer LOL
 
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cathiann

Guest
My oldest DD always wanted to quit every summer--as they trained new skills for the next level! But by competition season she was happy and couldn't believe she ever wanted to quit. But last year she had had enough and knew she was ready to go to High School--I wasn't in favor of the move, but it was best for her. If she's not ready yet to say she's done, would a break help? Could she take off a few weeks or a month and see if she still wants to go back?
 
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