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For Parents No Competition = No Motivation

Ty’s Dad

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Aug 3, 2017
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I am so tied of parents using their regret over past life choices to hinder their children's growth. If your child truly loves a sport they will continue it. But it's ok for that love to change (even if the answer is "just becuase"). Even at 16 or 17 or after the first year of college sports.

My daughter did walk away from the sport and I was fine with it. And many more of her teammates did in their late teens or even in college. As a parent you are ok with it. That's what you do as a parent. Help gently guide them along their life but allow them to choose the path.

Now to the OP. For your daughter I could see urging her to go back if she feels comfortable and continuing through this season.

I've noticed that my daughter's mental health is suffering a bit through all this. As we have also returned to some activities and then pulled them back (and back and forth and so on). And it is not pleasant and it is confusing and frustrating and scary. Even though we know it is what is best for our communities, it doesn't make it easy. So at times she's definitely pushed back with a "whats the point" attitude. So I'd definitely really really spend some time talking with her bc I have a feeling she is going through a lot more than just not wanting to return to a previously favored activity. A lot of kids are.
And what’s the difference from me wanting a answer on why she wants to quit and you “saying we kept going back and forth and so on “
 

3cats

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Nov 5, 2018
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I don't know how to quote, Ty's Dad. And I definitely don't want you to feel picked on. You re correct that we are all just trying to parent our kids to adulthood the best way we know how.

The difference in my advice to you and my advice to the original poster is that This was a sudden change in her daughter's enthusiasm for the sport that is directly related to the current events. I said for the OP to urge her daughter. Not force or coerce. Just to get to the bottom of it and try to make it through this season. Knowing that hopefully things outside of gymnastics will be different next year.

The line you've drawn for your child's choice for of entertainment is much harsher and absolute. That if she enjoyed something as a child under 14 then she must also enjoy it as a child over 14.

Even knowing how this sport and its commitment has evolved for your daughter since she started and will continue to evolve as your child goes through gymnastics. And how your daughter will grow and mature and evolve as a person and identity outside of your ambitions for her.

And for you to provide her only permission out being that she must be severely injured in a way that you deem it ok for her to end her gymnastics career.

That being said if you came on here 3 years from now saying your daughter had suddenly decided that she wants to quit mid season, I would also tell you to encourage her to continue the season and to get to the bottom of a sudden change in heart.

But at the end. For the OP (and for a hypothetical situation for your future) if the child is done, and even if their only excuse is it doesn't give them joy anymore, than that is the end of it. From that point on we should joyfully help them thrive in the transition and flourish as they explore something new.
 

profmom

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Nov 18, 2011
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OP, looking back it seems like your daughter's somewhat ambivalent about gymnastics. Have a serious talk with her about what she wants -- what made her want to come back after she left JO? While I think completing commitments is important, it's easier to hold that line if the commitment is firm at the beginning. Not sure what age/level she is now; it's definitely easier to walk away if she's been on team for less than five years.

Based on what I have seen, it doesn't work out well at all to try to keep a teen in gymnastics if the teen has lost interest. This sport is way too demanding and time consuming to be doing it if you don't love it. The body has to endure a lot of abuse to get to the level of competing in college and if L9-L10 is reached early, it's a lot of years of pounding and stress on those joints. I've seen many gymnasts transition into another sport or activity that doesn't demand the hours and wear and tear at around age 14-16. The saddest is to see a kid trudge through and make it onto a college team only to quit the first year because they are too broken and have lost all passion for the sport.
 

ldw4mlo

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Feb 13, 2015
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To the OP, I don't know how old your child is or what level she is competing.

Personally, I have never tied money to my childs choices. I am either financially in or not. So any decision that comes from her is not about how much money I spent. I'm either in or out. Seriously if they get injured Im out money. So for me its disposable income, once I write the check I consider it gone.....................

We do talk about honoring your commitments (and that has nothing to do with money). If we were volunteering our time and not spending a dollar it’s still a committment.

All that said these are Covid times, so things I might of insisted on a year ago not so much now. And things I would of let go a year ago not so much now.

My kid is a L8. At these levels if their are not all in, then injuries are likely.

And in these Covid times my kid is a depressed sullen person if she doesn’t get out enough. So some days she might not be all in but she is going anyway.
 

ldw4mlo

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Feb 13, 2015
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Regarding choices as teens vs kids.

Again, the financial expenditure is on me. My kid when she was 6 was all about Legos. At 10 it was Nerf guns.

At almost 15 she is just beginning to get a glimpse of who her grown up self is. I can’t imagine holding her to a decision she made at 8, 10, 12 or even 15-17..... As a parent, the money I spend is a grown up, adult, eyes wide open thing. I’d never put that on a kid.

And putting pressure to get a ride in gymnastics. I.Can’t.Even. 300 or so spots a year (And that’s being generous) ..... so technically anything less is failing. Oy...... so much more to succeed at in life....... so many more years

With an average life expectancy of 80 years, those few years as a kid/teen are the least of it.

Heck, my life finally started to make sense at 40.
 

cp13

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Mar 19, 2019
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My daughter hasn't been very motivated this year (15 yo). Many years the first meet gets her going and gets her motivated. Our first 2 meets have been cancelled. Also, part of the motivation in past years was to travel to meets we haven't been to. This year, if we compete at all, they will be in-state meets which doesn't hold as much excitement. In past years if I committed the money, I would want her to see it through to the end of the season. If she told me she wanted to quit now, I would probably try to get her to last through the season but if she really wanted to quit I would let her. With covid, there's a risk to going to practice, meets, etc. So, at least for this winter, I am less likely to push her to do any group activity if she doesn't want to do it because it's a risk to my health and her brother's in addition to hers. If she really has made up her mind, pushing a teen to do something they don't want to do is miserable for everyone.