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Please help.....need coaches and experienced higher level gym parents to advise on this:(

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justanothergymmom

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Jan 13, 2010
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Thank you for sharing this.
Please do not underestimate the risk for long term damage to your daughter in this environment.



The silver lining option (painfully difficult, but a very important lesson in self-respect):

As a parent, shoulder the "Tough Love" decision and decisively pull your child out of the situation.
Let her know that at no point in her life is it ever acceptable for anyone to treat her like this.
Use the term "Abuse" with your daughter. Explain how people use it to gain control over others.
Now she knows what emotional abuse looks like, and to avoid people who treat her like this.

Her "Short term" anger directed at a parent... A tumultuous path leading to lifetime of self-respect.

Informing the coach, afterwards, as to why she left sometimes can facilitate change - but I wouldn't hold my breath.

If a parent's thoughtful rationale based on principles is carefully explained, an extremely difficult, unilateral decision by a parent tends to be deeply respected by the child - albeit sometimes much later in life.
LOVE this! I agree!!!
 

gymdog

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Thanks for editing - I don't have an issue with calling it out per se but since they aren't done with their season and no other level 10 options it seems better to lay low until nationals...her girls have worked hard and don't deserve to lose their chance if someone should see the post. Based on the info I'm sure they would use it against her daughter or possibly drop her with no options. Not saying you should tolerate anything - use u your judgment. But I've been around these types so I was a bit nervous that it was just out there for anyone to confirm.
 

duyetanh

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I asked her if she wanted to leave and she said "no". She is pretty tough and knows exactly what is going on, I have to give her credit. It is a learning curve right now as I am teaching her what NOT to accept in friendships/a spousal relationship, etc. She is not nervous, anxious or sad - just beyond frustrated and damn angry, as she should be.

Saying this kindly...
Sometimes you dont realize how bad the abuse is, and how you truly are in an abusive relationship.....until you are gone.
 

txgymfan

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I know she loves gym but it's just gym and her mental health is for life! Gym will not be there when she is in her 20's, 30's and 40's trying to make career decisions, mental health scars will. You do not outgrow abuse, you do not forget feeling not good enough.

Talk to the owner, try to resolve the issue. If it does not change, pull her from that coach even if it means drastic changes. She could still dive, or pole vault or do something else but don't let him stay in her head.
 

LJL07

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I have been in your shoes and I understand your frustration. I also have more than one very talented child in the upper levels of this sport. I also felt there were no other options nearby for my kids, until I started seriously looking by necessity. You see, all of a sudden, one day, my strong and confident daughter decided after a very successful L10 season that she was done with the sport. She literally went from being able to tolerate the nonsense and mistreatment, the ridicule and snide remarks.... to being ready to quit forever...all in a matter of a few weeks time...all without warning! She always told me how the comments and treatment bothered her, but I never really understood how deeply they affected her! I pulled her immediately from the toxic environment that she was in, and began to look for other options. I told her that under no circumstance did she ever deserve to be treated that way, and that I was proving it with my actions! Happily, she (and her siblings) came out of it on the other side, and what we considered at first to be a "lesser option" turned out to be the best thing that ever happened for her AND her gymnastics. If your children are talented and hard working, which it sounds like they are, they will thrive in a positive environment. Don't be afraid to go look for one!
Encouraging to hear bc as @duyetanh pounted out above, there are gyms all over the country just like this. Speaking from personal experience too. Unless you have a very receptive owner, I'm afraid it's a lost cause. The meeting with the coach/owner in numbers thing doesn't always work either. Maybe worth a try, but been there, done that too. People stay at gyms like this bc in the short term, the gym produces successful gymnasts, but the vast majority of the girls end up quitting, so at what point do you move to the "lesser option?" A little bit of regression in training might be worth to keep them in the sport.
 

slimgymz

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Nov 2, 2010
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I know she loves gym but it's just gym and her mental health is for life! Gym will not be there when she is in her 20's, 30's and 40's trying to make career decisions, mental health scars will. You do not outgrow abuse, you do not forget feeling not good enough.

Talk to the owner, try to resolve the issue. If it does not change, pull her from that coach even if it means drastic changes. She could still dive, or pole vault or do something else but don't let him stay in her head.
You are so right. There is always another option.
 

stillhoping

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Recently at a gym near us, a group of parents were so unhappy with one coach's behavior that they left. Two coaches left with them. The parents funded a temporary building, rented equipment, and they have a new gym. It's my understanding that this is not entirely uncommon. I would like think that a large group of unhappy parents could have an impact with any rational owner.
 
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amiandjim

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Just wanted to say you might want to edit further...it took me about 3 minutes to figure out who the OP DDs are.

To the OP, I agree with the others....there must be another gym or coaching situation that would work for your family!
 
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suds

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I asked her if she wanted to leave and she said "no".
As a parent, crossing the threshold from asking an adolescent for a decision to informing an adolescent of a decision is not taken lightly. The rare circumstances selected for this speak volumes about a parent’s values.

Staying is a decision, and leaving is a decision. Agreeing to your daughter’s input is a decision. This is really tough parenting, I get it.

Please do not be deceived by the insidious nature of emotional abuse. Reliably, the only time it does not cloud judgement is in hindsight.

If you continue to struggle with these decisions, perhaps there is a role for a professional counselor (a neutral 3rd party) with whom you and your daughter could openly discuss the issues to resolution. The long-term stakes (with either decision) are high enough to potentially warrant this.

There is a rare time and place to be “The Mean Parent.” Only you can decide what your values tell you in this circumstance.

If you let your daughter pick the end date (within the reasonable short-term future), this may help soften the blow. It also might help her view her daily gym experience with a different perspective knowing that it is soon coming to an end.
 

kayjaybe

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Replace "coach" with any other influential person in your child's life.

My daughter routinely gets straight A's. She is on the scholastic Olympiad team. At our competition this weekend, she place first and got scores from 96-100. He yelled at her and demeaned her for not getting perfect 100's on all topics.

My daughter volunteers with our religious youth organization and has been a model leader for those younger than her for the past several years. At a youth event this weekend during a skit, she forgot one of her lines, but otherwise, her performance was wonderful and inspiring. The youth pastor yelled at her and demeaned her for missing one of her lines.

My daughter is first chair violin in her orchestra. At the concert this weekend, evidently she missed a note or two. Her orchestra leader is very angry with her and yelled at her and demeaned her for ruining the performance.

All of these above examples seem ridiculous to me, but for some reason, when it comes to gym, we accept the exact same treatment from these coaches that we wouldn't accept from others. Why is that?
 

Popcorn

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I have asked myself this question, too.

Can you imagine a teacher screaming at kids? Or only pointing out errors? Ie., instead of "90/100", you get a paper with "10 mistakes :(" on the top.

If it isn't acceptable in school, it shouldn't be acceptable in the gym.
 

txgymfan

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Just wanted to say you might want to edit further...it took me about 3 minutes to figure out who the OP DDs are.

To the OP, I agree with the others....there must be another gym or coaching situation that would work for your family!
Tried again. Gym is a small world.
 

slimgymz

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Just wanted to say you might want to edit further...it took me about 3 minutes to figure out who the OP DDs are.

To the OP, I agree with the others....there must be another gym or coaching situation that would work for your family![/QUO
Thanks again for mending my mistake. I guess if they can figure it out, more power to them-they know to run like hell from this coach. Gym owner is super nice though, we all like him.
 

txgymfan

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I wasn't sure how much to edit without taking away from your DD's expirence.
 
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coachp

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If your kid is begged you to not say anything then you shouldn't! Also kids absolutely do go home and embellish things to mom, it's called venting... so my advice is to wait and see. And if you do gather a group of parents together then you better be sure each one has a story to tell. If they don't then they should not be there. I have seen parents attend meetings in the past and flip allegemce in the middle leaving the complaining parent all alone (more often than not because they here what actually happened etc...). So be careful what you wish for.
 
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slimgymz

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If your kid is begged you to not say anything then you shouldn't! Also kids absolutely do go home and embellish things to mom, it's called venting... so my advice is to wait and see. And if you do gather a group of parents together then you better be sure each one has a story to tell. If they don't then they should not be there. I have seen parents attend meetings in the past and flip allegemce in the middle leaving the complaining parent all alone (more often than not because they here what actually happened etc...). So be careful what you wish for.

Rest assured, there are PLENTY of stories. And I don't give a damn if anyone flips allegiance, that's on them. I wish for additional coaches-THAT won't happen.
 
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coachp

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Rest assured, there are PLENTY of stories. And I don't give a damn if anyone flips allegiance, that's on them. I wish for additional coaches-THAT won't happen.
Well , give us a feel for what else has happened.
 
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LJL07

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I can understand why she might not want to give specific stories. You really just don't want to out yourself in a situation like this. Also, yes, children embellish, but sometimes they are not embellishing. What then? And if the child doesn't want the parent saying anything, it may be because she knows that she (the child) will be the one to suffer the consequences for the parent speaking up. Most of the time there is nothing to do but take it or leave the gym. I hope the OP really does have a reasonable and receptive gym owner with whom she can discuss her concerns.
 
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coachp

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I can understand why she might not want to give specific stories. You really just don't want to out yourself in a situation like this. Also, yes, children embellish, but sometimes they are not embellishing. What then? And if the child doesn't want the parent saying anything, it may be because she knows that she (the child) will be the one to suffer the consequences for the parent speaking up. Most of the time there is nothing to do but take it or leave the gym. I hope the OP really does have a reasonable and receptive gym owner with whom she can discuss her concerns.
Yes and the flip
Side is kids sometimes don't want the coaches to know because it's far fetched. The best course of action on this case is to have a meeting with the actual coach with the child present. The truth will emerge. Or she can just go behind the coaches back drum up the parents against the coach demand a meeting with the head coach or worse yet "set him straight "...
Pretty obvious which route is most effective. After all this is the internet ...
 
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LJL07

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The best course of action on this case is to have a meeting with the actual coach with the child present. The truth will emerge.
No, not always. And particularly not if it's a situation where it has been addressed in just this manner countless times with lip service during the "meeting" but no change. But I agree with you that it's impossible to make a call based on internet information. And there are some stories that are just so outrageous you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried. Maybe not in your gym, but in other ones...
 
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