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Sibling competition

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Imat3

New Member
Jan 10, 2008
48
How do you parents deal with siblings who both do gymnastics?
I make a special effort to encourage them to look at their own improvements, and not to compare themselves to their sister or other girls on the team. However, I am still having some issues with one of my daughters comparing herself to others. She is very competitive and driven.
Any ideas?
Thanks,
Imat3
 

Monkeygirlsmom

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Feb 10, 2007
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I have 2 girls in gymnastics and they are both the same level! they have almost always been together!! *they are not quite 2 years apart in age!*

one thing I try to do is empahsize the strong points in ech child!! 1 of my girls are stronger on beam and other is stronger on bars!! I try to make a big deal out of each one!! and I encourage them to support each other!! tho my older dd is really good at encouraging her little sister!! I make sure that each child knows there strong points and they are not the same!! Hope that makes sense!!!

I am lucky they love to be together!! I also make sure the other things they do is not together!! and they have there time apart!! so they can be themselves!! tho they are in to the same things
 

Livinatthegym

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Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
Geez, mine fight all the time about everything. Who left the empty ice cream box in the fridge? Why are you always late? Get off the computer! You like her better! So, how do you deal with sibling rivalry at the gym? Same way you deal with it anywhere else.

Our gym has just 9 optionals, so my girls work out together even if they're not the same level. Their performances are never going to be exactly equal. In the last meet (Dragon), both kids finished 3rd AA BUT dd2 had more kids in her age group and a higher all around score. Of course, dd1 noticed, and, lucky me, she's a glass half empty kind of gal.

So, Praise each kid when she does well and tell her there's always next time when she doesn't. Never withhold praise from one because the other didn't do so well. Remind them that while they can learn a lot from gymnastics. It's not, nor should it ever be, the most important thing in their lives. Then let them work it out themselves. They usually manage without too much bloodshed.
 

Imat3

New Member
Jan 10, 2008
48
Thanks for the replies. I figured there were others out there dealing with the same thing as I do. Mine don't fight at home at all. They get along pretty much all the time. They get along at gym too.
The problem occurs after meets when one of them does better than the other. The one who isn't doing quite as well doesn't make a big deal about it, but her disappointment shows on her face. She just feels really down on herself and I hate for her to feel that way. I want her to celebrate her accomplishments. We always tell them both how great they both did. I just hate to see that the confidence of the second daughter is suffering.
Anyway thanks for sharing.

Imat3
 

Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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That is a really rough situation. I deal with it often as a coach and it is very hard. Especially when the child winning all the awards is the younger child in the family. Probably the most difficult situation for me was when I had triplet gymnasts all competing together in the same level. They used to always take the medals and there was a lot of rivalry with who was 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Or if two of them won something and the other 1 didn't.

I really prefer siblings to be working out in different groups, but it just isn't always possible, especially at the higher levels.

I think it is important for siblings who are in that position to have something of their own outside of gymnastics. I know that is very difficult to fit in but an activity that they enjoy. Maybe even an extention of their gym.
 

mariposa

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I cross my fingers that my littlest won't be interested in gymnastics. I am going to try to encourage other things before she even asks to try gym. I just don't want to deal with the sibling rivalry. I know how hard it can be. My girls are almost 4 years apart though, so if she really wants to do gymnastics, I will hope the age difference keeps them separate. Or that by then, my oldest will have moved on to something new. :)

There is a great book for parents that I love, Siblings Without Rivalry. Great for any parent with more than one kid. Really highlighted how seemingly innocent things we say can create sibling rivalry, which is what we don't have any intention on doing. Opened my eyes big time as to why I never got along with my younger sister. Off topic, but sort of on, so thought I would share.
 

Imat3

New Member
Jan 10, 2008
48
Thanks for the link to the book...I will give that a shot.

It would be great if the girls were able to practice and compete in different groups, but since they are the same level and same age that is not possible. Our level 4 group only has 14 girls so they are a very close group. They are split into 2 different groups, but it is split by age so mine are together. It is really just after meets when there is disappointment. Their scores are very close, but one consistently beats the other.

This group will most likely get smaller in the summer. Some level 4's usually choose to stay at 4 instead of moving up to 5 or find another gym because the parents/athletes don't like the work out schedule for summer. (7:30-12:30 5X's a week).

Thanks again for all the ideas/input.

Imat3
 

Mom to two gymnast

New Member
Feb 8, 2008
18
I am struggling with this as well. My 10 yo L4 and my 6 yo L3 will be switching gyms in teh next couple of weeks. The new gym has a lot smaller team (same size as L4 at current gym) for all levels. At the new gym they will practice at teh same times and they all warm up and condition together. There is a good chance my 6 yo will move up to L4 team before fall (she doesn't compete at current gym but will be placed on L3 team at new gym working towards L4 by fall). My older daugther has major issues with her RO-BHS and may end up 2nd year L4. My older DD is the type that it takes months for her to get her skills but once she gets them they are great and she can score well. My 6 yo is very athletic and has a mind/body connection that just is unbelievable. She catches on so quickly. Stuff that took my older dd 9 months to pass, my younger one is learning in 2-3 weeks. Combine that with the hunger and determination my 6 yo has that 10 yo doesnt' and it is a very real possibility that the younger one will catch and possibly surpass (level and/or score wise).

We have talked and talked to my 10 yo to explain that just because 6 yo is progressing fast and able to do almost the same skills doesn't take away from what she is doing as she is a great gymnast. We have tried to point out her strengths as well (consistant, great lines, works hard) and that even at meets, medals are great but more important is jsut doing your best and being elated when you do.

We shall see how things go but good luck to you. For us, iti s harder as there is a 4 year age difference, dd 6 yo is a kindergartener and 10 to is in fifth grade so it makes it even harder I think for us.
 

Imat3

New Member
Jan 10, 2008
48
Mom of 2 gymnasts,
It sounds like you are in for a bumpy ride. That is going to be tough for your older daughter. Even though mine are the same age, they are very similar to yours. One of mine is a very fast learner of new skills...picks up on them quickly and just doesn't take any time at all. But the second daughter takes a little longer, but perfects the skill as she is learning it and in the long run it is this that is scoring higher.
I keep telling them that they are two different people and will learn things differently. Of course they know this, but still get upset sometimes.
I wish you good luck. Maybe your level 4 will move up to level 5... that will at least keep them in different levels for a while longer:)

Take care,
Imat3
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
How do you parents deal with siblings who both do gymnastics?
I make a special effort to encourage them to look at their own improvements, and not to compare themselves to their sister or other girls on the team. However, I am still having some issues with one of my daughters comparing herself to others. She is very competitive and driven.
Any ideas?
Thanks,
Imat3
I know this is a very tough situation... I see it all of the time in gymnastics. I think you are handling it in the very best way for now by just encouraging them individually. In time it will see itself through - it is a real character builder for the girls. Eventually, the girls will catch up with each other on a more equal level, and then it could even reverse - gymnastics can be a real mind game, so it is important to keep it all in perspective...
 
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