For Parents So Sad

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DynamicMom

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Jun 5, 2008
45
Springfield, MO
I'm so sad. DD has started the new gym this week as a level 3. We went ahead and tried a couple of classes prior to us actually paying for the next two months. Well it's been awful, dd says she no longer wants to do gymnastics. She cries everytime we go to the gym, she does not pay attention and does everthing half hearted. When something goes wrong out there she sobs like the world is over. She says she does not like her coaches and wants to quit! I'm torn, we never had this issue at the old gym. She never wanted to quit, and I'm worried that it's because she is somewhere new. However I even asked if she would be happy with a new coach or at a new place and she says no. Part of me wants to let her quit if that's what she really wants, but the other part wants to make her stick this out and get over the newness of the gym. A good friend of ours owns a dancing school and dd says she wants to take classes with her. I just hate to let all the time she spent in the gym go to waste, however I don't want to fight her to go. I want her to be happy, but I'm worried about just letting her quit.
 
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Billy

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That's tough. My DD went through a little "I want to quit" phase, too. After a lot of discussion, we finally figured out that she was missing her Daddy and thought that he and her brothers were doing all kinds fun things without her while she was at practice. So, we initiated Daddy Daughter Dinner Date for every other Friday. My DH goes to practice after work, watches practice and then takes her out for some one on one time. She hasn't mentioned quitting even once since we started that. So the problem wasn't gymnastics, it was needing to spend more time with her Daddy.

The point of that long ramble is maybe the problem with your DD isn't gymnastics but something else. Maybe she's uncomfortable not knowing the coaches or maybe she feels like she doesn't have any friends. It could even be that she doesn't know their stretching or conditioning routine yet. In any case, it may take a lot of talking and asking questions on your part to figure it out. And in the mean time, you could give her a specific time frame- like the two months you've paid for- before she can quit. Tell her that she has to go for that time, and she must behave and participate and really try, and if she still doesn't like it, she can quit. By then you might be able to figure out what's really going on.
 
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flippymonkeysmom

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How old is your dd? If she is still young - I would give her a break for a few months and let her try something else. I know many girls who have done that when they were young and came back to gym with renewed love of it. Also remember that the money and time spent is never wasted. They learn a lot more than just skills in gymnastics. They become stronger, more flexible and disciplined. These are things they will take with them no matter what they choose they do.
 

bogwoppit

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My youngest didn't always love gym, she liked it for the first year or two, but then when she moved into a pre team type group she didn't like it. So we let her stop for a while, eventually she begged to go back and we let her.

Now she loves gym, because it's gym, not because of her friends, as they have all quit!!! Little ones can be very fickle, but pushing too much can be very negative.

When they are so young having a break is no big deal. We have girls in the gym that began at 3 and girls in the gym who began at 8 who are now, at 12, at the same level.

All that to say, you know your DD the best of all, and only you will be able to decide whether she needs pushing a bit or letting her have a break. But, if she is crying, doesn't want to go and is a distraction in class that clearly is not a good thing.
 
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bigtiny

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I would let her stop. I don't think you said how old she is, but she is just a level 3. She has plenty of time. I believe that if you push her now that she will just end up resenting the sport (and maybe you).

When my middle daughter was 5, the gym put her on an advanced pre-team. The coach said he saw great talent in her. Well, she hated it. We waited a couple of weeks to see if it was just an adjustment, but she continued to say she hated it (she started to say she hated to the whole sport of gymnastics). That's when I pulled the plug. The coach was disappointed. He said I was wasting her talent.

I asked her, "What do YOU want to do?" For the next year and a half, she took karate (earning three belts), diving lessons, and tennis lessons. She had fun trying new things. Then she started asking to go back to gymnastics. At first I didn't let her go because I wanted her to be sure that it was what she wanted. Then, when she kept asking, I just put her in a fun tumbling and trampoline class once a week to test her out.

She was like a different kid in the gym! She asked to go into a regular class. She did a couple weeks in a regular class, then they moved her to pre-team. She was on pre-team for a month and then they moved her to team. She won a lot at level 4 and finished 2nd in the state in the AA. She is now one of the most talented level 5's on the team and she has NEVER complained about going to gym or said she doesn't like gymnastics since her break.

My recommendation is to listen to your child. If she is not happy, give her a break. They'll always have a bad day of practice here and there, but if you see a pattern of her being unhappy, then take her out. Let her feel like she is in control of where and when she does gymnastics. It is her sport. She may realize how much she really does like it when she's away.

Of course, all of this is just my opinion :). You should do what you feel is best for your daughter. I hope everything works out!
 

Livinatthegym

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Feb 4, 2008
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My dd1 took a two year break, from ages 7-9. She did dance (tap and baton) and played soccer while she was out. She had a great time. Then, at age 9, she went back to the gym and made the level 4 team in a matter of months. She stayed on team through her freshman year in high school, and medaled at regionals last spring, before leaving for good. She's now on the dance team and the varsity diving squad--moved there after 2 weeks of practice thanks to all the gymnastics training.

Don't be sad if your dd wants out. You have not wasted your time in the gym. She's gained strength, flexibility, and body awareness--things that are very "transferable" to other activities. You also can't be certain that she wants out of the gym for good. Let her take a break, and don't limit it to a matter of months. Just let her know that if she EVER wants to go back, you're behind her. Then let her choose her new activities.
 

FlipsLeos

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Jul 26, 2008
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How old is your dd??

After we moved to a more competitive gym, my not quite 5yo started crying, telling me she hated gymnastics, didn't want to go anymore. The coaches were saying she should try out for team, I was pushing the idea too (and feel badly I pushed now, but hindsight is 20-20) and she finally just had a giant screaming meltdown one night at gym. I talked to her coach who said maybe we should just let her be, drop the team idea, let her have fun. I talked to dd, who said she hated the new gym because it was "too hard!" and she just wanted to have fun. Coach also reminded me it's not so bad to back off and let dd be the best in her group for a change instead of always having her playing catch-up.

Thanks to a couple of fantastic coaches and pretty much just letting her be, she loves gym again. She did NOT move to competitive, stayed rec, but the coaches work her like the competitive kids, which I love. I think it's also been good for her to be the one who shines in the group instead of always struggling to be as good as the rest, kwim? She is now expressing interest in competing, but I plan to hold off on that until the spring.

After speaking with the coaches, what we experienced is apparently NOT UNCOMMON, and I'm wondering if maybe your dd is just feeling a little overfaced with the new gym. A break is NOT a bad thing, or maybe you could talk to her coaches and see what they suggest and what THEY are seeing when she's working. They might also be able to help more if they know what's going on too.

Good luck!
 

Blackie6

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Mar 1, 2007
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Sorry your DD is having a difficult time (and you too!) with her new gym. I am not sure how old your DD is, but is it possible she just needs a little more adjustment time? Sometimes younger girls go thru that phase where they love it one week and hate it the next. I totally understand how you don't want to be pushy, but don't want to give up something that up until recently she loved. Is there a possiblilty there is just something else wanting to make her quit? Maybe she's scared about her new class, afraid of the new kids, fear she won't make friends, ect....these things might just be causing her to generalize that she wants to quit gymnastics. My DD is a creature of habit and would be devestated to have to start somewhere else. I know she would need serious transition time. There have been lots of great suggestions here, maybe while you decide what to do you can just take a break from the gym or even check out some rec classes that might be more fun for now until you know for sure. Maybe trying a different kind of class like rec or tumbling at the same gym would give her time to adjust, make new friends and watch the "team" practice from a whole other view. I know once my DD made pre-team, she started to really love the gym watching the older team girls practice and saw a whole different side of gymnastics.
 

gym law mom

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I'm sure its tough on both you and dd for different reasons. Have you been able to get anything out of her as to why she doesn't want to go to the gym? It may be hard because she may not be able to express herself in a way you understand. What about not having her involved with team for awhile so she can get adjusted to a new place? See if her attitude changes if you suggest a rec class and less time.

Check out the dance studio and let her try it. Maybe less gym right now and some other activity is what she needs. Her life and yours will not end if she leaves the gym. In 6 mos or less, she may want to go back---or that was enough and she'll find other things she wants to try.

Bottom line is you don't want to see your dd miserable and crying. The money and time spent so far will never be a waste. She's learned alot of skills and this will always help in other activities she tries. Have you spoken with her coach? She's new so they don't know her very well, but maybe could give you some ideas as to what she may be saying or doing during class that you don't see. You also might come up with a short term plan to see if there is something that can be changed so she'll continue.
 
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starmaker

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I am sorry you and your daughter are going through a rough time right now. But on the bright side...she is still young enough to go even a whole year without gym and still be very successful in competitive gymnastics(especially since she seems to be talented in the sport).

Didn't you guys just relocate to a new city? Do you guys move often? Did she just start Kindergarten? Is it a new school as well? If so, how is she adjusting to school? Maybe just giving her time to adjust to all the other changes right now and maybe later on reintroduce gymnastics. I know my 5 year old is slowly adjusting to back to school routine(limited playtime), Kindergarten(where she has to sit next to children and NOT talk), homework, competition, etc. It's a lot for a 5 year old. DD is usually very focused in gym class. But since school started she is more interested in goofing off, playing, talking, etc. I assume it's because she's having a hard time not socializing in school and she needs to let it out.

I know someone mentioned it being too challenging but the opposite could be true too. It was for my dd when she was on the verge of quitting. Turned out she was bored and not being challenged. Ever since we switched to a more competitive gym she has be happy and never said she wanted to quit again. You just need to find out what's going on in that little head of hers??? Good luck with that!!:rolleyes:
 
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GymTwinsMom

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I think about every gymnast goes through a "quitting" phase. Give her a bit more time to get used to this new gym. Maybe in the car ride there or home, you can make a mental list what is so much cooler at this gym that wouldn't be at the other gym. Hope everything goes well!
 

gymjourneymom

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My dd1 took a two year break, from ages 7-9. She did dance (tap and baton) and played soccer while she was out. She had a great time. Then, at age 9, she went back to the gym and made the level 4 team in a matter of months. She stayed on team through her freshman year in high school, and medaled at regionals last spring, before leaving for good. She's now on the dance team and the varsity diving squad--moved there after 2 weeks of practice thanks to all the gymnastics training.

Don't be sad if your dd wants out. You have not wasted your time in the gym. She's gained strength, flexibility, and body awareness--things that are very "transferable" to other activities. You also can't be certain that she wants out of the gym for good. Let her take a break, and don't limit it to a matter of months. Just let her know that if she EVER wants to go back, you're behind her. Then let her choose her new activities.
Excellent advice Livinatthegym. Dance sounds like a wonderful activity for her to try & a natural progression from the gym. She'd be making use of many of the skills she's learned already, plus she'd stay in condition should she decide to return to the gym. If she has gymnastics talent...she probably has dance talent too. Let her try dance if it makes her happy...but leave the option open to go back the gymnastics if she wants too. She is the one spending the hours & doing the work... she has to WANT to do it. Doesn't matter how much "gymnastic talent she's wasting"...she has to be happy in what she's doing. If you continue to force her into the gym...next you'll hear the coach telling you your DD is wasting his time. If DD ain't happy....nobody is going to be happy. Let her try dance...otherwise she'll become resentful of gym & always think she "missed out" on trying what she "really wanted". Best of luck to you & DD.
 

DynamicMom

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Jun 5, 2008
45
Springfield, MO
Well we tried as hard as we could to find out what dd was not happy about at the gym, by the way she is five. She said it's just no fun anymore and that she does not like the coaches, and that is all she will say about it. So we went ahead and made the decesion to pull her out. I did want her to try for a couple more weeks and see how it went but she was not OK with that idea. She pitched a fit and cried and said she never wanted to go back! We went ahead and signed her up for a couple of trial classes in the dance studio and she is so excited about them. I'm a little sad, but I hated the idea of being one of those moms who makes there kids do sports just because they like it, and I really don't want to shell out the money if it's not something she is having fun with. I did talk to the owner of the gym and she was really nice and refunded all our money. She was sad to see dd go because they were really excited about her on the pre-team but did say that her door was always open if she wanted to come back. Hopefully she finds some fun out of dance. Our 18 month old will start gymnastics when she is two and I have a feeling that she will want to go back to the gym....untill then I guess we are dancing!
 

gym law mom

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You did the right thing in the long run. I don't necessarily agree with letting 5yos call the shots, but if she was that unhappy then trying to force gymnastics down her throat would have made the whole family miserable. Just because they seem "talented" in one activity doesn't mean thats for them. My gymmie had some knack for figure skating, but didn't want to do it. I could have had just about any coach at the rink work with her. Thing is I didn't want to end up fighting with her over going for lessons and practice. She wanted gymnastics and we stopped the skating.

Will your dd go back to the gym? Who knows. She may love dance and decide thats what she wants to spend her time on. She may decide in a few mos. she would like gymnastics, but not pre-team. Let her know the people at the gym were not at all mad that she left(very nice of them to refund your $$!) and if she ever wants to go back she can----then drop it. She'll let you know when/if she's ready for gymnastics again and it may take you totally by surprise.

Keep in touch with us here. We'd love to hear about her dancing and the little one in mommy and me.
 

bogwoppit

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What a smart Mom you are. It is never easy to make those decisions, but in the end the pay off is big.

Who knows what your DD will want to do down the road, but the gym she did was fun and the skills she learned will benefit her for a long time. Keep in touch and let us know how dance goes.
 

DynamicMom

New Member
Jun 5, 2008
45
Springfield, MO
AGGGGG! So you all know that last week was our last practices. Today we go to get dd a leo for dance at the studio. The studio also has a gym and she saw other girls on the floor. She watched for a while and then said she wanted to go back!:eek: I looked at her and explained that she quit and that we talked about it and she did not want to go so we quit! She was upset and said she does not want to quit the gym, she wants to go back! I told her I was sorry, that we talked about it and we took her out. I also told her that she was not going to go just because her sister was, I think that's why she wants back. She said she just wants to be with the team. I again said I was sorry and that we would discuss this next year, and if at that time she wants back in the gym than that would be OK. When dh heard about this his response was to get her back in!:eek: He said he does not want her to be behind the rest of the team and does not want her to have to wait and lose the new stuff she knows. My issue now is how can I let her just keep being on the fence about it. One day she wants to go the next she does not. What would I tell the gym owner? I don't want to do it but dh is being pushy, I need some advice. I don't want her to go back just because she does not want her sister to go without her, but in the same sense I hate to keep her out of the gym if she really wants to be there!!:confused:
 
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greyhoundrescue

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How old is she? If she is 8 or over, I would suggest sitting down with her and making a contract with her. Lay out all of the things you will have to do for her to be in gym (buying leos, driving her around, etc) and those things she has to do. Decide the terms between the two (or three) of you, making sure that you both agree with them and are willing to uphold the, before signing it. When she waivers, review the contract with her and go over the terms.
At that age you might want to go over your family budget with her and show her the cost of her being in gym so she understands the financial side of the commitment. Something quantifiable like that is often more concrete for kids to understand than explaining "you said you didn't want to do it, know you do, you can't keep changing your mind". Show her how much it costs and maybe how if she wasn't in gym that money would be spent. Explain that you love her (of course!) and will support her, but gym is a commitment, one you can't just pick up and drop whenever you like because of the money. Don't make it sound like you don't want her in gym, just that you want her to understand the impact of her decisions.
Otherwise, well, she's a kid, she's going to change her mind. But, making her stick to a decision is an important life lesson.
 

Livinatthegym

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Feb 4, 2008
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AGGGGG! When dh heard about this his response was to get her back in!:eek: He said he does not want her to be behind the rest of the team and does not want her to have to wait and lose the new stuff she knows.
Think I'd sit down for a reality check with dh. Your dd is 5. She could start competing gymnastics at age 10 and still make it to level 10 in time to look at a scholarship. She said she wanted to try dance, so that's what you're going to do. Really, not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
 

bogwoppit

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I learned a long time ago that the key to parenting is consistency. That is, once you have made a clear decision you stick to it. If we, as parents, give in to every little whim of our kids they would never learn to be tenacious and committed. It is so important for children to know that when their parents says no, or yes, that they mean it and no amount of whining, crying or outright begging will change it.

If I am not sure, I say maybe and then I take the time to work out the correct answer.

If you give in to your 5 year old each time she changes her mind, then you will find yourself dealing with a very indulged 15 year old one day. As for your hubby, he probably needs to learn that too.

I would make her follow the dance course she has committed to, and then discuss whether gym is still an option then.

This of course is just my humble opinion. I am raising 3 kids of my own and and been a Nanny to a further 10 little ones and I know for sure that being consistent and clear always made the kids feel safe and secure.
 

mariposa

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I totally remember responding to the original question, but I must not have hit post reply. LOL.

That said, I think it is great that you let her take a break. Even though now it might seem like she is upset about that.

I also agree that you should not let her back in the gym right now. She made a decision and it wasn't after just one bad day of practice. I would let her do dance or something else for awhile and then entertain the idea of gym again. Her sister won't be in the gym for a few months, right? That should hopefully help her to not be too sad about it, but kids have to learn lessons, hard ones sometimes. I would re-evaluate in a month or so and go from there.

Good luck. It is hard to hard to be a parent sometimes.
 
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