For Parents 13 yr old wants to quit

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Lightning L

Proud Parent
Oct 8, 2021
4
41
I need help, my daughter wants to quit gymnastics. I told her she had to finish the summer and attend her team summer camp for a week, then we could talk.
At the end of last season her coach quit to take a new job, my daughter was heartbroken. We have been through that before, even switching gyms at one time to find a more experienced coach. This time it hit her HARD. Lots of tears and a complete change in attitude followed. In the weeks following I was basically forcing her to attend practice and telling her it will pass. I know she was in grief over the loss. Also during this time she had evaluations and she didn’t make Optionals, and was upset. But the coach reached out and invited her for a trial week of workouts. We are a skill or 2 shy and I know she can get them IF she gets motivated again.
She won’t go to the Optionals practice for the week. and I’m mad, sad and confused. I don’t want to force her to continue, but I feel like she may regret this decision. When I asked her why she wants to quit- she says she has lost interest. Do I make her do the trial week of Optionals and hope she changes her mind?! Or do I let her quit and face the feelings that will come.
 

Gymx2

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2015
835
This sounds like it's been going on for quite some time for your daughter. I would respect her desire to move on. If you have already paid for the entire summer and the team camp, I might encourage her to continue through the summer, but otherwise it sounds like she knows her mind. It's hard to see your child move on from something they once loved so completely, but it seems to be time for her.
 
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Lightning L

Proud Parent
Oct 8, 2021
4
41
Thanks - I know this is the obvious choice and what my husband said too. I’m just sad, but I don’t want to force HER decision. I did tell her we need to explore and find a new sport or several to try and see what she would like to do. I like my kids to stay active. I reached out to a cheer team nearby last week, maybe she would like that.
 

Gymx2

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2015
835
Thanks - I know this is the obvious choice and what my husband said too. I’m just sad, but I don’t want to force HER decision. I did tell her we need to explore and find a new sport or several to try and see what she would like to do. I like my kids to stay active. I reached out to a cheer team nearby last week, maybe she would like that.
I am sure it's sad- this has been such a big part of her life and your life for so long! From what I've seen of kids who've moved on some find a new sport right away and some take a bit of time to just be kids and figure out what they want to do next. I wouldn't push anything else right away. Let her find it. Gymnasts are so used to high hours, self-discipline, and pushing themselves that they continue to seek that out after leaving the sport- I bet she'll find her next passion before too long.
 

Lightning L

Proud Parent
Oct 8, 2021
4
41
I appreciate your response! I know she will get bored quickly. I just need to let go and let her find her way. She is so athletic, she is good at everything she tries.
 
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belgym

New Member
Jul 9, 2022
6
Let her quit. She needs to find something she is passionate about again. There are also plenty of other gym sports like trampoline & tumbling and acro. I quit at a similar age tried acro and diving, then went back to WAG, and then did competitive dance through high school. As a coach, I can tell you there is nothing more heartbreaking than a kid who doesn't want to be there. She may just need a break to try other things.
 

Leo7

New Member
Jun 3, 2022
25
If she wants to quit, it seems like it would be miserable if she couldn’t. She will find that former gymnasts do great at other sports, like pole vaulting in track, diving, cheer, etc. She will probably find something she loves and does well in, and if she really misses gymnastics she can come back and will want to be there
 

McKids8

Proud Parent
Dec 6, 2021
15
40
It sounds like a break may be what’s needed. It’s so hard to trust our kids’ judgment sometimes, but there are so many directions gymnasts can go in when considering other sports! I hope she finds something she loves.
 
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MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
782
Virginia
My main rule for quitting is you need to have an idea of what you want to do next because sitting around the house isn't an option. Not that they have to stick with that next thing forever but I think once or twice mine has wanted to quit just to have "nothing to do" for awhile but thats not a reason to quit. So if she has something else she wants to do I would really look at letting her stop for now.

It also may be worth having a conversation with her about trying the optional thing just to see if it reignites her passion. If it doesnt then no arguements about stopping. That could be a good compromise but if she is really set on it maybe not. But I would try to get to the root of is she really over the sport or is she afraid of doing the optionals practice when she didnt "make the team" for optionals she could just be feeling insecure and if thats the case it may be worth pushing her a little to show her she can do it.
 

Madden3

Proud Parent
Aug 24, 2013
822
49
It is tough when kids quit after investing years in the sport! My eldest son quit when he started high school, and he was very invested in trying HS sports, so it felt more like a natural progression, and I still cried when I talked to his coach about him “taking a break” which I knew then was probably really the end. (Yes, very embarrassing!) It was different when my younger son quit the fall he started 8th grade, after an injury and surgery that occurred right before the covid shut downs which were terrible for him psychologically. It was really hard because we knew he needed physical activity desperately for both his mind and body, not to mention a sense of purpose and goals, plus a coach who would kick his *** ooops I mean motivate him a bit. Luckily he soon expressed an interest in trying football and that has worked out very well. So in our case, while their quitting gym was really sad and even worrying for me, both my boys have done great after quitting. As mugglemom says, in our case anyway, it was VITAL that our boys each got right into another sport. I do not think this is necessarily universal, some kids may be fine taking a true break and experiencing the somewhat less intense, more laid back life lived by most teens, but I have unfortunately seen again and again some serious issues that arise when teens suddenly have too much time on their hands.
 

JessSyd

Proud Parent
Oct 10, 2013
303
Sydney Australia
Retiring from the sport (it isn’t quitting, to acknowledge that your journey has come to an end) isn’t an irreversible decision either. I know a few girls who retired, missed it, and made a comeback. And we learned here from multiple long shutdowns that as long as you stay active, it is surprisingly quick to return to your former level.

If she stops and misses it, she can return knowing that she is doing it by choice, not by habit. If she stops and doesn’t miss it, the time was right.
 
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JessSyd

Proud Parent
Oct 10, 2013
303
Sydney Australia
I agree with stopping with a goal though. It needn’t be another high commitment sport though - it could be a totally new direction. Art classes! Scouts! A way to experience another side of life.
 

CuriousCate

Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2016
659
It is definitely difficult to let this happen...my ODD quit a year ago. I was really sad about but it was not my decision to make. She was 11 at the time and a level 8 and it was hard for me as a parent to let go of the "lost potential." I always refer back to what another gym mom told me based on when her daughter stopped gym...paraphrasing, but essentially "It was really hard for me to let [DD] make this decision, but they are at an age where they know what is in their hearts and they know what makes them happy."

I gave her a week to recover from the loss that I know she also experienced despite it being her choice, and then I made her give me a written list of 5 other sports she was willing to try.
 

LCsMom

Proud Parent
Oct 27, 2020
22
48
I regularly make sure my kid knows that she doesn't have to do gymnastics if she's not enjoying it. So far she still lives, eats and breathes gymnastics but she'll go into high school in two years and there are so many other activities in the world.....I'm just enjoying the ride while it lasts.
 
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Tmacs

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
207
I regularly make sure my kid knows that she doesn't have to do gymnastics if she's not enjoying it. So far she still lives, eats and breathes gymnastics but she'll go into high school in two years and there are so many other activities in the world.....I'm just enjoying the ride while it lasts.
I do this too- for her and me. Part of me wants her to move on soon- I want to see how she'd do in other sports... basketball, track etc. But I do love her passion for gym-- I just know it won't last forever!
 
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Tammie

Member
Jul 22, 2022
90
44
Hmm, you have a very unique issue going on.

Personally? I think I would force it, but just for a bit. Or maybe just talk to her and find out what is really going on.

Maybe another gym change is necessary? Loss of a coach she was close to is a big deal!! Losing "her spot" on the optional team is also a big loss-and a huge deal at her age!! I have a feeling she is just feeling lost and unsure of herself and all sorts of emotions-some she may not even fully understand!!

We recently has a kinda similar situation, my daughter did make optionals and suddenly wanted to quit. It was super random and out of the blue. Telling me all sorts of crazy things, she was going to change gyms, do xcel, then still have privates at this gym-lol. Well, it turns out she was suddenly supposed to do pit tumbling as an optional and the autism took over-change is bad, real bad, the enemy!!(it took me several days to even find out the real reason-at first it was just "i lost interest" and "i just dont want to do it anymore"-which i knew to be false because of all the other crazy talk...and she was also still loving everything else-it was kinda crazy). Soooo, once I figured it out, I talked with her coaches, I talked with her, she had a pit tumbling private where she could take her time and figure it out her way. Now we're good to go again, it was very strange...but so is your situation.

Honestly, I am feeling like your situation has more in common with my situation than it does with most quitting scenarios.

My advice is to talk with her, reassure her, maybe have a coach or 2 reassure her, have a few privates to work on those missing skills, even up to changing gyms(where did the other coach go? Could you follow her??), but this truly does not sound like a "it's time" or "lost interest" scenario, more like a lost confidence and at the same time lost a favorite coach scenario!!!

My heart goes out to your daughter, I truly bet she is feeling lost right now!! I hope that with your help she can find her way and her renewed passion for gymnastics!!
 

Bdndogs

New Member
Aug 27, 2022
5
39
I need help, my daughter wants to quit gymnastics. I told her she had to finish the summer and attend her team summer camp for a week, then we could talk.
At the end of last season her coach quit to take a new job, my daughter was heartbroken. We have been through that before, even switching gyms at one time to find a more experienced coach. This time it hit her HARD. Lots of tears and a complete change in attitude followed. In the weeks following I was basically forcing her to attend practice and telling her it will pass. I know she was in grief over the loss. Also during this time she had evaluations and she didn’t make Optionals, and was upset. But the coach reached out and invited her for a trial week of workouts. We are a skill or 2 shy and I know she can get them IF she gets motivated again.
She won’t go to the Optionals practice for the week. and I’m mad, sad and confused. I don’t want to force her to continue, but I feel like she may regret this decision. When I asked her why she wants to quit- she says she has lost interest. Do I make her do the trial week of Optionals and hope she changes her mind?! Or do I let her quit and face the feelings that will come.
I would make her do the trial week of optionals and deal with the feelings that come. She may find a friend there or something that may empower her. If you are able to or know the coaches at it I would either call them or go speak with them without your gymnast and tell them what her deal is and what her issues are and see if they have any ideas or if the coaches can work with her or help during the week she is there and then day of tell her to get her Leo on as she is going and see how it works out!! Think just loosing the coach is what upset her and she doesn’t deal with it well and she is just saying she lost interest but really not true. Keep her going and let us know how it goes.
 

Gaby

New Member
Jun 18, 2022
30
48
It seems there not the right reason for her to quit. But it is the time for her to figure it out if the gymnastics is her passsion? To be honest, I even recommend my daughter to think about switching to other sports because 13, means to be high school soon . Gymnastics is very time demanding competitive sports . Unless she really really has passions for it, otherwise it not worth it. Not much gymnastics scholarships there. High school academic and club activities are so important . Education is more important than gymnastics for the long run. It goes with her for life time. Gymnastics ends either after college or after high school. A few goes for professional