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60thjeep

Proud Parent
May 28, 2021
3
45
I searched but most posts were about older kids.
My daughter is 7, started on the team at 6. We had no idea about gymnastics and especially team but she was invited to be on the team so we decided to try it. She seems happy at the gym, is friends with all the girls, does handstands and cartwheels at home constantly but when she has time off school, like summer or Thanksgiving break, she says she wants to quit. She gets to hang out with her neighborhood friends more and it's more fun than the gym.
She's level 3 and practices 12 hrs per week at a competitive gym. I think 2 of her teammates have moved up to level 4 but they all still practice together. My wife talked to her coach about her wanting to quit and she said a lot of kids her age go through that. She begged us to keep her on team because she has skills to be really good. I'm conflicted about making her do something she's good at (I wish my parents would have pushed me more when I was younger) and not forcing her to do something she isn't 100% into.

How many of you had your kids wanting to quit that young? Was it just a phase?
What age would you let them make the decision?
Looking for some advice.
 

rjb123

Proud Parent
Aug 17, 2013
892
At that age my daughter could not get enough. She’s seven. I say if she wants to quit let her. There is a huge world out there with many options of things to do. and they don’t require a seven year old to work out 12 hours a week. This sport is just not with making a kid unhappy for that amount of time each week. And I say this as a mom of a level ten.
 

GymDadWA

Proud Parent
Dec 30, 2017
290
43
I think the reason they want to quit gym is important, if they want to quit because they love swimming, soccer, dance, piano, painting, where they have a passion for something else great let them pursue it, or if gym is causing them physical/emotional harm then of course it's time to bow out, but if they want to quit so they can play more with friends and not do anything I think that is a bad idea.
 

gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,569
Try to figure the "why". Too easy/hard? not enough down time with friends/family? having problems with a teammate or coach? too high expectations?

In general though, Have her take a break and try other sports. Seriously, if she is asking at 7, she's not all that invested in it, regardless of how talented she is. This sport is WAY too time/money intensive to be pushing your kid to stay in it. And it only gets worse as they go up the levels.
 

JessSyd

Proud Parent
Oct 10, 2013
297
Sydney Australia
Yep, let her quit and try something else. Or tell her to take the holidays off to see if she misses it before signing up for next term. The good thing is, at her age and level the decision is not irreversible.

If she quits and then misses it, that is a good time for a conversation about how she can’t have things both ways, ongoing commitment and having to stick through things even when there are other temptations.

My kid (now, 13, started at 5) has never expressed the desire to quit, but if she did I would have her on a break as soon as whatever we had already prepaid is was done. I have just seen so many examples where everyone but the parent seemed to realise a kid had checked out. Mostly in those lower age groups (7-9 years), because older kids seem to be better at making their parents believe they mean it. The coach knows, the kid knows, their team mates and other parents know, but their parent thinks that if they just encourage them over this hump, they will go the distance.

Usually it just results in an extra year of expenses for the parent and work for the kid, not to mention the opportunity cost of missing out on what they could have done with that time.

A lower hours program is a good alternative too - that way she actually can have it both ways. If you ask her if she wants that, you’ll know that she still has the interest, just not the drive (right now) required to dedicate 12 hours to it. Which may come with time. My kid has a 13 year old in her squad that relatively recently switched from a low hours program. She came into squad fired up and passionate and has made huge progress as a result. Because she knew in her mind that she was ready to commit the hours.
 

cp13

Proud Parent
Mar 19, 2019
59
49
My daughter started competing at age 9. She had a 6 year old teammate who quit in the middle of the L3 season. She took a couple years away and came back and has been competing for several years now and is a L5/L6 and is in middle school now. If a 7 year old leaves the sport, it shouldn't be too hard to re-enter over the next couple of years. Of course, her current teammates are going to continue to progress and she won't if she quits. She may come back more motivated with time off. The sport is too expensive, time consuming and too much work for the kids if they don't love it.
 
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Gymx2

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2015
824
Let her stop. If she really misses it, she can always go back. Gymnastics is way too intense a sport to push on a seven-year-old who isn't excited about doing those hours. Let her explore and figure out what she is excited about. Plenty of kids have tried team gymnastics decided it wasn't for them by age 6 or 7 or 8. Those parents just don't post here so you won't find many of those stories.
 
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Pineapple_Lump

Coach
Judge
Jan 31, 2008
1,162
It sounds a bit like a gymnast I coached awhile back. The family would do a lot of fun things during school holidays. Having to get out of the pool and get ready for gym in the afternoon made her resent gym and want to quit. I told her mum to just to cut down on attendance during holidays. She was much happier and as she got older she began to understood her love for the sport and she always attended. It also helped when holiday training was changed to mornings, so afternoons were free for fun and relaxing.

At your daughters age being a little flexible to keep her in the sport should be a priority for the coaches. Hopefully they can turn a blind eye to a bit of poor attendance during the holidays.
 

Tmacs

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
202
I would let her quit too after the season... I think finishing a commitment is an important lesson. My daughter was so wishy washy about gym on pre-team and wasn't ready to do team and have that commitment until age 8. Even though she is doing well and still enjoying it, I sometimes wish she was doing multiple sports throughout the year and not investing so much time in one... it sometimes feels she's missing out on just being a kid.
We do take lots of time off though... missed a whole summer of training, took 2 weeks off mid-season last year, take lots of mini vacations from gym. That has been absolutely key to not burning out! And so far, it hasn't hurt her progress at all. So reducing hours or having her take more days off could help too.
 

Flippin'A

Proud Parent
Dec 4, 2017
306
34
umm playing with friends is not, “not doing anything“

Lots of value in “play”
This exactly. Kids are built to play because that's how they learn. It's vitally important. 12 hours a week of structured exercise can be draining, both mentally and physically if she isn't excited about it, and that kind of structure isn't what every kid wants or needs. I say let her quit and see if there's another, lower hours activity she might be into but will still allow her to play with the neighborhood kids more regularly.

She only gets to be seven once, and if she doesn't want to spend all her time doing gymnastics there's no need to make her. I'm sure she has plenty of other talents to explore.
 

kecks

Member
Mar 20, 2009
244
I think the reason they want to quit gym is important, if they want to quit because they love swimming, soccer, dance, piano, painting, where they have a passion for something else great let them pursue it, or if gym is causing them physical/emotional harm then of course it's time to bow out, but if they want to quit so they can play more with friends and not do anything I think that is a bad idea.
Playing with friends is *exactly* what a healthy seven year old should be doing if not at school. These are kids. Playing is their kind of work. They are not small adults.
 

GymDadWA

Proud Parent
Dec 30, 2017
290
43
Playing with friends is *exactly* what a healthy seven year old should be doing if not at school. These are kids. Playing is their kind of work. They are not small adults.
Let me clarify, not saying they need to pick a career path or only do a single activity, I just think it's healthy when children haven an organized activity (or activities) of some sort that they enjoy doing and can embrace. They of course should also have free time to be a kid.
 

Canadian Gym Mom

Proud Parent
Jun 22, 2018
26
36
My daughter tried 12 hours at that age and it was just too much for her. She ended up changing groups and doing 9 hours after Christmas. It was much better and she had progressed as much as the other girls that stayed in the more "advanced" group. Only two girls out of that group are still practicing gym. Some quit and came back, but were not able to catch up with the ones that stayed. My daughter is now 10 (soon to be 11) and in a sport-study group doing 20 hours a week. She loves it! The big hours creep up fast, so if she's interested in staying in the sport while not sacrificing all her time, doing less hours could be advantageous on all levels!
 

IzzyFeet

Proud Parent
Gymnast
Dec 31, 2019
16
44
I searched but most posts were about older kids.
My daughter is 7, started on the team at 6. We had no idea about gymnastics and especially team but she was invited to be on the team so we decided to try it. She seems happy at the gym, is friends with all the girls, does handstands and cartwheels at home constantly but when she has time off school, like summer or Thanksgiving break, she says she wants to quit. She gets to hang out with her neighborhood friends more and it's more fun than the gym.
She's level 3 and practices 12 hrs per week at a competitive gym. I think 2 of her teammates have moved up to level 4 but they all still practice together. My wife talked to her coach about her wanting to quit and she said a lot of kids her age go through that. She begged us to keep her on team because she has skills to be really good. I'm conflicted about making her do something she's good at (I wish my parents would have pushed me more when I was younger) and not forcing her to do something she isn't 100% into.

How many of you had your kids wanting to quit that young? Was it just a phase?
What age would you let them make the decision?
Looking for some advice.
We have gone through this a few times. First, about where you are. If I paid for the season, we're going to try to make it. However, if she hates it, then figure out why, and if it's reasonable, then let her.

Second, it was a hip injury. She almost didn't come back. Shy cause of a scar and had to catch up allot. But she went back and did the work. She stayed.

Third time, more recently, it was a coach thing. She wanted to move gyms, but I've paid the monies, have the expensive uniforms, etc. I nearly let her quit, and did inquire of another gym, but she ended up resolving it with the coach, with my help, and falling on my sword to do so, but some confidence coaching as well as how to talk to adults, more suck up and fall on your own sword, fixed it.

This is complicated and it's multi factorial. I do believe that the relationships made and the commitment skills learned and the perseverance skills are useful throughout a lifetime.

However, It's you and her. You can't make her do this. If you MAKE her, she's going to get injured cause her heart isn't in it. We don't want that. Try to bridge it and see if the team mates can get her back into it, and if not, allow her to step back. Sometimes a break will do it, but if her heart isn't in it, you can't make it happen. You have to let her let it go. That's my opinion anyway.
 

Eleven sol

Proud Parent
Aug 23, 2015
107
You should let her quit. My younger one asked to quit and found another sport she both excelled at AND loved. The gym is good at choosing kids who show early potential to be strong and athletic, meaning they could do any number of sports well. Mine moved on and is now an elite athlete in another sport. She didn’t have the patience or love of gymnastics that my older daughter did. Passion for the sport is necessary to stick with it long term.
 
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