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Well, she was finally getting to move to the team program, after a lot of hard work over almost two years in rec and developemental classes. She was getting better at old skills, and getting some new ones too. Then....we get home from school last week, she has her snack, does her homework, watches her Spongebob (religously:D). I say, OK, time to get your leo on, and head to practice. I am met with UGHHH, already, a growly, ugly tone. Next day of practice, same thing, a little worse. Got home that night, I start asking questions. She says its just not fun anymore, she doesn't like gym anymore, its boring, etc. I said give it a month or so, thinking, if she keeps getting to do new stuff each week, she might get into again. Nope, this week she was in tears on the way to gym, says she hates it, dragged through the whole practice, half tried on things. I must admit, I was angry, I asked her to give it a month. Not that long IMO. I explained that she had committed to her team for the coming season, and she owed it to herself and to them to at least put in some effort while she is there. She was very adament, she was done, soccer was it for her. Am I asking too much of a seven almost eight year old? I have always given her a choice to continue or not. Even when she was really struggling with simple skills, she wanted to keep going. She had such a drive for this sport. All the sudden, when she is succeeding and progressing, she hates it. Well, if you are still reading at this point, thank you.

She begged us to let her quit, she was absolutely over it. We told the gym last night, that she was going to take a few months off, maybe more, maybe not come back at all, they were very nice about it all. When we got home, she wanted to go outside and have me help her with handstands and walkovers. She was more excited about gymnastics outside in the yard last night than I have seen her in months. Maybe it was too much pressure for her. Get this, she had the most beautiful walkover I have seen from her, and her handstands were dead on. She was so proud of her self. Maybe she kinda forgot to have fun and enjoy the fact that she can do this stuff, and she should be proud of that. I sure can't!!!

At our "girls talk" before bed, she asked me if I was going to get rid of all her leos. I said maybe some, but not her favorites. She grinned from ear to ear, and said good, cause you said I could go back in a few months, right? I just had to laugh. She is something else!


When my kids start the "I don't want to school' thing, it's almost always because they feel that someone at school is being mean to them. It takes a little sit down talk to find out what's really going on, but it could have something to do with another kid or kids making fun of her and being mean.

Also, does she have the same coach this year? I find that with coaches, some have different styles and my dd relates and responds better to some than others. Sometimes coaches are better suited for boys than for girls. The drill sergeant types would certainly fall into this category.

Bottom line is, I wouldn't let her quit. Quiting is a bad habit to get into and it sounds like she really wants to stay with gymnastics. You can work through these things without quiting. I would try and discover the true problem and be on her side no matter what. The beginning of the year is always the toughest as the kids are developing relationships with their peers. Maybe there are a few new kids and the dynamic has changed and her feelings are getting hurt.

Don't quit!!


Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
North Carolina
We had a similar issue w/ DD. She out of nowhere got off the school bus one day and said she wanted to quit gymnastics and do soccer.

We told her that we would talk about it and that if after she finished through the recital she wanted to stop she could, but that she had made a commitment and they were counting on her for the recital.

She told some Mom's at the gym that night she was quitting to play soccer and every one of them looked at me and said "she's joking? right? you can't ever get her out."

She still talked about quitting for a while. I sat her down one day and told her if you do not enjoy it anymore and want to stop that is fine. But if you still love it we need to work out why you want to stop ( keep in mind that the day she broke the word that she wanted to quit - she had to be carried out of practice by her coach because I could not get her to come out of the gym to come home - not acting like someone who wants to quit). I also explained that her teammates would continue to gain skills and if she chose to go back she would be behind from her teammates.

While long story short ( or not so short) she just really wanted to try soccer. We found a very laid back rec league and signed her up. She practices on Tue her day off of gym and she and her coaches understand that if there is a conflict with a game and a meet that the meet wins.

She is a very happy gymmie / soccer girl now.

If she has committed to the team I would tell her that she has to finish out the season. If they don't compete until spring or if she is not competing this fall, I would either let her take time off ( knowing others will continue to get skills or fine tune them and she will not) or see if you can determine - does she really not like it anymore or is there more to it - She may just not want to compete. There is nothing wrong w/ staying in rec classes.
We went through the very same thing with our 5 year old last month. She was on preteam at a new gym sinced we moved states. However she has been in gymnastics since she was 18 months. She started with the grumbling when we had to get ready for practice and it progresed to half way doing her skills. Then it turned into the crying. She also said she was having no fun anymore and did not want to do it. When we tried to convience her to stick it out for a while she was a mess. We tried taking her a couple more times but it was awful, she did not want to do anything all the way at all! My husband and I finally talked it over and decided that we did not want to be those parents who drag there child to the gym kicking and screaming. We spoke to the owner and the coach and she said the same thing we did. Plus if she is unhappy and does not want to do all the skills then it ends up becoming a distraction to the team and coach. She has also been talking about going back to the gym in a couple of months. It seems like you did the right thing, if she really wants to be in the gym she will go back. Everyone has told me that most kids go through this stage sometime. Plus you don't want to pay to go to the gym if her heart is really not into it. I would give her the chance to try out some new stuff, and some time.


It would help if she could tell you why she wanted to quit. I do not believe in keeping kids in gymnastics just to teach them the not quitting lesson. There is way too much involved for them to continue if they no longer love it. My dd2 was a natural - she would learn things so quickly it was mind blowing. Problem was - she just didn't love it. When she was little and had just learned a bhs she went to a gymnastics camp with dd1. She literally had just learned robhs a week earlier. During the camp she did 5 bhs in a row and the only comment she got was point your toes and keep your legs straighter (they had her with L4/L5's not knowing she had
never competed). Anyway, after that she just realized that she wanted to have fun with gymnastics and not have to try and be perfect (which worked just fine when she decided to do cheerleading) Now she does soccer and theater. DD1 was never as natural, has to work harder on certain things - she has great body awareness but her flexibility - well she's working on it. The difference with her is that she truly loves it. She wants the constant corrections so she can improve. She is the girl in the gym asking for suggestions and giving 110% - that is how, against the odds, she is progressing nicely through the levels. Not everyone enjoys or wants the intensity that comes with competitive gymnastics. Oh - and dd2 still does flips and bhs, walkovers, handstands and everything else all over the place - but if I ask her if she wants to go back to gymnastics she says no - she likes just doing it for fun. Anyway - I would let her take the break, she is still young, let her try some other things and see how she feels about the situation in a few months. Some girls come back, others never look back. Good luck :)


Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
I think that you did the right thing. She is almost 8 years old and can certainly make decisions on what she wants to do. You didn't let her quit after her saying it after 1 practice and you discussed why quitting wouldn't be the best decision. She still chose to quit.

I say let her do soccer for awhile and see if she decides she wants to do it again.

I imagine you presented both sides of the decision. That you explained to her that she might fall behind her peers if she takes a break, but if she really decides she wants to do it again, she can catch up. Sometimes the break makes them really realize how much they love or didn't really love something.

Part of life is making choices (of course, children need some parent input sometimes) and learning to live with those choices.


Update, we are in AYSO soccer here, she does like it, and has made several good friends there. We did let her know she might fall behind her teamates, her reply was nope, I'll just practice at home. A 7 yr olds logic......


Our DD went through an "I want to quit" issue, too. But we knew she didn't really. She was still doing awesome and having fun at practice and still practicing all the time at home. So, we had some discussions. Turns out the problem was that Daddy was staying home with her brothers while I took her to practice. She was just sure that Daddy and the boys were having great fun and she was missing out. We explained that this wasn't the case. And we instituted Daddy Daughter Dinner Date for every other Friday. DH goes to the gym to watch practice and then the two of them go out to dinner afterward. Since we started this, there hasn't been one word about quitting and she's doing better than ever. In our case, it was not a matter of really wanting to quit but a matter of getting to the real heart of the problem.
Feb 4, 2008
Region IV
Just a few thoughts:

Gymnastics costs way too much money to have to drag a complaining kid to practice every day.

At one point or another, everybody faces retirement as a gymnast. Most girls are going there before age 12. There is nothing wrong with this. Many of the great things girls get out the gym can be gained in other activities. There may be areas, for instance teamwork, where other activities will teach her more than gymnastics could. The more well-rounded our children are, the healthier they are.

Rec classes are fun for girls who've been on team but still want to mess around in the gym. You do not have to leave the gym forever just because you will not be competing.

If she wants to go back someday, she will. My oldest took a break from ages 7-9. After her return, she stayed through her freshman year in high school, a veritable senior citizen if you look at USAG stats.

Did you do the right thing by letting her quit? Absolutely. Being or not being a gymnast is HER thing.

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
If she's enjoying soccer, then let it be soccer for now. I agree with others about dragging an unwilling kid to any activity. Its a waste of your time/money and the the gym's time. Trying to run practice when 1 or more kids don't want to put forth much effort can turn into a bad situation.

Give her a little time and then see if you can get her to really talk about why gymnastice suddenly became boring. It may be more hours than she was used to, different coaching style, new kids to make friends with----all kinds of reasons. Competitive gymnastics isn't for every child and some need to grow and spread their wings some before they really commit.

She may want to keep the soccer gig going, but do some rec classes or tramp/tumbling if available. Many states also have rec leagues that aren't as intense as USAG and thats always something to check into.

Let us know how she's doing.


Proud Parent
Mar 9, 2008
I think you did the right thing. You've left her options open to return to the gym if she decides she wants to. By trying soccer or what ever else she wants, she'll know if returning to competive gymnastics is what she wants. Gymnastics will still be an option for her should she want to return. This is her childhood...her time to have fun & explore her options. My DD took a break, tried soccer, sofball, tennis & excelled in all of them. But it was HER decision to return to gymnastics. So she's a 13yr old level 7....she's fine with that & that all that matters to me. I think you 100% did the right thing:)
Jan 9, 2008
My daughter went through the same thing. Last year after competing her first year she was the same age as your daughter I actually let her quit and she lasted a week. The past 2 years before that when she was on pre team age 5, 6 she had a couple of weeks when she would cry going to gym but I told her she needed to at least finish out the classes that I already paid for then she got over it. If she was coming from the recreation classes to the team it is very different, they do alot more conditioning and perfecting rountines it becomes harder, maybe she just needs time to adjust. To be honest I am not sure if you should of let her quit why is she still working on her skills and asking about her leotards. Maybe she should continue in a rec program or try to get her to compete in one meet to see if she likes it. I am only sugesting this because it sounds similar to what my daughter went through, when my daughter went back I told her you have to comit or quit she can not keep going back and forth. Well since my daughter went back I have not heard a complaint since she is super motivated and loves it. I think she is getting used to working out hard and understands gymnastics is hard work. Some of her former team mates have quit and have not returned, I quess every child is different. She may just surprise you in a week or 2 and want to go back. Good luck.
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