Anon Bullying Teamates

Parents... Coaches... Gymnasts...
Gymnastics Questions?
Don't Lurk... We've Got Answers!

New For 2022
MEMBERS ONLY Parent Group!
Join for FREE!
Status
Not open for further replies.

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
558
My DD is 13 years old, 5'6 and 76lbs. She says that her teammates are always making fun of her height and weight, saying that she's "too tall for gymnastics" or that "she's probably insecure about her height so she never eats". While I know those are concerning numbers, tall and "miniature" genuinely just runs in our family. My DD wants to quit. I know she loves gymnastics, it's her only passion, but I can also tell that her teammates ruin it. She often leaves classes wiping tears and it breaks my heart. Should I allow her to quit, move her to another gym, talk to the coach...? I don't know what to do.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: PinPin

gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,655
Sorry she is dealing with this. Moving her is likely not going to change things. Girls in the new gym likely are going to be similar. Girls at this age can be just plain mean if allowed to be. Sometimes it's because they are unaware of how it makes others feel - they just have no filter - but most times they know what they are doing and they are purposely putting down others. I would have a discussion with the coach about it. Perhaps they can have several general discussions with the team about respecting each other and acceptable / nonacceptable areas of discussion. It is very likely that your dd is not the only girl being targeted.
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
558
I'm sorry you are dealing with this. I think worrying about people being unkind to your child is one of the worst situations to deal with. At our gym, there is a no tolerance policy for this kind of thing. Behavior like this is outlined in our handbook as being unacceptable and we're encouraged to report it, but we don't see it a lot. When we do see it on occasion it's always been handled immediately and discreetly, from what I know. I would definitely talk to your coaches and determine whether this is something they look the other way on or if they will handle. I think looking at a different gym might be a good idea, if you have options. Sometimes a change can change everything. <3 Hugs to you and your daughter.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PinPin and txgymfan

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
558
I really hope this is made up, because 5'6 and 76 pounds is way beyond naturally thin. If those are real numbers you need to worry way more about getting your daughter to a doctor than gymnastics.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rlm's mom

rd7

Coach
Proud Parent
Aug 18, 2011
191
This is unacceptable behaviour, you need to speak to the head coach. Email and ask for a meeting outlining the reasons why if they are generally busy or unapproachable.
If the coaches are unwilling or unable to stop these girls from treating your daughter like this then I would look towards another gym, I don't agree that girls in another gym are likely to be similar.
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
558
Moving her is likely not going to change things. Girls in the new gym likely are going to be similar. Girls at this age can be just plain mean if allowed to be.
I disagree with this. Plenty of gyms have absolutely zero tolerance for body shaming and act to make it culturally unacceptable before it even starts.

Having said that, as the mother of a tall skinny kid whose weight is sometimes on the edge (if she gets sick she starts to look skeletal), I agree with the previous poster that those really are concerning figures. Especially given gymnasts tend to carry more muscle than most kids - she must have extremely low body fat. Even if she has tall thin genes, I’d keep a close eye on it (although I wouldn’t show my concern to her), and maybe even see a doctor for a general wellness check. And I would definitely want her out of an environment that allows body shaming of any type.

Gym is supposed to be fun. If she isn’t having fun, it’s a good sign that something needs to change. If she has friends and strong connections there, start with a chat to the coach. If she doesn’t, maybe a fresh start in a new environment would be a good path forwards.
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
558
I cannot give advise on what to do with gyms, i think others here can give better advise on how to handle the situation. What i can say from experience, is make sure that she feels like this is taken seriously by the adults. A coach that allows bullying without taking any action would make me think "apparently it doesnt matter to people if i suffer, I'm not that important." I think it is important that she sees you are on her side with this and willing to stand up for her.

Im sorry, but i feel i have to point this out. I think your daughter needs to see a doctor. Even if being this skinny runs in the family and she is eating well, this low weight could be dangerous. I am no doctor but i am educated in science and know a bit about nutrition. I have known girls with severe anorexia who had higher weight than your daughter, who needed to be hospitalised. It may just be her weight and nothing to do about it, but if your scale isn't broken or something, i would absolutely have a doctor keep a close eye. (For exanple such a low weight could indicate a medical issue with nutrition absorption, and at that body weight organ damage may occur or be occuring)
I hate it myself when people focus on the thing that wasnt my question, but I would feel wrong not pointing this out.

Good luck with everything.
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
558
Sorry she is dealing with this. Moving her is likely not going to change things. Girls in the new gym likely are going to be similar. Girls at this age can be just plain mean if allowed to be. Sometimes it's because they are unaware of how it makes others feel - they just have no filter - but most times they know what they are doing and they are purposely putting down others. I would have a discussion with the coach about it. Perhaps they can have several general discussions with the team about respecting each other and acceptable / nonacceptable areas of discussion. It is very likely that your dd is not the only girl being targeted.

My DD is 13 years old, 5'6 and 76lbs. She says that her teammates are always making fun of her height and weight, saying that she's "too tall for gymnastics" or that "she's probably insecure about her height so she never eats". While I know those are concerning numbers, tall and "miniature" genuinely just runs in our family. My DD wants to quiti . I know she loves gymnastics, it's her only passion, but I can also tell that her teammates ruin it. She often leaves classes wiping tears and it breaks my heart. Should I allow her to quit, move her to another gym, talk to the coach...? I don't know what to do.
I wrote a whole reply earlier, but it somehow got lost.
About the bullying: i think i will leave the concrete advise to the others, i just want to say make sure its very clear you are on her side, that you would stand up for her. In this situation, if the adults allow this to occur (e.g. coach not taking any measures) i would think "oh, apparently it doesnt matter to people if i suffer or if others mistreat me". If the coach does not take any measures that make your daugher feel supported that is a serious problem.


I know this wasnt what you were asking, and in my previous reply id expressed it more carefully but.. please please take your daughtet to a doctor. 76 lbs at her height can be deadly, cause organ damage, can indicate serious health issues if she is eating enough. You can inherit being skinny, but you can also inherit health problems that cause being skinny. This weight is extremely concerning, if your scale isn't broken, please see a doctor. I know you werent asking for this, but i know what kind of irreparable damage such low weight could do, and i would feel wrong not saying this.
If it is fine, a doctor will say so. But this is not good and not normal, and needs to be at the very least checked up on.
 

MyDD

Proud Parent
Fan
Aug 2, 2015
7
My DD is 13 years old, 5'6 and 76lbs. She says that her teammates are always making fun of her height and weight, saying that she's "too tall for gymnastics" or that "she's probably insecure about her height so she never eats". While I know those are concerning numbers, tall and "miniature" genuinely just runs in our family. My DD wants to quit. I know she loves gymnastics, it's her only passion, but I can also tell that her teammates ruin it. She often leaves classes wiping tears and it breaks my heart. Should I allow her to quit, move her to another gym, talk to the coach...? I don't know what to do.
I'm so sorry your daughter is going through this. Please reassure her that she can do anything she puts her mind to. My daughter was 5'9 and went to L10, was on multiple teams and had a very successful gymnastics career. Her coaches choreographed her routines to suit her body which reinforced a positive self image. Now that my DD is in college, she's doing other sports...gymnastics set her up for her successes today. I wish you and your daughter all the best!
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
558
I really hope this is made up, because 5'6 and 76 pounds is way beyond naturally thin. If those are real numbers you need to worry way more about getting your daughter to a doctor than gymnastics.
Thanks. She goes to the doctor 3 times a year instead of one, just to make sure there are no other complications other than the ones she has now. I appreciate your concern.
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
558
I hate to be the one to say it but if your numbers are correct regarding height and weight there is something seriously wrong. As people above have said this could be due to a variety of factors (eating disorder, thyroid, nutritional absorption, parasite etc). Seeing a doctor every four months is not enough to get to the bottom of this one. I know BMI isn't everything but it is 12 - that is low enough to be hospitalized for weight gain. If your daughter wants to quit I would allow it. She isn't having fun and if she isn't able to gain weight by eating reducing her physical activity is the next logical step.

On to the bullying... I know this maybe isn't what you asked for or wanted to hear but comments such as "she's probably insecure about her height so she never eats" concern me greatly. Peers are often the first ones to know when something is wrong with another peer. Also, at 13yrs it is developmentally appropriate to not know the appropriate thing to do about it. So they talk to each other about the problem and sometimes it comes out in the wrong way. Could it be they are subconsciously trying to draw adult attention to a problem they feel overwhelmed about and don't know what to do about. Certainly, bullying has caught your attention. I'm not sure what level your daughter is but if she is at a higher level have her teammates noticed she is not eating during snack, dinner break, team parties etc? I don't know these girls but if your daughter has historically gotten along with them I feel this is less likely they are saying things to be mean and more likely feel something is wrong and don't have the ability to handle it in an adult way.

I don't want you to read this judgementally but there is a big difference between being microsized and severely underweight. Regardless, it sounds like she is not getting enough calories. I used to work with a super burner he'd eat about 5 double sized meals a day and had to have an emergency shake in the fridge for the middle of the night because he would be literally passing out if he hadn't eaten enough and he was not a high hours athlete. I have worked with youth who have eating disorders and their parents are often the last to know. Eating disorders thrive in secrecy which would likely be extremely easy to pull off for an athlete with high hours (ie. breakfast I'll grab this smoothie or protein bar and eat on my way to school who knows if it was eaten, lunch is eaten at school so parents have no idea if its eaten, packed snacks for during practice some will eat dinner in the car...I'll just finish this when I get inside the gym). I would take a long think about how much you are actually observing your daughter eating. Youth can also secretly purge, hide food or set alarms to work out in the night and parents have no clue. They aren't bad parents just kids can be extremely sneaky!

Sorry that was long and not exactly advice you were maybe wanting but I couldn't help myself...
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
558
Having said that, as the mother of a tall skinny kid whose weight is sometimes on the edge (if she gets sick she starts to look skeletal)...

That hits home for me. My daughter is below average height on her team but way below average weight. Girls who are approximately the same height are easily 25% heavier.

After a bought of Covid my daughter lost about 5% of her body weight (all muscle since she has essentially zero body fat) and looked like a skeleton next to her teammates.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ProudMomOfAlani

rlm's mom

Proud Parent
Aug 21, 2021
308
39
Go to another doctor. She is seriously underweight. My oldest is 16, 5 5" and approx 90lb. She has a naturally slim body type but I would not let it pass without a regular doctors visit to check shes getting her nutrients.
Health is most important.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

New Posts