Coaches Child - obese, whiny -How do I handle this?

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Proud Parent
Oct 2, 2013
Hi coaches, I am desperate. In my 4-5 year old class (45 min), I have a child who is very overweight,very clumsy, constantly injures herself, and hangs on to my leg pretty much the whole class. All she says is " I can't." All the other children have progressed amazingly, have fun, laugh and want to learn more.

This child is in tears pretty much the whole class. I tried the soft and gentle approach where a and we hug a lot, hold hands etc. That works but the other kids get NONE of me. I also tried to hard approach where I said I don't want to hear "I can't", just do your best. With this approach, she is on the verge of tears the entire class, or cries, whines, sits....doesnt want to do anything.

Honestly, I just want to tell the parents to take this poor child out. She does not belong in gymnastics. Perhaps ballet as she definitely lacks gross motor skills. If she stays, she will be turned off sports completely. And not only that, I can see her self esteem tumbling lower with each class.

But what do I say to the somewhat clueless parents who want to register again for the next session?
Have a sit down with the parents. Explain that you want to know how best to help little Suzie because it seems she has a lot of fears and anxiety. Ask them if she talks about gymnastics at home, and if she expresses any interest in coming to class. That way you can get answers and they can sort out if it is a good fit at this stage in their daughters life. And hopefully they will have some good suggestions for you to try. The thing with rec programs is if we had no overweight, anxious, tearful, naughty kids we would not stay in business. As much as you think it should be different I am finding my job is only like 10% actually gymnastics coaching and the rest being a therapist, nurse, teacher, parent figure and so on.
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