Parents Doesn't work hard

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Proud Parent
Oct 26, 2007
DD2 who is 5 and will start kindergarden in the fall is in a hotshot class and she barely puts any effort into it. She skips stations or does 1 of something when she is supposed to do more. She also doesn't work hard on the skill she is doing and does the bare minimum. She does put forth good effort when she is working with the coach. I had a talk with her last week and explained that if she wasn't working hard she wasn't going to get better and move to team. I also made sure that she still wanted to do gymnastics. She does. It s not just a gym issue she does the lack of effort on her chores and everything else and gives up easily. Can being a hard worker be taught? How can I help her give better effort and hard work at the gym? I don't know if this is related or not but do do suspect ADHD for her.
If you seriously suspect ADHD then you might want to have her seen by her MD or a specialist. On the other hand a 5 yr old brain may not have delveoped to the point of being able to concentrate as much as you expect. Still, I think some kind of professional evalutation woudl be a good idea.
5 is kinda young for real 'focus' to begin......BUT if you suspect ADHD you must have her seen by an Educational Psych MD......ADHD shows though in MANY ways...not only concentration ....

My DS was 'borderline' for many years, the teachers were always saying he was ADHD from when he was 5, but we disagreed.....we felt 'energetic' was more like it....

When 3rd Grade came around, we were really worried.....3rd grade is where REAL brain power is necessary for success and he was falling behind ....

He was also not succeeding in gymnastics....he was only doing anout 70% of his capabitilies....Everyone agreed he could do better but nobody could seem to get him to REALLY listen and PAY ATTENTION and REGISTER!!....

After getting a diagnosis, and receiving treatment he was on A/B honor roll at school and State Champion L4.....

to say the least, his self esteem has REALLY improved AND he swears it is only the beginning!

PLEASE get her will make a big difference in how much sucess she has at everything ahead of her. If she does not have ADHD, then maybe she just needs a bit more time to mature.....or some different teaching practices...ask coach if he/she can try somthing a bit different with her.......Maybe she can be the 'example' sometimes....When kids are under pressure sometimes they really do well...

Good luck!
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I wouldn't worry so much if she was in a class with older kids but all the kids are 5 or 6 and she struggles more then the other kids. We are problaby going to ask for testing once the school year is under way. That way we can get some feed back from her teacher.
It could also just be the age. I don't think they understand the connection between working hard and getting better at this point. My DD is 4.5 and on preteam which is somewhere between level 3 and level 4 at her gym. She doesn't work hard either. I have to admit that it bothers me sometimes, but I have to always gently remind myself that she is only 4. The others in her class range from 6-9 years old. She's the baby and gets away with being sloppy and cheating on her conditioning. She even gets carried around between events by either her coach or the oldest girl in the class. I have to stop myself from telling them to put her down and let her walk like everyone else. She is having fun and improving. If she really wants to do gymnastics and compete when she gets older she will get to a point where she realizes that it takes hard work to get there. And if she never wants to work hard that isn't something I can really change. As a parent I can certainly encourage her, but I've seen the parents who are always on their child to work hard. They just quit because it isn't fun.

I'd just give her time. Let her have fun. That's why we put our kids in gym anyway right? Not to reach a certain level or even compete. It's exercise and it's fun.
It could be her age, some form of ADHD(there are many) or her personality/level of maturity. At 5yo as others have said they don't connect the amount of work or effort with success. For her doing only 1 or 2 stations per class may be all she wants to do at this time. She may not care or understand what "team" is really all about or relate what she does in class to being on a gymnastics team.

I would have a talk right at the beginning of school with her kindergarten teacher and share your concerns and get her feedback on a regualr basis. Then you have a baseline to share with the professionals that evaluate her.

Remember at age 5 she may see the gym as a great big playground and approach her class that way. Is this a new class for her as in longer hours? Have you spoken with her coach and asked if she takes direction well or just goes off on her own? Lots to things to consider with a 5yo.
I have ADHD, and two kids with ADHD, so I can relate. I will say that my oldest, at 5 just wanted to have fun. She listened to the coaches (like you said your daughter pays attention when the coaches are working with her) but she lacked any kind of focus until she was 7, on her second year of the team! The first year she didn't really fool around, but she didn't put any effort into it. She rarely medalled and that was okay with her. Her second year we told her that if she wanted to do something else, we could quit gymnastics, but if she was going to stay on the team, she had to really work hard. She did. She won a state championship too.

As for the diagnosing, etc. My kids can't be medicated because they aren't heavy enough. The meds take away your desire to eat. If your child has trouble putting on weight, medication will make it worse. I take meds for mine, and they do help me concentrate a lot better, but realistically, I can get by without them, and they are generally (although not always, depending on the prescription) expensive.

I would give it another year before you start expecting everything to "click". If it gets worse, or you see problems in school, definitely get it checked out, but know that medication is not necessarily the way to go. Also, routines are everything for those of us with focus issues. As often as possible, try to get everything done the same time each day. Instead of saying "go put your dishes away" ask "what do you need to do next?" I know transitions in our house are the hardest to deal with (my one son doesn't have ADHD, and he can multi-task really well...problem is he will start the other one playing and all pandemonium breaks loose!)

Sorry to write you a novel. Hope this is helpful!

My 6yo was a lot like your dd. Drove me crazy, but I had to take myself out of the equation and leave it up to the coaches.

Since she's moved up to team though, I've noticed a HUGE change in her at gym. She puts in 110% all the time, doesn't mess around hardly at all (except when her 8yo sis antagonizes her!), and has gone from "liking" gymnastics to wanting to live, breathe, eat gymnastics. I credit a lot of that to maturity, but also the new coach. She LOVES her coach and thinks the coach walks on water, kwim??

At 5, there are so many things that could be going on. I personally wouldn't worry about it too much unless she's not having fun or the coaches are talking to you about it.
At 5yo she sounds like your average 5yo. They don't have that focus developed yet but it will come. If you suspect ADHD then I would have her seen by a DR. If it is then a simple change in diet or meds can help with this. But I would first talk to the coach and see what she thinks as far as how she is doing. If the coach isn't concerned then I wouldn't be either. She has plenty of time to make team and get that focus.
My little DD is 5...also starting kindy this fall and she is in a group with other 4 and 5 yr olds. They are ALL out there to have FUN...and you can tell!:eek: Your dd sounds like most of the girls in my DD's group, as well as my DD. She does pretty good for the coaches but when they send them off to work on skills on their own it is just my opinion 4/5 is too young to expect lil' ones to be "working" on skills by themselves! They usually end up doing cartwheels across the floor! I think 5 is pretty young to diagnose ADHD but you should get a better idea if this is what it is once she starts school...although a lot of new kindergarteners can be pretty "energetic":)LOL. I work in special ed and although we can suspect a lot of kids with ADHD at 5 we don't see tooooo many diagnosed yet unless they are pretty severe or have other things going on with it. It never hurts to have a chat with your doctor if you are concerned though. I bet your DD and my DD would have a good old time hanging out in the gym!;)
Good luck. I think the focus at the gym will hopefully improve a bit in the next year. I see a big difference between the 5's and 6's at our gym!
I wouldn't worry, this is very, very normal for 5 year olds. The only reason why she might stand out from the rest of the class in this way is because they often select they most focussed kids for special classes like hot shots. If you take a look in the regular rec classes for 5 year olds you will see that most are like that. Perhaps they chose her for her talent rather than her focus, which is a great thing.

Things will change when she gets older. It may take several years, but at some point it will just click and she will understand. For some kids it happens earlier than others.

The other thing is that she hasn't even started school yet. We see a big difference in our kids after they have had a few good months of school. Prior to starting school they don't yet fully understand the concepts of being in a proper class, following instructions, listening to the teacher and so on. Once she settles into school this will be easier.

As for the ADHD, don't compare her to this group of girls. The kids chosen for these classes are usually far above the average maturity level for their age, with well above average focus. because most normal 5 year olds don't cope in these sorts of programs. Once she starts school you and the teacher can make a more reasonable judgement by comparing her to the other kids in her class. Be aware that many like to overdiagnose ADHD. If she truly has the disorder she will stand out significantly from the other girls in her class as being far more active, distractible and in far more trouble.
I've not read all the replys but this does seem like normal 5y/o behaviour.

I have a group of 4 and 5 yr olds at the moment and they are split 50/50. 1 of the 4 yr olds is really switched on and listens, tries hard etc. The other is still really spaced out and needs reminding of things EVERY session. It is the same with the 5 yr olds!

In another class I have a group of 7 and 8yr olds. The oldest one in that group is still in her own world half of the time! She loves gymnastics, she is a good gymnast but she just doesn't work hard. I've spoken to her mum about it and she has said that she is like it in all walks of life and she finds it really frustrating! I guess we'll just have to see how she gets on as the skills get more difficult!

I don't know what to say to help really - Just wanted you to know that our dd is not alone and she sounds just like an average 5 y/o! As long as she is enjoying herself I wouldn't worry!
Just wanted to let you know--that lack of focus at age 5 doesn't necessarily mean she's destined to goof off her entire life. My 11 yr old, Beth, was constantly (well, not constantly, but frequently!) told by me or DH to stop goofing around in class and pay attention (she was in a team track class too) or she wouldn't be doing gymnastics any more. She definitely wanted to continue, so eventually she started working harder. She's now a level 8 and doing very well :).

I'd also ask her coach about it. Mention that you notice your DD goofing off and skipping stations and ask for her advice on how to get her to focus more.
I recommend the book Mindset by Dweck. It helps parents figure out the environment that needs to be created for a child to enjoy hard work & thus reap its benefits.

I would question why her coaches are not more "on" her and see if they can work with her to get more out of the classes. I'd say though if they can discipline her to follow instructions and she is showing up ... at this age I'd just say, well, either showing up is good enough or she needs more. So I'd say to her, your goal is team but I see that you're only doing 3 pullups (or whatever) per class and to make team you need to be doing X pullups a week to get strong enough (and ... pick other skills or conditioning things she's slacking off on in her Hotshots). Then either have her come in for an extra workout or have her do them at home.

I don't think my daughter really started working at home on her own initiative much at all until after she turned 5.

My daughter was a girl who was very frustrated, for example, about bars and her lack of pullover (which is so much strength). I think it was really a great learning experience for her when she was saying "I'll never get my pullover" and I said "If you do pull-ups every other day at home I bet you will have it in 2 weeks". And it didn't even take that long.
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