Anon Fairness in families

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PeanutsMom

Proud Parent
Jun 14, 2019
201
Have any of you run into the problem where your spouse doesn't want your child to continue in gymnasts or attend travel meets because it is unfair to siblings? My athlete is one of 3 children. Her older sibling and younger sibling have not chosen to do sports competitively. One was a scout who really didn't want to put in the time to advance more than the weekly meetings and occasional summer camp. The younger one did one year of gym, one year of baseball, and has turned down offers to do lax, swim, or other sports because he gets mad when he loses (his words). My SO doesn't want our gymnast to attend a fly away travel meet because the location is warm and wonderful and it would be unfair to her siblings if she got a "vacation" to a tropical place while they had to stay home and in school. The other flyway meet is a bit closer and not as expensive we are all planning on going (and they have been there before so not as excited or exotic). We have tried to get the other two involved in activities, but they prefer to be home and not involved in team activities. I guess I don't feel she should be held back because of something they don't want to do. She puts in the time, the effort. She helps coach to offset costs. She has done fundraising. It isn't as if she just expects payment after payment and isn't appreciative.

Just had to vent a little. I am angry that this is the stance being taken, but yet do not want to fight as it has come up before with how expensive gym is in general (which I can't deny). Any advice or do we just step back and accept that this is what has to work for our family?
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
561
I think there are a lot of instances where kids’ choices in activities (or lack thereof) dictate perks/travel. If one of your other kids takes up band in high school and gets to go overseas on a trip (a friend’s son is doing this in the spring), is your husband going to send your other kids along? Or say no to the trip? Just trying to find examples to help your case.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
304
Your go getter kid shouldn’t suffer because your other kids aren’t go getters. You’ve made activities available to them and they don’t want to do it.

I have a hard time, as a dad, thinking that your husband wouldn’t respect that logic. Depriving your gymnast doesn’t make the other two better off — it just messes things up for her. I’d ask your husband to explain to you calmly, how that could possibly be fair.
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
561
In my household we talk about how fair doesn’t always mean ‘the same’, how different interests and different levels of effort lead to different opportunities, and about how our plan, as parents, is to support the kids to do their best in the opportunities they create for themselves, whatever those may be.

Our two are very different, so for one it’s sport and travel meets and for the other it’s music lessons and the occasional local eisteddfod. It’s true we spend more on one than the other, but neither child is getting ‘more’. They’re both getting to follow their interests.
 

Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
3,935
In many ways it’s also sends a negative message to hold back your gymnast because their siblings are not keen to get involved in sports.

I’m life we are generally re added for things like hard work, commitment etc. if she isn’t allowed to reap the benefits of her hard work because her siblings don’t want to. That send a message to everyone that trying hard at things isn’t worth it
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
561
I have three kids. Boy 13, Boy 11, Girl 9. All started gymnastics at 1yr old. Both of my boys quit around the age of 9, as they just weren't athletic and weren't enjoying it anymore. My girl is in her fourth year on team. Its a balance...but I've made sure my boys have their special things as well. My oldest loves gaming and art, which we support through classes and supplies. My middle son builds model trains and shows them. As for travel, we sometimes take the whole family if its somewhere nice (beach, etc), but other times we take turns inviting one of the boys along if they want to go. We all homeschool so everyone's schedule is flexible, which makes it much easier. No worries on missing school.
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
561
Sounds like a personal issue, and you need to do what's best for your family. I do support the mindset above in that fair doesn't always mean same. Fair means equal opportunity. As long as other siblings have equal opportunity to participate in other interests to the extent that gymnast does it seems pretty fair to me in that regard. Of course, financial constraints are real and always need to be balanced and considered for the family.
 

gymgal

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Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,655
In general, I agree with you, the OP. Your gymnast is also likely giving up many things that the other two are able to experience due to having more available time. One might not see this as being equivalent to an exotic trip but it can be just as valuable - extra time with parents and other family, less stress around school/chores because they have more time, more time with friends, etc.

I would add, though, that I personally feel that the level of gymnastics plays into this. I would think differently about a L4 meet than I would a L9/10 meet, for example. I would also consider family finances and whether other plans will suffer as a result.
 

B&M's mom

Proud Parent
Sep 4, 2010
437
This is hard. Having done it, there's no good answer. There's no way to balance the scales so everyone gets the same amount of time, attention and money. And yes, the kids notice. You may want to talk with your kids to see how they feel about the situation. The non-gymnasts may not care but then again, they might. Better to address it now than let resentments grow that could damage relationships going forward.

I will say that gymnastics meets at nice locations became a lot of our family vacations. I figured that a few lost days of school and the money spent bringing everyone was better than the resentment I would have to deal with from the child who got left behind. So, those were our vacations.
 
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GymAir

Coach
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Gymnast
Aug 28, 2018
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In general, I agree with you, the OP. Your gymnast is also likely giving up many things that the other two are able to experience due to having more available time. One might not see this as being equivalent to an exotic trip but it can be just as valuable - extra time with parents and other family, less stress around school/chores because they have more time, more time with friends, etc.
Good point!
 
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Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
561
If your other children would be able to do this specific meet if they were in gymnastics, or if they chose a sport and could participate in any travel meets, I don't see how that is unfair to them. They choose to not actively participate in sports and therefore don't get a lot of the fun stuff that comes with it. Your daughter works hard (and I know has been through a LOT of adversity) and meets are a way to showcase that and reap the benefits of it.
 
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Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
561
I would suggest, figure out a way financially for all of you to go to away meets especially if they are in a nice, exciting place, and turn the trip into a family vacation that includes the meet. Since one kid has to go anyway, and your other kids are not doing expensive activities, in a way doubling up to make it into a vacation is a savings. And yes I do understand the ridiculous costs of plane fair these days, but I still make this suggestion and here is why:

With three kids in gymnastics, gym practice and meets ate up so much of our time and money we rarely had whole family vacations after our youngest was born. To save money, we did the divide and conquer approach most of the time, (one of us taking the one or two competing kids to the meet, the other staying home with remaining kid(s.)

The result being we have very few entire-family vacation memories, and now that one of my kids is an adult, this is really hitting me.

Unless your other kids are struggling in school, there is no reason they cannot miss a few days of school here and there.

Except for nice trips, There is no unfairness in the scenario otherwise that I can see. Each child is doing what they want to do.
 
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