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Nov 6, 2022
7
42
Hello. I have a 6 year old who won't practice. She can't do a cartwheel (its OK I guess?, she's not there yet), nor even the round the world thing. She fervently refuses to practice in any shape or form but also refuses to give up gymnastics. I'm fine with her needing "something to do" but all the other girls in the class are way ahead of her despite this being her 2nd year in it. I've tried encouraging practice but I'm just getting frustrated. Thankfully she doesn't see it, and no one has said anything to her in class but I can tell the coaches are all but leaving her behind because instead of trying, she just has a million excuses of why she can't. It's frankly embarrassing to sit and watch (though I assume it's psychosomatic). I don't know what to do she really says she likes it and wants to keep going but it's an expensive class for her to just be exercising in qnd not actual gymnastics. Bad parent over here, sorry...
 
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JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
459
That’s what you pay coaches for. Lots of kids mess around at gym. Obviously it’s not the way to get better, but your daughter will figure that out eventually — or decide to quit.
 
Nov 6, 2022
7
42
That’s what you pay coaches for. Lots of kids mess around at gym. Obviously it’s not the way to get better, but your daughter will figure that out eventually — or decide to quit.
I was really hoping to help her somehow. She seems adamant about being there but doesn't want to do anything to help herself get better. It's the closest (possibly only) gym to us and they also can't "force" her. Classes are 90 minutes, maybe I sit in the car...
 
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JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
459
I was really hoping to help her somehow. She seems adamant about being there but doesn't want to do anything to help herself get better. It's the closest (possibly only) gym to us and they also can't "force" her. Classes are 90 minutes, maybe I sit in the car...
She’s young, so she might figure it out in time. I’d try to lay it out for her clearly — “we’re paying a lot of money for you to do this. That means you try your best at all times… etc.”

I’d also talk to the coach to see if they could do something else to engage her. Based on what I’ve seen in gyms, young kids messing around and being disengaged isn’t super rare. Decent coaches know how to deal with it.

After that, I’d suggest you disengage from it. No need to get frustrated.
 
Jun 10, 2022
16
Agree that getting frustrated definitely doesn’t help. In my experience any hint of being forced to do something is met with resistance at this age.
If she’s enjoying the class and you’re happy the coaches are managing the situation then can you let it be at least for a while? Reducing expectations can help sometimes
 

Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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Effort is not a concept that kids are born understanding. It takes time for kids to understand what effort means and it clicks at different ages.

Some kids understand effort at 4 and others still don’t understand it at 14.

Telling her to try harder will not produce a magical result because she thinks she is trying hard.

Even if she isn’t progressing like the others, gymnastics is INCREDIBLE for her physical and mental development. Even the simple activities of climbing, swinging, jumping etc create new neural pathways in the brain and develop every muscle in the body. It is a lot more than just an exercise class.
 
Nov 6, 2022
7
42
Effort is not a concept that kids are born understanding. It takes time for kids to understand what effort means and it clicks at different ages.

Some kids understand effort at 4 and others still don’t understand it at 14.

Telling her to try harder will not produce a magical result because she thinks she is trying hard.

Even if she isn’t progressing like the others, gymnastics is INCREDIBLE for her physical and mental development. Even the simple activities of climbing, swinging, jumping etc create new neural pathways in the brain and develop every muscle in the body. It is a lot more than just an exercise class.
 
Nov 6, 2022
7
42
What I meant by the exercise comment was just that the only thing she fully participates in, is the exercise warm ups at the beginning of each class. Which is fine, but paying for a yearly membership plus class fees every 12 weeks for her to do only that... I could just find a kids exercise class. I'll give it a bit more time and talk to her coaches. They are from 6-9 I believe and there's at least 20 kids in the class and 3 coaches broken into 3 groups after warm ups. I'm just noticing that there's more emphasis being put in the kids with more aptitude for it, than helping the ones struggling with it (I don't know a lot about gymnastics, but I assume helping the kids who will eventually do comps is a priority for them).

I'm not saying she's terrible... she went from being terrified of monkey bars, to swinging back and forth on high uneven bar, and hopping along a balance so she's gaining skills, which is amazing! I'm incredibly proud of her.

The problem lies with me I'm hearing, and that's totally fine, I can work on me. I just wanted to know if I should be pushing her to try at home more at this age and it seems the answer is no. I danced as a kid from age 6-9 and I loved practicing at home (though that was back in the mid 80s where didn't have phones and usually only 1 TV in the house, so times were different then)
 
Jun 10, 2022
16
Yay for your kiddo and gaining her confidence and skills! These are no small achievements. I’m not denying that there can be focus on those kiddos making the most progress but also as Aussie Coach said different kiddos come to things at different times. For one of my gymmies an approach of complete disinterest worked best - if a coach would speak to them directly and they’d run away! It’s been some time but we’re in a different place now. Second kiddo happy to try anything their coach suggests….. Same age, same class, both love gym and their coaches.
 
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A's Mom

Proud Parent
Nov 30, 2018
64
42
I wonder if helping her set specific goals would help. Start small. First acknowledge that she wants to do gymnastics. Then establish that being a gymnast means trying new things. Then help her set a goal about what she'll try this week. When she tries it, praise the effort. If she doesn't, hold on to that goal until she does. Remind her of it. Make a star chart! Gradually increase the goal until she's fully participating. Good luck!
 
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Nov 6, 2022
7
42
I wonder if helping her set specific goals would help. Start small. First acknowledge that she wants to do gymnastics. Then establish that being a gymnast means trying new things. Then help her set a goal about what she'll try this week. When she tries it, praise the effort. If she doesn't, hold on to that goal until she does. Remind her of it. Make a star chart! Gradually increase the goal until she's fully participating. Good luck!
Ohhh a star chart! I didn't think of that. It might actually help. I know working towards incentive helps kids achieve but with gymnastics (unless it's competing) there isn't really much to look forward to.
 

skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
175
Hello. I have a 6 year old who won't practice. She can't do a cartwheel (its OK I guess?, she's not there yet), nor even the round the world thing. She fervently refuses to practice in any shape or form but also refuses to give up gymnastics. I'm fine with her needing "something to do" but all the other girls in the class are way ahead of her despite this being her 2nd year in it. I've tried encouraging practice but I'm just getting frustrated. Thankfully she doesn't see it, and no one has said anything to her in class but I can tell the coaches are all but leaving her behind because instead of trying, she just has a million excuses of why she can't. It's frankly embarrassing to sit and watch (though I assume it's psychosomatic). I don't know what to do she really says she likes it and wants to keep going but it's an expensive class for her to just be exercising in qnd not actual gymnastics. Bad parent over here, sorry...
I agree with the other comments. She is so young, at this age gymnastics should be about her having fun. I hope this doesn't sound rude but I'd also try to step back and look at myself. How many things does my child see me not try and make excuses of why I can't? Maybe it is something that I have modeled.

Honestly, at any age, I don't think we as parents can "make them practice" enough to get better. it has to be something they want.
 
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JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
459
I hope this doesn't sound rude but I'd also try to step back and look at myself. How many things does my child see me not try and make excuses of why I can't? Maybe it is something that I have modeled.
This is a good point.

When my daughter was all worried about getting her kip, I went to the park with her on non-gym days and tried to do kips on the bars. Yes, I sucked at it. Yes, I ripped my hands. No, I never got a good one. But she saw me trying, failing, and trying again.

Same thing with press handstands.
 
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Nov 6, 2022
7
42
I agree with the other comments. She is so young, at this age gymnastics should be about her having fun. I hope this doesn't sound rude but I'd also try to step back and look at myself. How many things does my child see me not try and make excuses of why I can't? Maybe it is something that I have modeled.

Honestly, at any age, I don't think we as parents can "make them practice" enough to get better. it has to be something they want.
Understood. I Always model what I want her to learn but I suppose it could be anything she's seen. Amazingly even at 42 with disc disease in my back, I can still do a cartwheel (pay for it though lol). Anyway, I'm not forcing her, I just want her to be able to do more things but I'll just hang back and wait
 

CuriousCate

Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2016
694
A few things come to mind. 90 minutes simply might be too long for a 6 year old if she is really looking at gym as more of a fun fitness type of sport. The other thing that I have come to realize is that kids definitely learn best from natural consequences. So if she really is not working as hard as she can, then she will not progress. She will see that and will make a choice to work harder and stay put and ultimately age out of the class. Lastly, use the 90 minutes as a rare gift and get the heck out of the gym and go for a walk/run/coffee/whatever!
 

skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
175
Understood. I Always model what I want her to learn but I suppose it could be anything she's seen. Amazingly even at 42 with disc disease in my back, I can still do a cartwheel (pay for it though lol). Anyway, I'm not forcing her, I just want her to be able to do more things but I'll just hang back and wait
I didn't mean me doing gymnastics but I know many times I will make excuses as to why I don't eat healthier or clean out my car or get back into jogging... I just know that I'm not always a great example of putting in the work to reach the goal, I like to procastinate or make excuses.
 
Nov 6, 2022
7
42
Not sure. When she was 4 we talked about what we can get her doing (to get out, get exercise etc) and she asked for gymnastics. Was a bit left field, she isn't the most coordinated and at the time, afraid of most of the park equipment. I said we'll enroll her in a kid program and see how it goes.. every time a session ends, she's asking me when her next one is, she really loves it but I can see she's well behind the bulk of her peers. I guess if she likes it, wants to keep going and not being at the same level as others doesn't bother her, than maybe it shouldn't bother me too. It's just seeing the look on her face when ask her to do something she can't do and just stands there while others are, I thought maybe if I started doing some stuff with her at home, she'd get better but even if I do a headstand against the wall to show her, she's uninterested and won't try
Do you know why she won't want to quit? That might help you figure out ways to help her.
 
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Mar 14, 2022
23
45
Quite a lot of the little girls I know who do gymnastics found the beach in the summer holidays to be the natural place to practice. My son won't practice in public but I do put him in handstand and cartwheel workshops in the holidays and he did enjoy making an instructional video for family members on how to get your handstand (walking feet up the wall etc) which prompted much hilarity from the 50-year-old aunties sending him their video attempts :) I think gymnastics is a fab core sport and she's enjoying it. I know it's expensive but think of the money you'll save when she picks up swimming super easily (because of that strong core and upper body strength and stamina) and thrashes other kids in almost any other sport she tries because she's strong, and has developed great balance and coordination! As my son says 'It's a winner, winner, chicken dinner'. Relax, put your feet up and imagine she's a hamster when you see her wee feet waving around. That's always cheered me up.
 
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Finaille

Proud Parent
Apr 15, 2019
12
Minnesota
My kiddo never has done any formal practice until this year, at 8. She would do handstands before, but never anything to what she was learning in gym.

Heck, it was hard for her to stick to the stations even in class until she was 7!