Thank you! One of my older brothers is technically my foster brother. Permanency laws were not what they are now when we were growing up in the 70s and 80s so my parents never officially adopted him but he lived with our family from the time he was ten until he finished high school and went off to college. I don’t feel any differently about him in my heart than I do about my other two brothers who happen to be biologically related. He and his family live a few hours away from us now and they have really reached out to our foster daughter.
With our foster daughter a lot of the credit for this goes to her caseworker who really was her first advocate and was determined to find a therapeutic foster family who would be able to bring her home rather than send her to some residential program. Our pediatrician has also been amazing.
We worked weekly with a family therapist who also saw our foster daughter semi individually initially. Now we’re still doing monthly FT sessions to try to improve integration into the family. She recommended a few different trauma specialists [unfortunately none in our local area] and we’re seeing one out of state now [but conveniently very near where my brother lives so we often spend the night with his family before or after and break up the trip]. We do this every other week weather permitting. This along with nephrology appointments do cut into gymnastics practice because we have to do some travel to get there.
School wise she is attending a charter branch of a local public school and we are doing some home based instruction to accommodate reduced hours on campus. We contemplated home schooling but felt she really needed the opportunity to be around other kids and to make friends in that setting. We had done something similar to this with our oldest daughter when she was recovering from her injuries and are still doing educational modifications now to allow her to have time to play in a state music ensemble and train for travel soccer and equestrian eventing without taking time away from family time or adequate sleep [she joking tells her friends her parents are like the sleep police]. We’ve adjusted the courses she is taking on campus to a three day school week and she does a lot of efficient self study on her own. She loves this model and loves that school doesn’t interfere with her education. This is also so much more like the college model that it probably actually prepares her better. I’m sure some kids need more structure and a more traditional approach but I wish this was more readily offered. We kind of stumbled into it when she was in 8th grade because of her health problems. It worked well and then by freshman year she was doing a lot better but had started to add back in activities and was just so comfortable doing so much at home. Now she is a sophomore and loving this plan. Next year this will probably also allow her to take a few courses at one of our local colleges.
Thank you. As an aside, I love the quote you have in your signature I’ve often thought that and even almost randomly hijacked a few threads to just tell you that but haven’t. So I’ll tell you now. J
Mom of TumbleQueen,
Very cute name. I think you were actually one of the first people I talked to here when I was trying to figure out Prep Opt and you explained your daughter used it as a transition year to work through some fear issues and just be able to do gymnastics really on terms and timeframe. It sounded really good and I do sort of wish we had pursued that option for our daughter. But we didn’t so we have to deal with where we are. Thank you for your thoughts and I will let you know how things work out.
Gym Joy & NOG,
Thank you. I didn’t realize that it was so easy to change the level after the entries had already gone in. Does it matter if the registration has closed when you try to change?
Thanks. Sometimes the more life gets crazy the more you have to take a deep breath [but not too many of them because hyperventilating usually is not helpful]. My husband and I have been through a lot together and although it took us awhile we’ve got back to a place where we can support each other completely and that is what keeps everything from spinning out of control.
I also like your name [and your signature
As a mom I’m not quite clear on all the nuances of the L9 rules and requirements. As I’ve said before I know her bars skills are at least solidly L9. I think she probably has the tumbling pieces to make up L9 floor and beam routines but no one has started working on that with her yet. She has [and loves to do] a very nice Tsuck-pike for vault. She has also flipped Yurchenkos and landed them safely. She does not like that vault however [“because it doesn’t feel right”] and does not want to compete it. She is also working on twisting out of her Tsuck [and I may be wording that wrong] and it sounds like that is coming well but not quite there at least consistently.
I’m not sure if she did astounding at her first L8 meet. From my standpoint, the fact that she went out there and did it and smiled was amazing. She did win the all around and placed first on two of the apparatus. She probably would have scored higher if she didn’t have BT in her beam routine but she really loves that triple series and wanted to compete it. So she did and took the deduction.
There is an L8 team and a L9 team with a handful of girls on each. The first L8 meet she attended the rest of the L8 team was not quite ready to compete so she was the only L8 along with one of the L9s who needed [and got
] her L8 mobility score. That girl is a friend of our oldest daughter’s from school and church youth group and she has always been really nice to our foster daughter [probably partly because she is her friend’s little sister and probably partly because she is just a nice girl] so we had a good time with her family at the meet. I suppose that might be an argument for moving her to L9 but there are some nice girls on the L8 team too. They are also a little closer in age to our daughter so I think they see her less like a pet and more like a friend.
L9 is also the first really serious level at our gym. L7 is competed minimally. Officially they have a team but they mostly compete to get their mobility score and then let the girls go to the state meet. I think our L7s this year have only four meets with one being the state meet. L8 has more meets than L7 but they still seem to focus on training more than competing. L9/L10 are where the program focuses their competitive energies. The L9/L10 kids go to some of the meets on the L7/L8 schedule but they also have some of their own. Usually L9/10 kids are also teens who need to start getting out and looking at colleges and I guess letting college coaches look at them. The meet schedule is often influenced somewhat by meets in areas where some of the high school students want to look at colleges. They have done “unofficial” or “official” visits before or after meets in the past. I think this sounds like a good approach [and sounds like a coach who cares] but I think our child who just turned 11 at the end of last month is still a few years away from being ready to participate.
It was actually my husband’s little sister who trained here. She moved onto college gymnastics this past fall but is now home for the holidays [and using this gym to do the over break workouts her college coach wants so we have not mentioned any of this to her because we don’t want her pulled into an awkward situation].
As far as this being unexpected, in many ways it was because I think it was so over the top. However, I suppose he has been lobbying for L9 since her L8 meet and we’ve just been politely but firmly declining and I guess he is frustrated.
To be fair I think he really did connect with our daughter during the period where he was working with her one on one to transition back. Perhaps this was a mistake. The disgruntled mom at our gym complains to anyone who will listen that she is his favorite. [Although perhaps the fact that she is THE disgruntled mom and all of the other team parents seem to get along speaks volumes and from posts I’ve read here is probably something we should be very grateful for.] At the time she was basically almost starting from scratch [although she must have had a lot of muscle memory to get all her skills and then some back so quickly] and had been out of the gym for about six months. She clearly wasn’t ready to bop back into an optional team training environment. When he suggested he would just work with her in the mornings until she was ready to train with the optionals again it seemed like a logical and practical solution. I’m still not sure it wasn’t.
When she moved to optionals team she quickly became their bars star and our plans to wait another year to let her start to compete got tweaked. We had some reservations about this but she really wanted to do it so we decided to let her try.
In many ways I think their coaching overall is good. We just don’t really want her in an environment that may be feeding her own self doubts.
Thanks! Our daughter is ok with competing L8. Her two big things are being able to keep working on new skills on bars and that magical BHS-BHS-BT sequence on beam [and it‘s ok as long as she accepts a 0.5 deduction]. She trains bars and vault with the L9/L10 training group and we had thought that was working quite well. She also does some tumbling stuff with them because not all of their vault work is actually table work they also do a lot of stuff on tumble track and drills on the floor. Right now she is working on twisting out of her Tsuck [or something similar to that if I’m messing up the explanation] on vault and trying to convince her coach that she is strong enough to ditch his Yurchenko plans and work on Tsuck variations only. I used to say she was stubborn and I still think she is a little but I’m starting to see that perhaps she is just determined and trusting that she knows herself best and I like both of those ideas.
As I’ve mentioned in my earlier posts on this thread, we have included our daughter’s perspectives and views in our decision making process. If we asked her whether she would rather do L8 or L9 I suspect she would say L9. Although perhaps if we asked her if she would rather do L8 and compete her Tsuck-pike or do L9 and compete her Yurchenko she might pick L8 because she really doesn’t like the Yurchenko and is on a mission to get the twisting out of her Tsuck consistently and convince her coach she should never do another Yurchenko. However, we haven’t asked either of those specific questions. We have asked her about competing L8 and she is perfectly ok with doing L8 as long as she can work on advanced bar skills with the L9/L10 girls. She has been training with them since this fall and if we hadn’t had this recent episode I would say things were going well.
I also wonder if perhaps some of her answer that she would do L9 may be left over from her old gym’s plan that she move through the levels as quickly as possible. For that reason I think it is even more important that we slow things down and help her learn that there is so much more to life than gymnastics. She just turned 11 at the end of last month so what is the rush?
We’ve been told that their no returns policy would apply because we made a conscious decision to not send her back to their gym and started at a different gym. At this point I’m not even sure she would want to go back there. She would definitely prefer to stay where she is. [She is unaware of this most recent turn of events because there really isn’t a great way to explain it to her without doing additional damage.]
We also both have a lot of reservations with her old gym. I guess to be fair we really don’t know because we didn’t know her when she was there but it seems that they must have either been very oblivious or looked the other way a lot. This gym also happened to be at her first L8 meet and one of their coaches was screaming at some poor child in the hallway after the meet. Perhaps that was an isolated incident [although both my MIL and husband recall witnessing similar over the years watching his sister’s meets] or perhaps we’re missing too much context. I also realize that some people believe that screaming and belittling is just part of high level gymnastics but we feel differently. I think it would be especially detrimental to our foster daughter right now.