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guppiegirl

New Member
Nov 4, 2008
15
New to gymnastics and need advice . . .

Some of the team parents are really mean and catty. How do you deal with this? I don't want to participate in their negativity. By avoiding them, it becomes a team of parents divided (and seems to fuel their mission). Any tips or pointers would be greatly appreciated.
 
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gym monkeys mom

Proud Parent
Oct 3, 2007
569
Sadly, that is the way it is in the world of gymnastics and other kids sports these days. I have a DD who is a Level 7 has competed for 5 seasons. I have found by being kind, extending friendship without being catty or gossipy you will be treated ok. This may mean however that you won't make it to their inner but, then do you really want to?? I have generally found they difficult catty parents usually come and go and this is a good thing. Best wishes to you and your DD. Be yourself and ignore the cattiness you will make it through.
 

bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,891
You'll find many parents here who have dealt with this awful thing. Sadly it seems to be prevalent around kids competitive sports and parents who just want their child to be the best.

As Gym Monkeys Mom said the only thing to do is remain civil and not engage in their conversation when the subject turns ugly.

If this is happening when you a re watching at gym, maybe you could take your laptop and "work". If it's only at meets, take a seat a bit away from them.

I have it lucky, I am the only English parent at our gym, I am so busy at meets trying to translate all that goes on that I am usually unaware of the chatter. But, I know we have a few obsessed parents, I just avoid them.

There was a thread about it somewhere, I'll try to dig it up as it was very funny, seemed to have one of our parents hiding in the leo racks!!!
 

Tim_Dad

Member
Nov 3, 2008
414
Region IV (Missouri)
Hello... and welcome to CB. I'm also a newbie here, but you're going to find the folks here very open armed and welcoming.

Gym parents... yea they can be pretty clicky. It's not just gym parents either. When my oldest was in competition swimming in HS, those parents were downright dissmissive of anyone "new". It took a while, but we finally became accepted. Personally...I didnt care much for the swimteam parents group anyway so we just kept showing up at th e meets and practices, and they took notice of us. Not the reverse.

One thing to keep in mind... the turnover of athletes in many of these clubs, Gymnastics, Swimming, Tennis, Soccer, etc is high. Kids and parents come and go all the time, and many parents don't even try to engauge others since the relationship is usually very short-lived. When you're seen around more and more, you'll become known.

Oh... and bringing treats for the kids for a post-competition snack helps. Just don't bring donuts!! (ugg!)
 
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mariposa

Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
3,529
I think it is just part of sports sometimes. Just avoid those kinds of parents, whether it divides or not. They aren't the kind of people you want to have as friends anyway. They probably just hope to get more info to be even more catty or have a new person to treat bad.

Some gyms have a policy about it and if you complain, will deal with it. Our gym recently had to post a little "reminder" that was a page long about how they are fine with parents watching, but no coaching from sidelines, badmouthing coaches/gym, etc, etc, while in the gym. That we were free to talk to the owners about issues, etc.

Could be an option, to just send a friendly (anonymous if you wish) email or voicemail about it how conversation is in the "locker room."
 

angelturbo

New Member
Oct 16, 2008
38
Maryland
Boy do I know what you mean. After being Booster Club president for 2 years and managing the budget, I have seen it all. I've learned that you can't be friends with everyone, but you can participate and just be nice. I also sometimes get in a pattern when I can't take it anymore and to just pick up and drop off. Not really being seen. One thing that you should do is keep in communication with the coach. Every couple of months I will leave a message for the coach to say that I just wanted to touch base and see how my gymnast is progressing. You can be active at your gym and be supportive without being too involved with the other parents.
 
M

msl529

Sometimes 'taking the high road' can leave you lonley for a bit. I'll bet there are other moms there who don't really want to be stuck in the nasty clique, but are afraid to get out of it, for fear they will have no friends.

I'll bet if you stay positive, friendly, and keep your distance from the nasties, some other nice moms will eventually come & join you. You can be the 'change agent' for better parental gym behavior!

In the meantime, you can vent to us! We're all here rootin' for ya! :)
 
G

GymmomOR1127

Welcome to CB! I definitely know what you mean about the parents! I agree with msl529, be yourself and I am sure there are other "nice parents" out there that are tired of the clique. In the past, we have had those type parents (still have a few:rolleyes:). It is actually kind of sad, because they sit there angry if their kid doesn't win at everything, and the rest of us all have fun rooting on the team as a whole! For the most part, the nasty ones either leave, or mellow out and join the gang!:cool:

Good luck!
 
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gymgramma

As everyone has said - just be yourself, do not be gossipy or catty and when it gets too bad, separate yourself from them. I did this all the time in the lunchroom where I worked - when the conversation turned catty/gossippy, I just quietly left the table. what was amazing was the number of people who came to me and/or either apologized for making catty remarks or for passing gossip or thanked me for taking a stand when they'd been too weak to take a stand on theri own.
 
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flippymonkeysmom

Unfortunately there are those kinds of parents in all sports. We've all shared quite a few stories on here about crazy gym moms, cheer moms, etc. DD2 has quite a few doozies on her soccer team too. Now that she is doing theater I'm learning all about the crazy theater moms too. Sometimes I just want to scream at the top of my lungs, "Get a grip people - it is about your kids - not you - stop trying to relive your failed dreams through your kids!!!" But just remember there are also plenty of normal ones out there - we're just not as loud and noticeable.
 

UnoMas

Proud Parent
Aug 16, 2008
3,736
Well, it was me hiding in the leo racks...:eek:

I had an issue a couple months ago with some moms at my gym, and now I just plain avoid them. I find it is better to sit by myself (or hide in the leos) than listen to negativity.

Not everyone is like that though, I have met a couple moms who are genuinely kind, helpful, and supportive (bummer that they are not in my dd's level:rolleyes:, but...). I just stick with them when they are there and also make a point to welcome "new" moms with girls starting out in the lower levels.
 

Blackie6

Proud Parent
Mar 1, 2007
1,284
NJ
Hi Guppie,
Welcome to the CB. Sorry you are having a hard time with some parents. Like everyone here has already mentioned, every gym has a couple. There are probably some in every sport, LOL

I have some really nice moms on my DD's L4 team. There is one that scares me, she yells really loud at the meets and screams embarassing things to the judges like "what's taking so long" and it nearly sent me diving under my chair last weekend. This Sunday at the meet I plan on sitting as far away from her as possible. Also, I get into moods too when I just drop-off and pick up DD so I miss all the silly gym gossipy moms that hang around. Ignorance is bliss. But be yourself, be nice, and I am sure that in no time you will find someone that you can hang with. I'm finding out that some of the moms are MORE competative than the DD's are, LOL
 

gym mom

Active Member
Sep 8, 2007
724
florida
Sorry that your having a rough time with the parents.I would stay away from the negativity it will start to rub off on you.I would just stay positive I am sure some of the parents are nice to talk to.Right now I am lucky that all of my dd's team parents are pretty nice .But I have heard some pretty mean things coming out of some of the other team parents mouths in our gym and I just slowly move away,I was quit shocked and upset that a parent could talk that way about another kid.
 

gymjourneymom

Proud Parent
Mar 9, 2008
1,331
Boy do I know what you mean. After being Booster Club president for 2 years and managing the budget, I have seen it all. I've learned that you can't be friends with everyone, but you can participate and just be nice. I also sometimes get in a pattern when I can't take it anymore and to just pick up and drop off. Not really being seen. One thing that you should do is keep in communication with the coach. Every couple of months I will leave a message for the coach to say that I just wanted to touch base and see how my gymnast is progressing. You can be active at your gym and be supportive without being too involved with the other parents.
I'm in this mode right now angelturbo! Dropping off & picking up....without being seen or talking to other parents. Don't get me wrong, I am an involved parent. But sometimes I just need a break from the cattiness. Once meet season starts I'll be forced to sit with those "other" parents(even if I try to sit alone...they track me down!). So for now I'm just enjoying my DD telling me about her progress. It will be fun to see DD's progess, at her mock meet in the next few weeks.
 
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Granny Smith

Proud Parent
Jun 21, 2007
1,444
My deal...

Ok, so I can understand where you are coming from. We have certain parents who are negative and I can admit once it a while I can be too, but try my best to snap out of it as soon as I realize what I am doing - my negativity usually is geared to a coaching thing or if they are standing around or such. There is one parent in particular who is very negative toward my dd and only my dd. In practice, she will compliment all the other girls and when my dd goes she doesn't say a thing or if she does it is only negative. Like if my dd vaults, she will say how dd scares her when she vaults, she is so close to the table or whatever other negative she can come up with. It drives me insane!!!! Luckily she isn't there as much now. She was driving me to the point of not want to be in the gym because of the things she was saying, but that wasn't fair to my dd who likes having me around. Now her dd is in a different group for training than my dd, but they will still compete on the same team, so I wouldn't doubt it if I hear negative things at a meet.

Oh, let me mention, this negativity thing all started after my dd beat her dd in AA at States. Luckily, I know what's going on!
 

FlipsLeos

Member
Jul 26, 2008
111
Maybe you'll get lucky like I did and your dd will be moved out of that group! LOL

There's only one in particular (that I am aware of, that is, I'm sure there are others I just don't know!) at our gym. She's the kind who starts a conversation with you and someone manages to completely slam your kid's gymnastics. She's also not above slamming other parents too.

I just make a point of not talking to her if at all possible, and I'm noticing that a lot of the other parents hold her at arms length as well... so who is the outside in the end?

Ironically enough, after my dd moved up, I'm finding that a lot of the parents she "warned" me about are really super nice, supportive people. Go figure. ;)
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
We are fairly new to our gym, and in the beginning I found everyone to be very sweet and wonderful - as time goes on (its been about 3 months), I can't help but notice the honeymoon phase has ended & the cattiness has come out.

If I have to go into the gym, or if I decide to watch, I I try to be friendly with everyone (hello, how are you etc) , but I do not participate in any back stabbing or cattiness. No gossiping at all, I refuse. I also try to avoid talking about gymnastics at gymnastics. Don't get me wrong, I do vent privately at times. We all have to with some of the ridiculousness that goes on... but just keep doing your best to avoid the negative comments. & try not to take them to heart. Sometimes it is not always a mean negative parent making the comment. It could be a great parent had a bad day or whatever. Only time will really tell. Good luck in the jungle! ;)
 

gymjourneymom

Proud Parent
Mar 9, 2008
1,331
Ok...ok...you got me feeling guilty about my drop & run routine of late:eek:. I actually walked DD into practice today. I ran into a parent of a level 9/10 gymmie & had a VERY pleasant chat:). No cattiness...no gossip. I LOVE the parents of the upper level, older gymnasts! Her DD is looking at colleges, she has no plans to do gymnastics in college. We had a lovely conversation about colleges & what new sports her DD might try. Even though my DD is only 13yrs old, I love to know what I'm in for, always want to hear college info. This mom was a wealth of knowledge. Totally refeshing conversation compared to the cattiness of some compulsory parents & lower level optionals. Maybe this good encounter got me over the hump & I can be more tolerant of the "catty" parents on my DD's level:rolleyes:. Is there a fairy out there you can send to help me??? Maybe the "tolerance fairy" or maybe just a fairy with ear plugs, so I can block them out,LOL!!!:D
 
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