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AlexandraU16

Proud Parent
Aug 31, 2021
26
30
I think it’s hard to compare the physical bodies of a just turned 4 year old and a 7 year old. Up to 4.5, my daughter was on the lower end of the height and weight %, she legit looked like a tiny toddler, very “petite”. Then bam! Solid muscle. She is exactly what I would describe as -dense-. She’s average height, but she is really freaking heavy. Her best event is bars, because she’s strong, so nah, that’s no issue carrying more weight around a bar, if the ratio of weight to strength is right.

Gymnastics doesn’t have an ideal body size or shape. At most, hitting a certain height becomes problematic but we have 5”7 girls that are doing just fine so I’m sure your 7 year old will be fine being tall for many more years :)

3-4 year olds also don’t really have the same grasp of perfection and failure as a 7 year old. Why wouldn’t she run on the beam jumping over the cones? There’s literally no concept stopping her from doing so. A 7 year old might stop and think “I could fall and get hurt”.

All in all… it’s recreational and preschool classes. They should be working on different things and there’s nothing for one to be jealous of the other one over - it should just be an hour or two of the week of fun for both.
Such good insight! I hadn’t thought about the developmental aspect with fear. My older is a naturally more cautious child anyway but yes somewhere around 5-6 I do think they understand cause and effect more and start to realize that danger is a thing.
I guess I’m comparing my 4 year old to how my older daughter was at 4. As I said, the older was definitely more cautious even then. But she is also more willing to work through fears than the younger so maybe she will surprise us!
 

AlexandraU16

Proud Parent
Aug 31, 2021
26
30
I've only got one in gymnastics but definitely have to manage an older sibling inclined to be a bit jealous sometimes.

Big sister is 6, little brother is 4 - 18 months between them. Big sister finds it really hard if he is good at anything, and worries about him being better than her. She has a very competitive personality and we have to manage her with that - for example, she's doing well with her reading at school, but her brother is doing extra well and she is horrified that he might catch up with her.

We are just trying to channel her natural competitiveness in a constructive way - trying to get her to focus on challenging herself and not looking around for comparisons. In both gymnastics and swimming, she seems quite able to apply this - I don't know to what extent she would keep that up if little brother intruded on her turf though! (He does swim too but he is still a beginner so no threat!)
That’s so interesting. My oldest has that same type of thing- going so far to ask me questions all the time like “when you were seven were your drawings better than mine are now?” etc. I don’t know why she feels this way so I try to redirect her but it can be so hard to manage!
 

AlexandraU16

Proud Parent
Aug 31, 2021
26
30
I can't really answer your question better than others, but if she love gymnastics so much, why don't you add an extra class or two for her per week - along with ensuring she has others activities to do.
I’m definitely thinking about it. I have the middle child’s schedule to balance too as well as we have a one year old with nap needs etc and I want to be careful not to overschedule them while at the same time making sure she has the opportunity to have adequate time to work on what she’s currently passionate about. It’s a balancing act for sure. I’ll definitely be letting them each pick up one more class a week when their forest school is over in late spring.
 

skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
167
I only have one child so I have not had to deal with this exactly. But, my daughter met and became absolutely best friends with a little girl when we started gymnastics at 2 years old in a "mommy and me" class. These two girls are now both 8 and both competing for the first year as JO level 4 gymnasts. They are both very competitive and strong in different areas. It has been a bit of work to keep the jealousy from hurting the relationship. I view it has, and have even told my daughter this, "getting new gynastics skills is great but those will only last for so long, gaining new life skills will stay with her forever!" We try to focus on the work both girls are putting in and not so much on the skills. We also encourage time spent away from the gym so that their relationship isn't soley based on gymnastics. Maybe putting extra effort into encouraging connection outside of the gym will help too. Good luck!
 

AlexandraU16

Proud Parent
Aug 31, 2021
26
30
I only have one child so I have not had to deal with this exactly. But, my daughter met and became absolutely best friends with a little girl when we started gymnastics at 2 years old in a "mommy and me" class. These two girls are now both 8 and both competing for the first year as JO level 4 gymnasts. They are both very competitive and strong in different areas. It has been a bit of work to keep the jealousy from hurting the relationship. I view it has, and have even told my daughter this, "getting new gynastics skills is great but those will only last for so long, gaining new life skills will stay with her forever!" We try to focus on the work both girls are putting in and not so much on the skills. We also encourage time spent away from the gym so that their relationship isn't soley based on gymnastics. Maybe putting extra effort into encouraging connection outside of the gym will help too. Good luck!
I can’t imagine how difficult that could be with two girls who are so close and both love the sport but have different strengths. I’m sure it can get harder as they get closer to teen years too. It sounds like you handle it really well though. Thanks for the insight!
 

skygirlpc

Proud Parent
Mar 3, 2016
167
I can’t imagine how difficult that could be with two girls who are so close and both love the sport but have different strengths. I’m sure it can get harder as they get closer to teen years too. It sounds like you handle it really well though. Thanks for the insight!
It is challenging for sure! Thankfully both families treasure the friendship and are willing to work to keep it healthy.
I had bought my daughter a special leotard and planned to give it to her as a gift when she got her kip. Then her friend got a skill before her and my daughter handled it so well!! So I decided to celebrate the fact that she handled her friend's accomplishment so graciously and gave her the leotard that night instead of when she got her kip. I think it was a great moment to discuss what is really important. We do allow her to be sad because that is normal too, she usually waits until she is at home or in the car though so her friend still gets her moment. We talk a lot about how it is possible to be excited and happy for your friend but sad for yourself at the same time.
 

Gymbletot

Proud Parent
Nov 28, 2021
33
35
That’s so interesting. My oldest has that same type of thing- going so far to ask me questions all the time like “when you were seven were your drawings better than mine are now?” etc. I don’t know why she feels this way so I try to redirect her but it can be so hard to manage!
I don't know, maybe it's a first born thing!
 

mcaggie

New Member
Feb 2, 2022
20
51
I have two, one is level 7 while the other is level 6. The level 7 is very graceful and flexible, good at floor and beam, while the level 6 is powerful and good at bar and vault. We try not to compare them. When they bring this topic up, we always tell them each of them has their own advantage, focus on their own stuff and cheer for each other. If you can cheer for your teammates, why not for your sister. So far, it works very well.
 

Madden3

Proud Parent
Aug 24, 2013
832
50
My two sons were both pretty good at gymnastics and both were on the team, but even though they were different ages and different levels, they still often compared themselves to the other. You mentioned your kids are homeschooled. I also homeschooled my sons for most of the time they were doing gymnastics. I also have a younger daughter so I understand the issues of juggling homeschooling and various activities especially when there is a little one to care for as well- of course I was thrilled my boys had the same interests in activities because it made life easier for me.

In hindsight, what they struggled with the most was not having enough time apart. They homeschooled together, they belonged to the same homeschool social group with the same group of friends, they did Boy Scouts together, they took piano lessons at the same place, heck they even shared a bedroom. This was a lot of togetherness for two boys with very different personalities. Of course they were prone to compare themselves to the other, who else was there? Eventually it became obvious they both really needed activities and friends that were their own.

There is nothing you can really do about your daughters’ respective gymnastics abilities. That will be whatever it will be. But perhaps it would be helpful to your 7 year old to have some regular fun thing she can do entirely on her own, with other children her age, which does not involve her sister. If it is enjoyable enough, that might also take some of the pressure off her focus on gymnastics as the be all and end all. It can be as simple as a regular play date at a friend's house.
 

AlexandraU16

Proud Parent
Aug 31, 2021
26
30
My two sons were both pretty good at gymnastics and both were on the team, but even though they were different ages and different levels, they still often compared themselves to the other. You mentioned your kids are homeschooled. I also homeschooled my sons for most of the time they were doing gymnastics. I also have a younger daughter so I understand the issues of juggling homeschooling and various activities especially when there is a little one to care for as well- of course I was thrilled my boys had the same interests in activities because it made life easier for me.

In hindsight, what they struggled with the most was not having enough time apart. They homeschooled together, they belonged to the same homeschool social group with the same group of friends, they did Boy Scouts together, they took piano lessons at the same place, heck they even shared a bedroom. This was a lot of togetherness for two boys with very different personalities. Of course they were prone to compare themselves to the other, who else was there? Eventually it became obvious they both really needed activities and friends that were their own.

There is nothing you can really do about your daughters’ respective gymnastics abilities. That will be whatever it will be. But perhaps it would be helpful to your 7 year old to have some regular fun thing she can do entirely on her own, with other children her age, which does not involve her sister. If it is enjoyable enough, that might also take some of the pressure off her focus on gymnastics as the be all and end all. It can be as simple as a regular play date at a friend's house.
This is truly insightful. My girls share a room, go to the same biweekly “forest school” and always are together on play dates etc. my older daughter does take some knitting/handwork classes by herself and ironically gymnastics started out as my attempt to give my middle daughter something of her own to do but my oldest came to her sister’s first class with me and was absolutely enthralled and begged to do it too. Go figure.
But the fact is we spend so much of our time together. I’m hoping it will get easier as they get further up the school grades to get them into more age specific home school groups etc but in the meantime I’m going to for sure take this to heart and look for ways for them to have a little time apart more frequently. I think you may be on to something as they’re very different and definitely clash at times.
Thanks so much!
 
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