For Parents Nervousness about switching classes

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Proud Parent
Jun 1, 2018
Let me start out by saying this question is about my 4.5 year old. She’s been going to this gym for 6ish weeks for a recreational class in the morning. Her coach has recommended that she move to a different class developmental class 2/wk for 1.5hrs each class. My daughter really loves gymnastics, she likes warm ups and is generally excited to try new things in the gym, always wants to go and never gets upset in the gym. HOWEVER... I took her to try out the new class before signing her up and she flipped out during warm ups. This is an evening class so the gym is crowded, a lot of big kids. She comes out. Sobbing & overwhelmed. Eventually she’s coaxed back in and is fine and really enjoys the class, comes out telling me how she won a challenge and seems proud and excited. But now it’s time to actually sign her up and she is so anxious about warm ups again and it’s freaking herself out. I don’t know if I should push her to go for a month to try it out or what. I know she can do the class, but she’s really intimidated with big kids and the crowd. Any advice??? Has your kid gone through this?

PS: Staying in a morning Rec class isn’t an option anyways, it’s all afternoons all summer and she’s starting to move pass the skills in that class. So I’m in a pickle.
This is normal. She is very young. I have had many kids act like this for the first few weeks. When they get a little older, I bring them over to tell the parents of the new kid that is crying how they used to do that to. I had a level 5 that used to tell them about how I had to go get her out of her booster seat twice a week and how glad she was that I wouldn’t let her stay in the car.
This is normal. My DD was 5 when she started gymnastics. I actually had to be on the floor for 6 months before she was ok with me not being out there with her. Her first gym was understanding and allowed it. Six years later she is training Level 8 gymnastics is her thing and the gym is her second home. I would be more inclined to advise you to research gymnastics and the level of commitment it takes from a family.
Change is hard at any age. The way you get better at it is to do it. Remind her how much fun she had. Remind her how nervous she was about something she was once nervous about and now is not. And if she is truly miserable and not settling in after a bit, dial it back.

None of this is forever. You try it. It works you keep going. If it doesn't go back.
I'm going to join the chorus and say that your daughter's reaction is completely normal. The first day of advanced tumbling class, my daughter (7 at the time) found out she was the only one there to work with the big scary head coach and had a panic attack in the parking lot. Thank goodness the coach is amazing with children in addition to being a fantastic coach, and he took the time to sit down and talk into staying for the class.

However, just because it's normal doesn't mean it's easy on you or your daughter! I would keep her in the class, but I would also plan on staying at the gym until she could get through an entire class without becoming too overwhelmed. You might also consider asking the coach for a 5 minute meeting where you come up with a plan to help her through the transition. Would she feel more comfortable stretching and warming up next to her coach, or maybe next to you? I wouldn't usually recommend this but your child is 4, and if she needs a little extra support for the first few classes I think it's totally reasonable to let her have it. Good luck to you both!
Thanks for all the input! I’m going to have her try the class for a few more weeks, and see how she settles in. I’m hoping this will turn into a good lesson about how trying new things that scare you can be fun and rewarding. She loves her current coach which I think is why she’s more upset about the change, I think I’ll see if he’ll give her a pep talk about her new class lol.
My DD did this exact thing her first day in the developmental program at 4-going-on-5. She was nervous and excited and wanted to impress everyone and the gym was crowded and..... it just boiled over in a rush of emotion. She's on pre-team now and thriving as she turns 6 next week. Stick with it for a few weeks. You could even tell her "If you don't feel good about it by July 1, we'll do something else."

In my experience, this rush of emotions shows how much she cares about it and is dedicated to it, and that's a good thing, for this sport especially.
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