For Parents Reflecting and wanted to share a few things I learned...

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GymBeeMom

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Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2012
487
I have spent the last 6 weeks reflecting on what gymnastics was to us, as a family and to my DD. Im not a perfect parent of a perfect gymnast from a perfect gym. But I went through having a young gymnast with Olympic aspirations and the talent and commitment to take her there, only to have it all end. I think this lends itself to having something worth sharing...
1) Your gymnast is talented and gifted for choosing to do this sport. They are choosing to put themselves out there, for the world to see and criticize their every move. They are always being criticized and critiqued, with small victories being celebrated for a minute while spending months focusing on mistakes. They choose this because they want it. So believe in their gift and their talent, not because they will be Olympians but because they are gymnasts. They are strong and beautiful in their own rite, every one of them. The 9 year old level 9 is TRULY no more amazing than the 11 year old who just got her kip. REALLY. I mean it.
2)You can not make your child learn a skill she isn't ready for, you should not make her feel bad for it, and you can not change her ability to achieve her task. YOU HAVE TO SIT BACK AND LET HER OWN EVERY MOMENT. Period. REALLY. I mean it. And be proud of her, really proud because your gymnast is talented and gifted for choosing this sport.
3)When you say you don't care if your child moves up, you don't care if they have a mental block, you don't care if they don't win-you aren't fooling anyone. You have to care because you love your child and want the whole entire world of success for them because you love them. You care, and so does every other parent. That doesn't mean you should be any less amazed by your child when those things don't happen your gymnast is talented and gifted for choosing this sport.
4)There is life beyond gymnastics. It hurts to imagine a world without this sport and all we love about it. But, when they leave, they will be okay because your gymnast is talented and gifted for choosing this sport. Those talents and gifts don't go away because they move into the next phase of their life. Those gifts were there before they became gymnasts.
5)I grew as a person because my daughter was a gymnast. She already knew who she was but I certainly learned a lot about who she was through her short but very intense gymnastics experiences. Now I will be a better gym parent to my son, thanks to the fact that my gymnast is talented and gifted for having chosen this sport. I also know I can trust her to be exactly who she is meant to be, and I can sit back and let her be that person.

If you read through the whole thing and think I am a big sap, you'd be right. But if I didn't learn from my children, and share what I'd learned, I would wonder what it was all worth. Enjoy this ride and let it belong to your talented and gifted child.
 

3gymgirls

Coach
Coach
Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2012
135
middle of nowhere
That was wonderful. I freely admit to being a big sap as tears run down my face. My 7-year-old who will compete level 2 this spring is the only active competitive gymnast in our community, and sometimes I need reminded that she is talented and gifted just because of that alone.
 
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kandkfunk

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Proud Parent
Aug 7, 2012
431
Awesome! Thank you for the reminder that we should all be in awe of our amazing, talented, hard working kids. Sometimes, it's easy to forget how much work and dedication goes into this sport, even at the very early levels, when we get caught up in our daily schedules. Thanks again!
 
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JMACAZ

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jan 13, 2013
1,408
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. it was beautiful to read and a great reminder!!
 
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Krystan

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Proud Parent
May 18, 2011
296
Thanks for that. It's hard to see the forest for the trees sometimes, when we're in the thick of it. And having one of those 12 year old L5's can really get frustrating if you forget how awesome it is that she's there in the first place. You are totally right that THEY have to own the sport. A lesson I continue to relearn, and relearn, and relearn, in my own imperfect way...
 

armbmom

Member
Proud Parent
Jun 20, 2011
50
Thank you for posting this. After watching my dd have a rough practice this week, you said the things I needed to hear today.

She is trying to get ready for her first meet this season and is working on a progressive skill that has her terrified. I have never seen her cry and get upset about a skill before and I'm only hoping I said and did the right things. She is reading the Shawn Johnson book tonight, so I'm hoping she will gain some inspiration to get through her challenges.
 
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jago

Member
Proud Parent
Jan 7, 2009
152
Could this be a sticky? Perhaps without comments.

Sort of a "Must Read" for parents.

Both you and your dd will do very well in your/her future endeavors!!
 
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iwannacoach

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Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Mar 25, 2012
2,877
region II
Now that's what I call a home run....

It seems both you and your junior adult child have are moving on (from wag) something to take with you from her experience. I was delighted to read the part where you came to know just how much your daughter knew about herself, and that you could trust her to make significant choices for herself....... maybe even choices you can't embrace, but hey, you can always embrace her.

It happened to me when my middle child "did his thing" and left me stunned with what he had done. What a priviledge it is to share my life with him, his two brothers, and my wife.

Thanks for the reminder!
 
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Jenny

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Sep 17, 2012
3,370
Thanks for posting and please stay around. Not many children travel the gymnastics road your dd did and your insight will be valuable to newer board members. You and your family have a great attitude.
 

newtogymnastics

New Member
Proud Parent
Oct 20, 2011
48
Thank you for sharing your experiences and observations!

I have spent many hours wondering what my daughter's life would look like without this demanding sport. You have reminded me that these are phenomenal young ATHLETES -- not just gymnasts. Their discipline, work ethic and talent will serve them in many different endeavors if they leave the sport.
 
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