For Parents Should I let this bother me?

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Proud Parent
Apr 5, 2017
I have two girls, 7 and 9 who just joined the Xcel team at our gym (7 in bronze and 9 in silver). Their first practice with the team was June 12. They came home last night crying because the bronze/silver coaches are having a sleep-over at the gym, but it's only for the girls who competed last season. My two are the only new girls, so they were told they were not invited. I see this in two ways--one, the other girls are celebrating the end of their season (there was a team banquet last week for this purpose as well) and mine will be included in the celebration next year. On the other hand, a team sleep over including ALL team members, would be a great opportunity to make the two new girls feel part of the team, instead of like outsiders, and to promote a sense of cohesiveness. As a parent, I don't know quite what to think. My girls have worked super-hard to earn spots on the team, and I pay the same tuition as the other parents; I tend to think they should be included in all team activities. They moved up at typical move-up time, not mid-season or anything. Thoughts, anyone?
If it's a celebration about the year that has gone by, they need to understand that they are new team members and that their turn will come next year. They've only been practicing with the team for what, two weeks? Unless this sleepover is more than a month off, I don't see a reason to be upset.
Did the coaches say they weren't invited or did no one invite so they assumed that they weren't? It may be worth clarifying that. If they just weren't specifically told they were invited I would reach out privately to the coach and ask if they could be included as a way to help them bond with their new team as being new to a team is always hard at first. It might be worth reaching out to the coach anyway just stating what you said understand its a celebration of their past hard work but it would help them feel a part of the new team--and since they are the only 2 odd men out could they consider letting them attend.
I agree with Muggle Mom! Reach out quietly and ask if they can be included. I get that it could be a celebration of last year but maybe the coach will understand.
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I'd agree with checking it out, but I see nothing unreasonable in wanting girls to be bonded with the team before having a sleepover. A party or explicit team-building event would be different.
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The question is - are your girls upset? If they are not upset, then you should not be, IMO. If your girls are upset, I'd inquire further.

This seems more like team bonding than a celebration of the prior year, like a banquet would be. I understand not being invited to the banquet (as headcounts probably needed to be in before you even joined the team). But a sleepover is different. I'd see how your girls feel about it and then go from there.
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Although I'm in agreement with you that including the new girls in the sleepover would be a great idea, I would let it go (after just clarifying with coach to make sure they are/are not invited). Our first gym made a point to include new girls and families (even in the post season awards banquet); our current gym decidedly does not. At first, I felt sad and annoyed, but this has been the culture of this gym for longer than we have been around, and though my personal opinion on event inclusion may differ, it is not my place to challenge it at this time.

So please don't let it bother you, and do help your daughters understand that this is a common practice to hold events for team members who just finished a season or accomplishment. Your daughters are brand new to team, and should not expect to be included just yet in activities the team has 'earned' (even though you and I both agree it would be a nice gesture).
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This sort of thing held around this time of year is usually a celebration for he previous competition season and a reward for the hard work of the team for the year gone by. So it makes sense that nay members who have already been there should be invited. Make sure they understand this, and that they will be incudled next year.
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I totally get where you're coming from and I agree that two additional people shouldn't matter and would be easy enough to add to the party.

However, I probably wouldn't even send my girls if they were invited to a sleepover at a brand new gym (or with a brand new group of kids and coaches if that's the case). I'm kinda slow to trust where my girls sleep.

Also, if they haven't spent any time with these kids outside of gym before I would also be reluctant to send them to a long overnight not knowing the group dynamics and how they would be treated and what kind of people they would be around.

It can be good to take it slow when entering a new environment. Try to think of it as a good thing in that regard if you can!
I don't know what is right or wrong in this case, as I can see both sides of it. I can only add that my daughter just switched gyms last month, and was invited to the team celebration pool party/awards ceremony for last season, even though she was not on the team at this gym last season. Unfortunately, we were already committed to another activity and could not attend. The next training session after the team pool party/awards ceremony we learned that they even gave her 2 awards just for being the newest member of the team. I personally agree that it would be a fantastic way for them to bond with their new teammates and to celebrate their new teammates accomplishments last season.

Talk to the coach and just accept whatever they decide and if the coach says no, just tell them that they will have something to look forward to next season after they compete with their new teams.

I hope this helps!
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Another thing to consider: is the sleepover strictly for the Xcel team? If your gym has a JO team too, while your two may not add much difference to the sleepover, if they have say 10-15 new JO girls, well, that's quite a difference. Then if your girls got to go and the other new ones didn't......Sometimes it's just easier to draw the line. Stinks, but that's just the way it is sometimes.
I've read all the replies but am honestly flabbergasted. My girls have been the new girls in gym a whole bunch and they've never been left out, not once. My ODD went to a team banquet less than two weeks into a new gym last year and they even gave her a gift/plaque/wrote her name on the cake. Everywhere she's been they specifically wanted her to feel included and have the chance to bond with her teammates.
I've read all the replies but am honestly flabbergasted. My girls have been the new girls in gym a whole bunch and they've never been left out, not once. My ODD went to a team banquet less than two weeks into a new gym last year and they even gave her a gift/plaque/wrote her name on the cake. Everywhere she's been they specifically wanted her to feel included and have the chance to bond with her teammates.

I agree, maybe not a formal banquet cause often times those are paid for w/ the prior year's boosters, but I can't see why in the world they'd exclude some new girls from a sleepover like this??? It would be a great opportunity for them to get to know their new teammates and I think them not going would just create more separatation between the last year team and the "new girls". Teams at our gym had a few informal year end gatherings, and in all cases new gymnasts were invited and came.

I'd inquire w/ the coach ASAP to get it cleared up cause to me that just makes no sense. And if the girls came home crying over not being invited, it sounds like they want to go and are upset.
It could easily be that this team sleepover is a celebration of the season or a thing that the team worked towards earning during the year. Way back when my kiddo was in preteam they would earn 'gymbucks' as a team and save up for things like '10 minutes pit time, free practice day, popsicles after practice, etc. The big 'end of the year' thing they worked for was a team sleepover.
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From a totally different perspective, our parent group organizes all our team events, from sleepovers to the banquet. We rely on the gym owner to tell us who is new to team AND send us their contact info so the coordinator can email them. I love my gym owner but she is NOT super organized and I often hear about new team members from my gymmies first! It can often be a 2-3 week lag before we get contact info from the gym owner, so I could totally see brand new team mates not getting an invite right away, especially when formal invites and info already went out. Not intentionally leaving people out, more logistics, so I would double check with the coach on whether they are actually invited or not!
I can understand feeling hurt and left out...but I would probably let this one go. Especially being brand new to team and everything. One thing to consider is that at some gyms at the beginning of a season team parents pay a commitment fee, or even sometimes calculated with the meet fees, and that fee is used to cover things like team parties, banquets, etc. So if your girls just joined team they didn't pay that fee for last season and that may be why they didn't invite them. Now they definitely could have handled it a little better, just saying you're not invited was not the best way to handle it. But hopefully there will be more opportunities for some team bonding time over the rest of the summer.
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It wouldn't bother me. There will be other times to bond with their team. It is their end of the season thing and if rules always have been this way, it probably has effected other gymnasts before, like girls who just moved up, etc. I think your girls will follow your lead on this. If you make it a big deal, they will. If you explain it as life, they will learn a life lesson.
A team is a team. Your kids are on the team, they should get the perks that the other kids on the team get. End of story. What if there was a girl who was on the team last year but was sick or injured and rarely practiced or never competed, would she also be left out because this is about "celebrating accomplishments?" If it was a money thing, couldn't they ask you to chip in? Give me a break. To me it is silly to leave some kids out of some big group event that should be about team building when they are ON the team! It is not their fault they were not on the team last year. If this is some regular thing for the previous year's gymnasts only, maybe they should schedule it before team tryouts so these situations do not arise. Basically, heck yeah, this would bother me.

On the other hand I agree that if, after checking with the gym you find out this is for real, then it serves no one to make a thing out of it. If the coach or whoever is able to give a coherent reason for your daughters being left out, then I suggest give that explanation to them. If they do not, you can just say "these things happen." In either case, consider letting your girls have some special treat that night! They are little kids and will obviously have a hard time rationalizing or understanding being left out this way no matter the reason.

When my kids are hurt by the unnecessarily hurtful actions of others, the life lesson I hope they learn is to not treat others in a way that is unnecessarily hurtful.
One of my children is pretty introverted. At a younger age, this child had a very hard time with sleepovers. The comfort level would be decreased if a sleepover was planned with children that child did not know well. I do not think that this introverted child would have been comfortable doing a sleepover with kids met only a few weeks ago. A sleepover is both longer and more intimate, making it different from a picnic or a banquet, and I do not think it is completely outrageous or unreasonable to say that a sleepover should be open only to people who've competed and trained together for six months or more and have really bonded. If you want to do it as a teambuilding exercise, then go ahead and do it that way, but personally I don't think a sleepover is a great choice as a teambuilding exercise for kids under the age of 12.
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