Parents Tired

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Hi - I'm new here - my dd is level 6/7 and is 10 yo. I'm just wondering - do any other parents worry about all the hours spent at the gym on top of the school work? My dd is at the gym 5-6 days a week - which is what they have to do to be competitive at this level. This year she is in 5th grade and has tons of homework. Her life consists of getting up at 6:00 a.m. , going to school, coming home, doing homework until time to leave, eating dinner in the car on the way to the gym, coming home, showering, finishing homework and then going to bed to start all over again the next day.

She is doing great in school and had an awesome level 6 season - I just worry because she has permanent bags under her eyes. I know she loves gymnastics - I just worry about her - especially with middle school next year.

Anyone else ever feel this way??
My daughter is also a level 6 gymnast. She's in 6th grade and attends gym 4 nights a week, 3 of which are school nights. So far we haven't had any problems, but I would be concerned if she started looking run down. She gets up at 6:45 and goes to bed between 10-10:15. Although she typically gets 8 hours of sleep, I know children should be getting a bit more. Does your daughter catch up on sleep when she's able to do so, or does she get up early even when she doesn't have to? My daughter will occasionally sleep until 10:00 on Sunday morning, recharging her batteries.

Next year she starts middle school, and I do worry how the increase in homework is going to affect our tight schedule. She'll need to wake up a little earlier too (6:15), to get on the middle school bus. I don't even want to think about the high school bus she'll need to get on in a few years... she'll need to get up at 5:45 for that one. So, yes, I worry.... but many girls at our gym make it work, so I hope my daughter will be able to handle it as well. I know *I* would not be able to do what she does... thankfully they have youth on their side.

Welcome to the group, BTW. I'm new here too.
I do feel that way as my DD leaves home at 7:30am and gets home after 8pm three days a week, she will enter high school next year, and I know that it will be more of a challenge for her.

There is no way she could train more than this and still have a life outside of gym and quality sleep time too. We decided long ago that our girls would never train more than her 12 hours a week, no matter what. She seems to progress, though obviously girls who train more hours move along faster, but hey, we are not Olympics bound!!!

It really is a challenge to balance what our girls want, what the family needs and what will benefit them the most in the long term. We have a clear idea of what works for our family, though modifications will be made if "the plan" doesn't work through the high school years.

Fortunately gymnasts, one the whole, seem to be very smart and very organised. They get their work done and handed in on time. All our comp girls seem to be high acheivers, despite training.

I guess you have to find the right fit that works and go with it. Each family has to have it's own priorities.
My gymie is 11(6th grade) and practices 4 weekdays right after school(1 day is a Fri.) She has no time to come home and do homework before practice which seemed to be on the high side this week. It is tough and she knows when she gets home at about 7:50pm, she doesn't have alot of time to watch TV or goof around. Fortunately, this is my ultra organized kid----always has been. Seems she always takes advantage of "free" time in a class to get some homework done and that does lessen her load at night. School also comes easy to her. I make sure she is in bed at 9:30(no later) since she has to be up at 6:45. We/she have a schedule that if she can get up/dressed then she can catch about 15 minutes of TV while eating breakfast before heading out.

Tweens/teens need more sleep than adults(recommended about 9-10 hours/night) since their bodies are growing/changing. Sleep missed can never be "made up" Yes, they may sleep in 1 or 2 days, but it doesn't "catch them up."

The only girls I know that spend 6 days/week in the gym are L9/10s. If your dd looks tired to you and draggy then it might be a good time to step back a little. These kids will never admit they're beat until they fall asleep doing conditioning:)
My dd is second year Level 7 and 10 yrs old.She goes to gym 4 nights a week for a total of 18 hrs/week.It is very hard to juggle school and gym.Almost does not leave much time for family or friends.She is upset at times that she does not do the things her friends do.But if we ask her she still wants to continue gym.She has her friends there.Last year she went to gym only 3 days/week.She has 1 more year left in Elementary School and does well so far.We will see what is going to happen in Middle School.For us good grades in school is a priority.
She does 5 days normally - but when school is out for break or summer - they do 6 days. Their practices are only 3 hours though, where some gym's do 4 hours - so she goes 5 days but it is only 15 hours per week. Her gym is pretty far so it takes time to get there and back. She doesn't get home until 9:00 and her bus comes at 6:30 a.m.

I've tried to get her to cut back a day - but most of the gyms she competes against are super competitive (38 - 39 AA) and she wants to do well at competitions. She is very organized, but this year she was put in a gifted program and has a lot more, and harder, work than in the past. When she starts middle school next year, she won't have to get up until 7:30 though (backwards from most places) - so maybe that will help ??

Thanks for all the feedback - most other parents I talk to just say - well then take her out of gymnastics - only other gymnastics moms understand that for these girls that just isn't an option unless they are ready to give it up. The schedule just gets really tough sometimes - and I have 2 other kids really involved in different sports.
Flippy---I understand where you're coming from. Most of these girls are excellent students which leads them to be placed in advanced classes etc. at school increasing their time committment to that plus gym. Mine is in Algebra 1 this year, so she's a 6th grader taking high school math. For some reason, her teachers this year are doing a horrible job at coordinating work, so one week she'll have alot of homework plus a quiz and test and then the next, not nearly as much. She does understand if she comes home with minimal homework, that that is the time to work ahead. Gosh, I really wish she didn't have to grow up so fast!!!! We had a talk several years ago that school is the priority----we don't mean straight As, just do the best she can.

I do pull her out of practice early if she says she has alot of homework and the coaches are fine with this. Usually its only 30 minutes early, so she might miss a little work on the last event of the night plus some conditioning. Mine has 4 hour practices so, she's in the gym 16 hours/week.

I think its great your dd wants to push to score even better, but you may have to tell her that if she runs herself down, it will show in her meets and tired gymnasts don't score all that high. Also being too fatigued sets her up for getting whatever cold/flu is going around. The drive time is also a big issue---don't like it, but we use it for gymie as some "down time." Usually catch up on her school day heading to the gym and she can unwind in the car coming home. She has a teammate who puts in at least 2 hrs./day travel time----don't know how she does it.
The key is to watch how your daughter reacts to training, does she love to go to training? Does she get upset at the thought of missing a day of gym? Does she talk about gym with excitement? If the answers are yes then she is probably not overdoing it in the gym.

School work is less of a worry than it seems a lot of the time. Girls who reach this high level of gymnastics tend to be intelligent, organised, dedicated, hard working kids. They tend to learn much easier and faster than the average child. They can achieve the same result as many other kids with less study and homework.

Not only that participating in gymnastics actually improves their school work. Kids who are very active are far better focused and well behaved in the classroom. The type of exersize done in gymnastics improves the parts of the brain responsible for concentration, listening, memory and learning ability. Spending a little extra time in the gym and a little less on their studies in many cases is better for their grades. I have seen girls leave gymnastics because of poor grades or in order to have more time for study and in every case their grades dropped after quitting gymnastics.

Maybe you can talk to the teacher about lessening her load. Some school's allow high level gymnasts to skip PE or gym and have a free period to get more homework or study done. They are so fit and active and train so many hours that PE is less nessesary. If you have a supportive teacher he or she may even be able to reduce homework in area's your daughter is already excelling in and tell you what area's she should focus on.
My dd is 7, level 3. She is at gym 3 days a week, 2 hours each day. She absolutely loves it and I have to near drag her out. It is a difficult struggle to get all accomplished. When she gets off the bus she has time to change and eat a snack. Then off to the gym. We get home @ about 6:30 then it is pretty much dinner, homework, reading & bed.

I worry about her moving to L4 since it will be an add'l 3 hours at the gym. She struggles at school some. She is on grade level, not behind in anything - but she is a perfectionist and almost always frustrated.

I am trying to figure out a better plan to get things all done w/out constant badgering her about not having much time to finish her work or eat or whatever. I don't feel like pulling her out of the gym is an option. She loves it too much and the gym is where she is her most confident person.
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