For Parents Tough choice :( (very long)

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Gymmonkeymomma

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Stepping up, and rebeliously taking her place in the spotlight may be just the thing. ("He wants a Giant? I'll show him I can do a Giant!!" i.e Put HC is his place though actions. )
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This is just what Little Monkey would do, but big DD is not like that.

As for HC's change in style, etc.this happens periodically and he has done this several times before. Each time, big DD would get upset about it. It was always short-lived.
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Try to resist letting gym become a big issue at home, she is vulnerable and life is hard enough with the coach in her face all the time, without her parents being heavy.

She seems to have a load lifted off her, and a bit happier when we get in the car to head to gym. Maybe it's a relief that the pressure off, that there's an end in sight. We're not talking about gym at home but Little Monkey likes to tell me about her practices.

However, last night I told her I have to register team for the Rutgers meet (the one she asked me about) and I asked her if she wanted me to enter her and she said "let me think about it". Does this honestly sound like a kid who really wants to quit?
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Even though it does not ease the situation for you, I don't think your HC is necessarily mean. Competive climate changes so coaches/gyms make changes to their objectives. Sometimes it is not the coaches' own choice. I think the fact that he went out of his way to give you the headup says something about him (at least towards you guys). Like it or not, coaches don't always share their everyday lesson plans with the parents -- especially one that is likely to cause pain.

I don't think he is mean. That is DD's perception, she is a kid. I know he is doing what's needed, but he is inconsistent, which is why these kids are so resistant to changes. He has flip flopped his coaching style before, it's just this time DD is caught in the spotlight because others are leaving and also because she's now at a higher level.
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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I can understand you wanting your DD to fulfil her committments. But please keep a close eye on her mental state. As Tumblequeensmom said, by the time these girls actually work up the nerve to TELL us they are ready to quit, so much has happened to them mentally & emotionally. Many do not really want to give up the sport. But they know when they've had enough mentally. The gymnastics life can be 'cult like' and sometimes we all need a reality check. It hit me last year when I realized I was paying someone to verbally & mentally abuse my child! I'm actually ashamed that I let him do that to her & I will NEVER let him treat her like that again.

If your DD is going to continue at this gym(even just to fufil her meet comittment) she needs some positive influence. Is there a supportive coach that she could do privates with? Can you talk to HC & tell him to back off? Imagine being forced to go to a job everyday that (after thinking long & hard) you've decided to quit. Knowing that the boss is going to yell at you constantly, for something that you are unable to do. And the boss is not giving you the proper tools to be able to do the job. How would you feel? Hopeless? Stressed? As you describe DD's situation right now, it's not healthy mentally. A child with fear issues isn't going to "get over them" by being yelled at & stressed. It's only going to make it worse. She needs positive encouragement & support! Please watch the vids by Doc Ali on coaching through fear(I've posted the link several times). That is the type of coaching these girls need...supportive & encouraging!!!

Thank you. I will keep all of this in mind. I have spoken with the Program Director and she has spoken with HC about taking to K and explaining to her the reasoning for wanting to push her, how he really cares about her, etc. The fact that DD feels she can "talk back" to him (she didn't used to do this) is positive for her as she can express her feelings and is not holding it all in. The only other coach whom I feel is qualified to coach her for these particular skills is not someone she would want to work with either. She has done privates before, grudgingly, when she needed to. Again, it's because he is the no-nonsense type. I am going to talk to 2 other coaches I know, one is the coach at our high school where K has been attending camp for the last few years and the other is a former coach, who also was coached by same HS coach, and is now a HS coach herself (different school). When she worked for our gym, she was one of K's favorites.
 

bogwoppit

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She seems to have a load lifted off her, and a bit happier when we get in the car to head to gym. Maybe it's a relief that the pressure off, that there's an end in sight. We're not talking about gym at home but Little Monkey likes to tell me about her practices.

However, last night I told her I have to register team for the Rutgers meet (the one she asked me about) and I asked her if she wanted me to enter her and she said "let me think about it". Does this honestly sound like a kid who really wants to quit?


No, this sounds like a kid who needs a different coach!:(
 
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thnkGd4kds

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I've loved reading all of the insightful posts in this thread, and I don't have much to add except that this doesn't sound like a gymmie who wants to quit, and I'm so glad that you've talked to the program director about it. Hopefully, keeping the lines of communication open among the PD, the HC, your daughter, and you will either help change the HC's approach to your dd or help your dd gain insight into why he's being like that so that she can let his approach "roll off her back" more. (Although, that will be difficult to do if she constantly has to use up energy to do it, and it would definitely not be fun, and gymnastics is supposed to be fun, no matter how intense it can be.) If it doesn't get better, are there other solid gyms to look at in your area? Your dd's reaction to a new gym at that point might tell you if she really wants to quit or if it's her HC's approach that she wants to escape.
 
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kristilyn73

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GMM - First off You are a great mom who listens to her daughter and also, I think, is listening between what she is saying. I don't think she really wants to quit either. I wonder if she just isn't happy right now and didn't know any other way but to quit. I think at this age, kids start to know how to make decsision but dont think about ALL the options, And right now, she has more options than just quitting.

I hope she starts smiling in the gym again... good luck and cyber hugs to the both of you!
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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If it doesn't get better, are there other solid gyms to look at in your area? Your dd's reaction to a new gym at that point might tell you if she really wants to quit or if it's her HC's approach that she wants to escape.

I've considered this although Little Monkey is very happy at our gym, she's been here since she was a toddler and this is "home". She was trained under different coaches than K, so she is more receptive to the current (stricter) styles. She is also a different kind of kid (albeit she has her own issues). Anyhoooo I have thought about taking K to another gym even if it means 2 kids at 2 gyms, although I think she may need a bit of a break too.

Coincidentally, K competed her first Level 4 meet on her birthday (8th) and will be competing her "last" meet also on her (13th) birthday.
 

bookworm

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I think it's a tough call but I don't think it's just a coach/gymnast issue...she might actually want out. As prior posters have said, before they actually bring it up, they've thought a lot about it. And you see a lot of wavering at this age ...
I guess I would give her "permission" to quit ...you said that when you asked if she wanted to do the Rutgers meet , she wanted to "think about it"... to me, that's a red flag that she wants out and she doesn't know how to go about it other than what she's already told you. I would tell her that you can see that she's struggled with this decision but now as her mother , you are making the decision for her and i would have her take 6 months off...and if she wants back in again, she should tell you and proceed from there. The relief from the stress of no decision will probably help her immensely. As another poster said too, the Prep Op route might be an option but I wouldn't pressure her into anything yet...
 
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gymjuice

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... to me, that's a red flag that she wants out and she doesn't know how to go about it other than what she's already told you. I would tell her that you can see that she's struggled with this decision but now as her mother , you are making the decision for her and i would have her take 6 months off...and if she wants back in again, she should tell you and proceed from there. The relief from the stress of no decision will probably help her immensely.

I think this is some of the best advice yet. This way, you will know for certain that she is going back in the gym because she absolutely wants to be there. In any case, some time off is probably warranted. Even if only a week or two...
 

NotAMom

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Actually, I'm not for taking a long term leave. Unless a gymnast has a hard time finding other interests during the time off or she is really destined to be a gymnast, there is a slim chance of her coming back. Even if she does come back, a considerable break (say 6 months) really makes it hard for her to play catch up.
There is a high chance of her becoming discouraged and eventually quit again.
 

Tumblequeensmom

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...you said that when you asked if she wanted to do the Rutgers meet , she wanted to "think about it"... to me, that's a red flag that she wants out and she doesn't know how to go about it other than what she's already told you.

I agree with Bookworm. Looking back on it... my DD also told me that she "wanted to think about" entering into the Florida meet (which she had been so excited about the year before)... she "wanted to think about" having a private lesson with her favorite coach, etc. I now know she was already thinking about quitting, but just couldn't work up the courage to tell me about all the frustrations, pressures, etc. she was dealing with. The "wanting to think about it" just, in her opinion, gave her extra time to not to have to make a decision!
 

gym law mom

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I agree with TQM. I think the non commitment of "I'll think about it" for a meet you need to register her for is her way of saying she doesn't want to do it and is hoping either the deadline will pass and you don't sign her up or you figure out she doesn't want to do it----either way the decision is made and she's off the hook for the meet.

At this point since she has said she wants to be done with club gymnastics, its time to sit down with her and find out what she would like to do next. That way you both can start looking around at options she would like to pursue and not have a big down time once these few meets she's doing are over. That may also help you gauge how serious she is.

I don't think scheduling her for any more meets unless she asks is a good idea or taking her to look at other gyms. If you have a date agreed upon when she will stop then stick with it and just see where it all goes. Her happiness is the most important thing and if she does leave gym this year, you want her to be able to look back with some good memories.
 
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