Parents Demeaning Parents

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This is an interesting (albeit sometimes disturbing) subject to me that I know we have touched on for parents of their own children. However, I am referring more to parents that are demeaning or disrespectful to their childrens teammates.

I have seen a great deal of this over the last year from pre-team to team & now I even hear parents of our new pre-teamers talking about their own groups in this way. These are all parents of pre-compulsory or compulsory parents that I am referring to & it seems odd to argue and be disruptive over some of these very basic gymnastic skills - it is especially true when a child needs a spot and requires attention from a coach ... It saddens me that parents say such negative things about children that eventually do progress & catch up.

Does/has anyone else noticed this type of behavior from some parents?
I would never ever talk badly about my daughters' teammates. I think they're all great gymnasts.. obviously some better than others but they're all at the same level so they can't be all THAT different, kwim??
I don't know where you are, but I've been going to gymnastic meets now for about 8 years and I've never heard any demeaning team parents. Everyone has always been very supportive of their daughters' teammates.
oh gosh no, I have never heard other parents being mean at meets... they are all so encouraging & supportive - I have only heard them, behind parents/kids backs at practice... that is why it just feels so horrible to me I suppose... I always thought our parents were so down to earth & for the most part I still do... but more and more I hear, "why is she on pre-team, our girls are so much better?" or "how come she got moved to team?" or "that girl does not belong"... etc, etc... just so much cattiness - maybe that is a better word. I have been staying more over christmas break, so maybe I have just been exposed to it more. I used to hear so many things about this child or that one, but not for a very long time - now sure enough I was sitting behind a couple of pre-team parents the other day and could not help but hear them talking about the newest addition to the p-team, again as if she did not belong.... I just think it is sad and unecessary. Especially since gymnasts ALL work so hard... just venting and curious to know how cattiness is around other gyms - nic
All of our pre-team parents are very supportive of all the girls. We have a great group. We have competed in two level 3 meets in the fall and all the parents were cheering for all the girls.

There is a girl that was level 4 and moved back to level 3. some of us had questioned the original move as our girls seemed to be more advanced that her. However, since she has moved back to level 3 she has blossomed and it is wonderful to see the strides she has made.

I know I am honestly excited when any of the team does well or gets a new trick. Our team is not that big. 17 girls levels 3-5 + one level 8. One of the level 5 girls who is new to level 5 and has been feeling a bit down got her RBHS back tuck just before the holidays and everyone was cheering. The owner / head coach always stops everyone in the gym when someone tackles a new trick so all can watch and cheer her on.
I haven't seen any of that yet, but our girls are not on team yet. I am always watching all the girls and if a mom isn't paying attention and does something new, I tell them so they can watch. I know my DD is always like "Did you see me do such and such?". One of them is always chasing a toddler as well, so I try to watch out for hers especially because I know she is busy with him. I think all the girls are amazing, so I am always proud of them.

I think that this tends to happen when parents are living their own dreams (failed or otherwise) through their kids. I don't have any hopes of anything for my DD in gymnastics except that I hope that she keeps loving it, has fun, does her best and learns all the valuable lessons that being in gymnastics can help her to achieve.

We have already talked about how winning isn't what matters, it is doing your best, setting goals and hopefully achieving them and having fun and making friends. If you have dreams of being able to brag that your kid is whatever, then you want others to look bad. JMHO. I love pointing out when another kid does something and the other mamas comment to me about my DD as well. I hope it stays that way. I am sure that there are always going to be those kind of parents out there, but I think they are not so common. I hope. :D
I am sure that there are always going to be those kind of parents out there, but I think they are not so common. I hope. :D

I don't know any. Everybody at our gym is very nice and I don't think they'd ever say anything mean about another child.
I know exactly where you are coming from. There are a couple of catty parents at my daughters gym. Some are preteam parents and others are team parents. Its the same individuals year after year. It gets so tiring to keep hearing their pettyness. I can't believe the things they get worked up about it. They even keep track of how much personal time with the coach and if someone gets a longer turn with the coach they start to complain about favortism. But I think when some one is that petty it more then just about gymnastics. They cut down people across all environments. There are two parents at our gym that I try to sit far away from as possible. It makes me wonder what they say behind my back when I am not there to watch my daughter. I would say though that most of the parents are great.
Unfortunately, I've seen the nasty side come out in some gym parents. Some just plain don't talk to you which maybe is best. Had 1 mom last season turn to another mom and me at a meet saying if her wonderful child had gotten to go later in the bars rotation, she would have gotten scores as high or higher than our kids. Now, usually her dd did go toward the end and was good on bars, but had a bad warm up with only "average" casts, so the coach put her up 1st. I think she had the "horrible" score of like a 8.85(this was L6) and my gymie and her teammate scored 9.35 and 9.45. This mom was really irritated because it also took her dd out of the running for 1st in the AA.

Its not necessarily what may be said in the gym that can be a problem, but what parents say in the car, at home and to coaches. Many coaches will just blow off a parent with an agenda who is bad mouthing other girls, but a few feed right into it.

Reality is, no matter what your child is in, some parents will take it to extremes to make sure their kid gets ahead, takes 1st whatever. Heard about a parent who spent over $3000 on a clarinet for her son(plus oodles of private lessons) to make sure he was always 1st chair and would have the best chance at making all state band.
Gym Law mom,

Sorry to get off topic...but...

We have one girl/mom like that too. For the most part I love all the team girls, and parents are nice too (I love our gym!) but this one girl (who *IS* very talented) all season has done very well on the vault. At the last meet this girl went first and didn't do very well. In fact, none of our girls did very well, the mat was more of a blow up kind (portable) and the spring boards were just not very good either. The mom kept going on and on about how her DD got low score (it wasn't that bad and she was going to place anyway but not 1st) because she went first. Later while I was in the bathroom that same mom came in with her DD & I happened to overhear her telling dd that the only reason she did so BAD was that she went first and the coach said that girls that go first get the lowest scores! This poor girl was only 7 and the worst thing I ever had to watch was later on in the meet the same girl had to go first on the beam!!!! She was clearly so twisted because of that "talk" she was a basket case. After the meet we all had to do "damage control" on our DD's b/c same girl had to announce to other team girls that going 1st is the kiss of death at a meet. Nice huh? Good thing my DD doesn't care about what place she goes in & what place she comes in on the podium cause she doesn't get too many medals yet, LOL, this was her first year.
my girls just started preteam at the beg of DEc and there are 2 moms that are there all the time and they both seem soo supportive!! the one mom even got excited today when my oldest got a new skill (and even when she had gotten it yet but was close!!) she made a comment to me about how hard my kids work!!

Seems to me like we have VERY supportive moms in the group!! (well parents)
"Its not necessarily what may be said in the gym that can be a problem, but what parents say in the car, at home and to coaches. Many coaches will just blow off a parent with an agenda who is bad mouthing other girls, but a few feed right into it."

This is also very true and it ultimately affects the well being of their own child. I also agree parents can be like this in any kind of sport/activity - even the science fair... still, I think my biggest pet peeve right now is when pre-teamer parents come up to me and say "did you see that new girl - she can't do as much as our girls can do & the coach has to spot her on almost everything". They attack every child that comes in. I always wonder if this has a partial impact on gym retention...
tx for the replies :D... it is very encouraging to know that many of you have a lot of supportive parents behind your gymnastic pre-teams teams!

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