“Try”ing Times

Yesterday I watched Hannah in her gymnastics class with my hands proudly clasped in front of my chest.  I watched her bound off the trampoline spreading her legs in straddles and tucking them in a ball beneath her chin.  I watched her do cartwheels with her legs straight over her head and do pushups, sit-ups and repeated jumps up and down off a stack of mats.  I saw her starting a somersault and then mid “roll”, stop, remembering to stretch her arms and hands gracefully above her head (gymnastics arms they call them) as she’s been instructed by her drill sergeant coach.  I’m usually exhausted just from watching her in this class.  It’s all business.  No messing around.

Remember, Hannah is five.  A time where I believe she should be having FUN.  Trying everything.  Succeeding at some.  Failing at others.  But enjoying it all.  There will be plenty of years ahead of her where she won’t have as many choices.  Won’t be allowed to just ENJOY.

She used to love this class.  She still loves gymnastics but has been telling me this class is getting really HARD.  She’s tired.  She hasn’t made friends because they aren’t allowed to talk during class.  She’s thirsty because they are only allowed one water break.  She can’t hold her handstand as long as some of the other girls.  The splits really HURT.  It’s just not enough FUN anymore.

I’m ok with her stopping.  As someone who did gymnastics from age eight through high school, I know how grueling the sport can be.  On the body and on the mind.  It’s extremely time consuming and can be dangerous.  If she was to continue this program, it would be two afternoons a week.  A big commitment for both of us.  I’m fine finding a more laid back gymnastics class.  One where she can dance around, play with balloons, make friends, tiptoe across balance beams, practice jumping on a springboard and have a cute recital at the end.  I’m fine with that, For Now.

I asked another girl’s mom if she’d be continuing the class next session (Hannah had told me this girl was not doing it anymore and I wanted to hear it from the mom) and she said, “OH yeah.”  I told her that Hannah had told me that she wasn’t and the mom rolled her eyes and said, “She might not THINK she is but she really doesn’t have a choice.  She’s doing it whether she wants to or not.  She needs to learn now that things can be hard in life and quitting is not always an option.”

Like Hannah, this girl is FIVE.  Does that sound harsh to you?  A bit hard core for the mom of a five year old?  Or am I in the minority here?

I don’t know this mother, and I’m pretty sure she’ll have no interest in starting a friendship with me after my telling her my honest thoughts.

I rolled MY eyes and said, “I kind of think our kids SHOULD have a choice at this point in their lives.  Try out different sports and activities and see what sticks.  I’d hate to force Hannah into something and have her resent me later.  Or dedicate so many hours to an activity that she’s going to quit in high school because she’s miserable.” and then I added, “But that’s just me.”

Other Mom just stared at me.  And said, “Well, gymnastics is what my husband and I decided she should do.  So she will.”

Alrighty then.

And what about the flip side.  What do you do when your child WANTS to play a sport that you feel strongly that they DON’T play.  I wrote about this a long time ago (before anyone actually read my blog) and still struggle with it.  I would prefer Luke NOT play football.  I find it too dangerous.  I’m Jewish.  Jewish boys don’t play football.  Except my husband.  Of course I married the one football playing Jew. Tim believes we should allow our kids try anything and everything and allow them to choose what they want to continue.  Tim complains weekly about his bad back that is “bad” because of the injuries he sustained playing years of football.  And he would be ok with that for his son?  I agree we should allow our children to try out a variety of activities and sports that we approve of. Is there anything wrong with dissuading our children from trying something we’d prefer them not end up liking?  If it’s something we don’t find safe?  Motor Cross, Sky Diving, and Ultimate Fighting are also examples of activities I most likely would steer my kids clear of.  I’m thinking Tim would not disagree with those.  Can’t we encourage sports that don’t require him wear full body armor pads.  Like soccer?  Or lacrosse?  Or swimming?

There are so few years of life when everything you do is for FUN.  When you are not judged.  You are not told you’re not good enough.  When you don’t have to be selected.  I want to squeeze as much into these years as I can, so that when doors sadly close, at least my kids will have tried them and had fun with them.

But I’m struggling with it too.  Struggling with:

a) when (or IF) do you tell your child, “I know you’re having fun with this, but really, you’re not so good at it and you probably should move on to something else?

b) is it ok to NOT let your child try something because you know you don’t want them to do it/like it/be good at it in the long run?

I’m pretty confident Hannah would make an amazing cheerleader.  But there’s no way in hell I’m letting her do it.  Not even for a day (as cute as she’d look in that little skirt and pompoms).  Is that wrong?

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40 Comments

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40 responses to ““Try”ing Times

  1. Are you reading Raising Happiness? (I have it on my lap… so it’s fresh 😉 ) In chapter three she writes “…we parents create perfectionists in children when we are unable to see the positive aspects of mistakes, failures, and jobs left undone, fearing that our children’s poor performance will reflect badly on us.” (page 57)

    I think the above quote really speaks to the mother of Hannah’s friend, and her attitude on gymnastics.

    As for your questions… I have no idea. Right now I’m saying no to football, ice hockey, lacrosse, and wrestling, but that could change if one of my kids has a passion for them and is just dying to try (and I hear you on the cheer-leading….)

    • I have the book on order Corinne. I can’t WAIT to read it. I know I’ll love it based on all of the discussions. What a great quote and I agree, this mom must have been trying to make up for something from her life. She was certainly trying to teach some lesson to her daughter, when one wasn’t even necessary to teach. My MIL said she TRIED to not let Tim play football but he was so “good” at it and she just couldn’t say no. I guess until I’m in that position, I can’t be sure what i’ll do.

  2. We have some friends who have already decided their son will do martial arts (he’s 2) and they’ve purchased much of the equipment and supplies. I frequently find myself wondering, “But what if he doesn’t like it??” though I don’t know that I’ll ever work up the courage to ask them. I love that you were able to broach the subject with Gym Mom! I like to think that I’ll be a flexible mom who lets her children try lots of different things until something “clicks” and that I’ll find a way through my own neuroses to support their interests (biggest said neurosis being cheerleading, as you and Corinne both mentioned!) =>

    • I think once it’s upon me, where one of my kids so badly wants to try something that I’m worried about, I may cave. Sheesh, I can’t even say no to them in the grocery store, how will I when it comes to something that REALLY matters? I also need to find a way to overcome my worries and maybe go with the flow a little better.

  3. Wow…I knew those intense parents existed but it’s crazy to read what she said. That’s incredibly harsh for a 5 year old in my opinion; I wouldn’t even do that to my 9 year old. I think their teen years are a better time for them to have to stick with something, and even then only if it’s a team sport and the team is counting on their participation.
    But that’s just me……

  4. Nicki

    Becca – I hate to tell you this but my daughter played soccer. She suffered more injuries than her older brother who played football. And, in my mind, those concussions were more long lasting than the broken finger the brother had.

    I do not think you are letting Hannah quit. She is finishing up a session. She doesn’t want to do another session. No problems. My problem would come if she were allowed, even at 5, to stop mid-session.

    • I know you’re right Nicki about other sports being dangerous too. I just see first hand how injured Tim is to this day from football and having played soccer myself, I have it in my head it’s not as dangerous. I agree that quitting mid session is unacceptable as it would be a waste of money and not respectful to the teacher.

      Sent from my iPhone

  5. First, I’m shocked by the other mom’s comment. I’m having a difficult time just digesting it.

    With my kids we let them try many different activities (except football). We could see which ones they were good at and which ones they weren’t. Almost as if through natural selection each of the boys settled on their own sport by middle school. The eldest picked swimming and the youngest chose golf. They’re each good but not heading for the Olympics of the PGA tour. In our house, academics are first and the sport is for physical fitness.

    • I know, it left me ALMOST speechless.
      Did your kids have any desire to try football? Did you have to tell them no? That’s what I dread. If I do in fact decide that it’s something I feel that strongly about, it will be a difficult stance to take. I just want my kids to have FUN with the sports they choose. I don’t care if they aren’t very good but I do care that it’s something they take pride in and work hard at. I think team sports do wonders for how you perform later in life… since so much of life is team driven.

      And yes, academics are top priority to us as well but activities (music, sports, etc.) are a close second.

  6. ShannonL

    Wow, I can’t believe the comments from that other mom (poor kid!)!

    I think it’s ok to keep our children away from sports that we feel are too dangerous – especially when they are young. But if they see it and *really* want to try it, we should probably suck it up and let them give it a go (except for the sky-diving and ultimate fighting type sports!).

    Finally, I truly can’t understand why everyone seems to be dissing cheerleading. It is not about waving pom-poms around and yelling “Go, team!”. It is powerful. It is competitive. It involves both gymnastics and dance. Many cheerleading teams don’t even cheer games… they go to (power cheer) competitions. If you haven’t seen one, you should. It is fast-paced and amazing. I bet you Hannah would love it! 😉

    • Thanks Shannon for your comment. I’m not sure where you live, but although in many parts of the states cheerleading is exactly how you describe it (and YES I have watched those competitions, they are AMAZING!), around me, it’s not competitive or involving dance or gymnastics. It really is about being with the “in” crowd, spending time with the football players, and looking pretty. The joke with the girl “athletes” from my high school used to joke that if you can’t play a sport, you cheer for one. But I’m certainly not dissing cheerleading as a sport at other schools. I’m sure it’s much like the gymnastics team or any other team for that matter!

      • ShannonL

        Thanks Becca. I actually live in Canada, but have seen those awesome cheer competitions on American networks and figured it was probably pretty common everywhere. I totally understand why you wouldn’t want your daughter to be ‘that’ kind of cheerleader! No thank you! I hope she finds an activity that she absolutely loves (and that Mommy likes it too)! 🙂

  7. Most of the time I’m all for letting your kids follow their loves.

    Cheerleading? After my daughter did it through middle and high school? Absolutely not. I’ve got your back on that one.

    • Nice to see you HM! Yes, they should follow their loves… I just hope I can help them fall in love with something that makes me feel comfortable too…

  8. I wouldn’t ever tell my kid that she should give up on something because she wasn’t very good at it. If she enjoys it (despite not being good at it) I still say–go for it.

    I’m with you on the cheerleading thing though. NO WAY. And of course that’s probably the one thing she’s going to want to do. I also say no to ballet and gymnastics–eating disorder breeding grounds. I’m obviously overly paranoid in that regard.

    • I agree Kitch that if one of my kids likes something she should continue. BUT, as the kids get older it won’t be ME making the decision, it will be a coach who decides that my child isn’t good enough. I know the right thing is to let that happen but the nurturing side of me just wants to prevent as much pain as I can. But that’s life, and I have to let go, and have my kids learn that “failing” or “losing” or “not making it” is just a part of life. I know gymnastics can be very tough on girls emotionally and physically… it’s something very much in the back of my mind as well.

  9. Liz

    Yikes, Becca. At the risk of turning you off to me (and possibly deleting this comment), I have to say that although I agree whole heartedly with your response to that mom, I disagree just as strongly on the whole football/cheerleading thing. I have two boys. I have a husband who HAS sky dived (dove?), did play football, lets our 4-year-old bike on a ramp intended for 8-year-olds. I cringe. I worry. I make him wear a helmet. But I am a big believer that life is filled with risks and possible injuries…and my kid is more likely to be seriously hurt in a car accident (GOD FORBID) than on the football field. Now, if he didn’t show any interest in a dangerous sport, would I bring it up? Hell, no. But if he really, truly wanted to try it, I’d have to let him. I’d pray, but I’d let him. And I think, in a way, that those of us who refuse to allow our children to try something because we are completely opposed to it are not that different from the ones who refuse to allow our children to quit something because we are completely for it.
    P.S. I admit, I was not sure if I should write this comment….it’s so much easier when the comments we read and write are all in agreement…that is when we feel supported and understood. But I hope that you and I “know” each other well enough at this point that I can be honest and you still know that I am not passing judgment, nor am I criticizing. I truly 100% understand your point…in fact, you know I am much like you in many ways, particularly our fears and concerns in life, but often I have to talk myself out of my gut reactions (like the one that intially INSISTED that my 4-year-old would absolutely not be allowed on the bike ramp).

    • Sorry Liz. We can’t be friends anymore… that’s it. :) Thank you for your honest thoughts here, seriously. I don’t just write to have everyone agree with me and you have some totally valid points in your comment. I just feel that if we KNOW there are serious risks associated with certain sports, we don’t need to encourage them. We can introduce them to sports that are a bit safer and hope they enjoy those instead. I’m not saying I’ll FORBID Luke from playing football if he’s DYING to try it, but I think there are steps I can take early on to maybe get him involved in other things so he doesn’t feel the need to try football later. May work, may not. As for cheerleading… although in some parts of the country cheerleading is a REAL sport incorporating gymnastics and dance, in MY part, it’s all about flirting with the boys, and looking pretty. Again, I want to ENCOURAGE Hannah to play a sport instead of cheer for one. I grew up playing a variety of sports and it did wonders for me as far as feeling like I fit in with a motivated, passionate group of girls and feeling like i was part of a team involved in working hard together. I also might discourage her from continuing gymnastics. I think it’s also very dangerous and sets girls up for a lot of physical and emotional disorders. We’ll see… Anyway – thank you for your comment. It’s something I think about a lot and I posted about it so I could see other mom’s thoughts… so I truly appreciate yours! xo

  10. Like you, I want my kids to decide what their interests are not me. That doesn’t mean I won’t have them take piano lessons or play soccer, or try dance. I think that we as parents provide the opportunities and kids decide. Five does seem rather young for choosing an interest, though.

    • I think as parents we can ENCOURAGE or DISCOURAGE one way or another but to actually decide that they must do something, even if they don’t want to, seems wrong. But as I write this I realize that I am doing the opposite. I’m deciding that they CAN’T do something because of my fear of harm coming to to them. When they can get hurt doing absolutely anything (crossing the street for instance). I guess I can’t be a hypocrite and should let them try anything and hope that what is right for them is what they stick with.

  11. Thanks Randi. i agree on all of this but as i mentioned in response to another comment, i would never make my kids stop if they weren’t good. Never ever. But, if you see that they most likely won’t be good enough to continue as they get older (and wouldn’t MAKE a team), do you encourage them to try something else? I’m thinking the right thing to do is have them see on their own and let the cards fall as they may, and not get involved at all in having them move onto something else if I feel in my heart they wouldn’t make a team. It’s not my place to interfere… but as a mom, it will be hard. As far as my husband playing a dangerous sport? I’d hope my tsk tsking and shaking my head every time he went out to play would be enough… but easier said than done!

  12. I echo TKW’s comment on aptitude. If a kid wants to do something because they enjoy it and don’t care that they aren’t good, more power to them.

    As for the other mom at gymnastics class… will she also choose her daughter’s college major, career, spouse? Yikes.

    • Yes, I’d like to say it’s that easy to have my kids play a sport even if they aren’t good but around here, once you hit a certain age, you won’t make a team if you aren’t good. And that makes preventing a hard fall very difficult. But part of life I suppose.

      This other mom is pretty intense. Not one that I’ll be reaching out to for mommy advice any time soon!

  13. lz

    Like you, I did gymnastics from age 5 through high school. In 8th grade, I was tired of practices all weekend and on weeknights, and I quit. I wish my parents weren’t so quick to let me, as I ended up doing it again in high school, and I could have been so much better.
    However…I would not sign M up for soccer again because she said she didn’t want to go. I’d like her to, but she isn’t interested, so no question.
    I think, at this age, it’s fine to let them decide if they don’t want to participate. That’s what days at the park or in the backyard are for.
    As far as preventing them from doing something? Damn straight – at least at this age.I don’t really want my girls playing softball, because I’m terrified of the ball, but what can I really say when they are older? I’ll revisit if it becomes an issue.

    • I feel like I’m so hypocritical because on the one hand I’m bashing this other mom for MAKING her daughter continue this rigorous gymnastics class but on the other hand, I’m actually doing the same thing this fall with soccer. I think Hannah had a bad experience with soccer last fall because of the coach and her teammates and believe she’ll really love it with the right coach and more interested kids. Her saying, “but it made me so tired” seems like such a cop out to me. If she said, “I really don’t like soccer” maybe I’d feel differently but just being whiny and complaining about being tired isn’t acceptable to me. But I wonder if I’m pushing her in a direction that doesn’t interest her.

      I guess just like when the kids are older and they BEG to DO something, I may let them and if they BEG NOT to do something, I may cave as well.

      Should be an interesting time of all of our lives!

  14. I am a firm believer in trying everything. My son has done karate, played football, baseball, and basketball, and tried both Scouts and 4H.

    Guess which sport(s) he plays? Basketball and football. He just didn’t like the rest. I made him try each for an entire season before he was allowed to quit. And the caveat for quitting was, the next time you play, you pay for it yourself.

    May sound mean, but he took it seriously when he decided not to continue with a team, and thinks long and hard before suggesting a new sport. I tried to get him to try swimming and he told me, “I’m not ready to decide about it.” Good call, young grasshopper!

    By letting him choose, he has learned to hang in there when what he likes gets tough, and that he might as well enjoy what he’s doing while he’s doing because he won’t necessarily have to do it forever. (So no meltdowns about having to go play baseball, thank goodness!)

    • What a great approach Kelly! I don’t think Hannah is old enough to be told she’ll have to pay for something but if there are some consequences for stopping and starting, that might work to make her really think about quitting without being sure.

      Thanks for this comment!

  15. Sometime I just love being the old Mom. I can really comment here. If you make that poor child do more gymnastics at that studio she will hate it forever. This whole sports thing is a bit out of control. My son was a great basketball player. He was 6’3” in middle school. When he got to high school he played his first year and then went out of a part in a play. When he got the role he couldn’t quit fast enough. My husband had to have a talk with him about giving up basketball. It’s so stupid. Doctors are seeing all sorts of sports injuries in kids too young to have them.

    Let your daughter find what she loves and let her do it for as long as she wants. She has to go to school–let her free time be that FREE!

    Boy, I don’t envy you with a football playing Dad. I was so worried about Kyle playing and just thanked my lucky stars his high school didn’t have a team.

    Recently I asked him if he could be anything when he grows up what would he want to do? Remember he’s 16. He said pitch for the Yankees.
    Short of that, own them.

    Maybe he should have stayed with little league but after a while he just wasn’t that into it.

    • Hi Terry, I can’t appreciate your thoughts enough. I love having a wide variety of moms with kids of different ages because your experiences are so valuable.
      I am going to follow your advice because I completely agree with you. I think it is the healthiest perspective and in the end will make us all happy.
      Thank you again.

  16. I think that quitting something in the middle of a session is a problem. There is something to be said to sticking to a commitment. But, Hannah is 5. She needs to have FUN. She needs to try things out and see what fits.

    My oldest son is not a born athlete. We tried a few things before he decided he liked tennis. He was TERRIBLE. And then, he improved. And he enjoys it. And it challenges him. I think you are right in your thought process regarding that other mother. It might be something that she felt she missed out on as a child, and now, wants to live vicariously.

    As parents, we should encourage, support and provide guidance, not impose our will. It is hard for people like me, recovering control freaks, to let go, to allow our children to make decisions without our constant running commentary.
    But the ultimate goal of parenting is to produce happy, seemingly well adjusted, self sufficient adults. If we constantly require or force our children to do what we want, they will never be able to stand on their own two feet and think for themselves.

    • Yes Yes and Yes. I completely agree with you on all of this. I definitely want to ENCOURAGE my kids to do what they feel right doing and maybe push a little if they are unsure and I think it will benefit them in the end. I want my kids to feel like they have some power in the family to make decisions and to have a true voice about what makes them happy. There will be plenty of times in other areas of their lives where options will be minimal so their spare time activities are ones I’d like them to be able to choose (as long as it’s not football). 🙂

  17. My husband and I were just talking about this phenomenon after I reread the section in Raising Happiness that Corinne mentioned above. My older son is only 2 1/2 so we haven’t run into this problem yet, but I know it’s right around the corner. Like so many of us, I want to find the balance between exposing my kids to lots of potentially fun and rewarding activities, encouraging them to pursue their passions, and making sure (where age appropriate) that they honor any commitments they’ve made to a team. Ultimately, I suppose I’ll end up going with my gut – and will hope that my gut doesn’t drive me to behave like the other mom in Hannah’s gymnastics class!

    Thanks for this thought-provoking post, Becca!

    • This is what I keep running into… I also want to go with my gut. But my gut is going to stop a lot of things if I keep going by it. It will stop football. It will push for soccer. It will interfere too much… But it will be so hard to NOT go with my gut because I’ll think that I’m RIGHT. But I guess it’s not all about doing what feels right to US when it comes to sports and activities I guess. It may be more about allowing this to be the time when our kids can have a voice and do what THEIR gut tells them. And we can HOPE that their guts are in line with ours. It won’t be easy… that I know. Thanks Kristen.

  18. When Jamis was 4 he was strangely really into ice hockey. I don’t know how it started or why but that’s what it was. We bought him skates and a helmet and I signed him up for hockey skating lessons. Round about the 4th lesson he wasn’t into it. It was hard, he said. And because I was tired (read:pregnant), I let him walk away from it.

    To this day I wonder if I made the right choice. Everything else has come so easily to him. School and sports alike. I worry that his greatest problem in life will not be unlike my own: effort. Realizing that with great effort comes great rewards. Personal rewards. Gratifying rewards.

    But, I know that he wasn’t having fun. And he was 4! And 4 should be fun. For both of us. If I had to do it over again I probably would have made him finish the session of lessons and decide from there. If he were involved in something today, at 7, that he wanted to quit, I would ask him to finish up him commitment and then we would discuss it.

    For Hannah, I think that if the session is ending and she is not happy with the classes, you need to find something that she enjoys doing. Perhaps she enjoys gymnastics just not this particular environment? Not every sport is for every kid. Not every coach is for every kid. Certainly, as our kids grow up, we cannot make and break connections to teams and coaches because they aren’t ideal. But at 5? I think you still have a choice. And I dare say that now is the time for positive emotions about fun and fortitude, rather than negative ones.

    And no, there will be no football in our family. And we have, as you know, 3 boys. But soccer and sky-diving? Oh yes. Mountain biking and cliff jumping? Sure. There’s just something about football.

    I think it’s okay to steer your kid in certain directions, but making the decisions FOR them gets harder and harder as they get older and older. And if we start doing it when they are young, when do we stop? And how do they ever learn to start doing it on their own?

    (Geez, sorry for going on and on and on…)

    • I was just telling Tim that I bet Hannah would like a different gymnastics program so much more. She literally is not allowed to speak to the other girls in this class without being told sternly to pay attention. She can’t giggle. She can’t be funny. I’m not sure how ANY 5 year old girl could find it fun. But I guess if she loved the sport enough, she’d tough it out. Who knows. I just want her to be happy. I want her to leave everything she does with a smile on her face. But stopping a sport because “it’s so tiring” (which was her excuse for wanting to stop soccer)? That’s what I have a hard time with. She’s GOOD at it. It’s FUN and a team effort… I WANT so badly for her to like it and stick with it. In my gut I feel like she should give it another season to see again if she likes it. Do I push? Or do I not? What’s the difference between me and that other mom in this case?

      I go back and forth and back and forth… hopefully as the kids get older, my gut will be stronger and steer me right.

      Thanks Sarah.

  19. I’m trying desperately to catch up on all my blog reading, and normally would read all the comments, but for now I can’t, so forgive me if I repeat something someone else has said, and I’m sure they’ve told you that Christine Carter discusses this at length (in fact just wrote a post about it myself). What I wanted to share though, is that I both agree and disagree with you. I agree that at 5 and even throughout their entire youth that they should feel free to quit when they are ready. The response you describe by the mother here saddens me. That poor child. That said, I also think you need to let them fly free and try anything they want, but within reason. Obviously age should be taken into consideration, but I think as parents we walk a fine line in trying to protect them. I also think it can be easy to create the thrill of the forbidden, and that can be infinitely more dangerous than allowing them to participate in activities that are supervised and designed for their age group. It’s the whole argument about having the party at your house…at least then you know what’s happening.

    That said, I’m raising two boys and I KNOW I’m going to have real trouble with some of their interests, particularly if they are anything like their motorcycle loving father. But I also understand that it’s in their nature, so I’m going to try and find a way to come to terms with it…with a few rules thrown in for good measure.

    Great post Becca! I suspect as parents of young children we’ll find ourselves revisiting this issue often.

  20. Pingback: Does Quitting a Sport Make us Quitters? » The Know It All Mom

  21. Hi Becca, I’m a new commenter on your blog, and in fact a new blogger myself, but read this post and felt compelled to write my own. I’m the mother of a twelve year-old girl and have been down the path you’re on right now. I believe that everyone, including 5 year-old children, should have a say. Here’s my post, called “Does Quitting a Sport Make Us Quitters?”, if you’re interested :
    http://theknowitallmom.com/posts/
    Happy blogging!

    • Thanks Christie. I’ll swing by and comment on your post in a bit. Thank for your thoughts here… and I completely agree that our kids should have a voice, it’s just how much of a voice if I think they are going in the wrong direction… I’m VERY interested to read your perspective having gone through this so I’ll be by soon! Thank you!

  22. Jen

    This is a really late comment to the game but I googled and found your post. I am facing this right now with my almost 5 year old and gymnastics. Two days ago she loved it so much she said she wanted to go 5 days a week (she only goes once), and then yesterday had a bad day at class and is quitting and never going back. She has two classes left in the session and was scheduled to do twice a week in the fall but we haven’t committed to that yet. Really struggling with allowing her to choose what she wants, but also not quitting just because you have a bad day. She is only four, and four year olds are fickle and dramatic. I am trying my best to ride it out but stressing myself out at the same time.
    And as for other sports, she has also expressed interest in cheeering in the past but can’t start until next year so we’ll cross that path when we get there. I had the thought that if she did gymnastics it would go well with cheer….I also am rather against my DS (2.5 yrs now) doing ice hockey. It just isn’t my thing, but I also know it is very popular in our town and I keep my fingers crossed that he doesn’t show an interest in it. But if he does, we’ll cross that path when we get there.
    I am definitely interested in the book one of your responders referenced, Raising Happines and plan to check it out. Thanks for addressing these issues, so nice to know we are now alone!

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