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Most of you know my 6 year old does gymnastics. They almost skipped her a year last year and almost certain they WILL skip her a year this year, which she wants more than anything (no challenge in the skill level she is practicing with now). But today she told me she doesn't want to practice with the next level up anymore. I asked her why, and she said because one of the girls was treating her like a baby. My first reaction was, "Wow, that's a backwards thing to be upset about...most kids WANT to be the baby after a new baby is born..." but not her. In fact, my husband said to her, "Well, you're MY baby girl." and this caused her to run into her room crying. Not the reaction he expected...
Anyway, I talked to her and told her the girl wasn't trying to be mean. I saw what happened to spur this, and my daughter confirmed: a girl was trying to get her to do the easier version of a skill when my daughter can do the advanced version . . . and was trying to HELP her do the easy version (hands on/spotting her). It was quickly resolved because the coaches said, "No, let her do it herself." End of. (The girl was GENUINELY trying to HELP my daughter; she was being NICE.)
I also told my daughter she doesn't have to listen to everyone. She has a habit of doing things because another kid tells her, or stressing when another kid tells her to do something but it goes against something an adult said. She won't do it, but she becomes distressed and upset. I keep telling her just don't listen to them! They aren't your boss! But she continues to struggle with this (for well over a year now).
The rest of practice went better and better and she even mastered the mechanics of a skill she has been working on for a while that most of the girls still can't do. No one else tried to "help" her with anything. I told my daughter not to worry about people thinking she is a baby or unable to do things. In time, they will see she can do those things. She just has to let them see . . . and not be upset in the meantime... ( I see the irony here, but I thought it counterproductive to point it out to her.)
After our chat, I asked her if she wanted to skip a level still. she said she did. I explained to her that meant practicing with these girls over the summer and sticking with them in the fall. She said then she will continue to go to these practices.
I worry if she's getting upset and harboring hurt feelings, that will end up affecting her behavior/effort/etc . . . and THOSE are the things that could stand in her way of moving up. In fact, her coaches said today she was great at her last practices but this one she wasn't trying as hard until the end and I wonder if feeling like a baby is the reason why. I don't want to talk to them about this because I don't want them to think she's not emotionally ready to move up. And maybe she's not... but for now I just want to help her work through this and take it from there.
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PM me if have questions about autism, TTC gender swaying, natural childbirth, going "vaccine-free", or if you are looking for gentle discipline advice.
aww.. I dont know of any other 6 year olds with the drive of your daughter.. I hope she can adjust on her own well. Its probably something she is going to have to get through on her own with your emotional support like you did already.