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alittlelost March 20th, 2013 06:58 PM

Need support/advice (long)
So I think I've talked quite a bit about my daughter's involvement in gymnastics...

Right now, I'm in a situation where I'm kind of torn.

My daughter has an opportunity to go to another gym and possibly skip a level, which is my daughter's goal because she has been bored for a year now due to being placed in a level where she already knows all the skills. There's no challenge there. Now, when I was a kid, I liked easy ;) but my daughter likes new things and challenges.

My view: It's good to her to have it easy. Then she can work on perfecting her skills. She's the best on her team and does great at competitions, which is a huge confidence booster. And, I'm happy to say, she's modest about it. She's happy she does well but she doesn't compare herself to others or get conceited about it. She always looks for ways to improve for next time. The gym she is at now is cheaper and WAY closer (the other gym is twice as far and twice as much money)! We can afford either, so it's not a huge deal, but I admit it's something I think about. I love the people there--the coaches, the moms to the other girls in her group, etc.

My daughter's view: She's bored. She doesn't care if she's not the best in her group. She doesn't care if competition is harder. She wants to be challenged. She has even said "I don't want to be moved so far up that it's TOO hard or scary, I just want it to be a little harder so it's not boring." So, I can admire that. She's driven, she has goals, but she seems to know her limits. She doesn't want to set herself up for failure BUT she doesn't want things to be too easy, either.

Other things to consider. We pay an extra $120 a month now for her to take private classes so she can get an extra 1/2 hour a week to work on more challenging skills. So really, the price difference isn't THAT much since at the new gym she would get like 4 more hours a week and the skills would be challenging so she wouldn't need the privates (she'd be working on all week what she works on in private classes now) So when you look at it, it's really only like $30 more a month. She also wants to spend more time in the gym, which would be the case at the new gym.

We discussed this with her at length.

Us: Do you want to spend most of your time in summer camp playing or working?
Her: Playing
Us: Well, if you go to the new gym to be in level 4, you'd need to work more than play. It's up to you what you want to do. We can do more play and go into level 3 or do more work and go into level 4. Either one is fine.
Her: Then I want to work more.
Us: So you rather work more than play and go into level 4?
Her: Yes.

Example 2:
Us: Do you like the girls in this gym?
Her: Yes.
Us: Would you miss them if you went to a different team?
Her: Yes.
Us: Well, you understand that if you go to a new gym, you will be leaving your friends. Would you rather stay with your friends or go to level 4?
Her: Go to level 4.

Note: We've been in a similar situation with her before. She wanted to go onto the team, BUT she loved her old coach and didn't want to leave her. The gym she is at now gave her a choice: Go on the team, without your current coach, or stay with your current coach, but not on the team. She chose team, and she's been happy with that choice. She really surprised us all that she was ready for that, because she was pretty clingy to her old coach and previously REFUSED to work with the team coach. So, I do trust that she is good at knowing what sacrifices she wants to make to reach her goals, and she seems happy in the end with her decisions.

We showed her the skills they would work on if she switched to see how she felt about the idea of them. We asked if some might be scary to try, and she said if anything was scary she would just try until it wasn't scary anymore. So, she is pretty determined and has not been shaken once from her decision that she wants to be on level 4 and is bored where she is (and level 3 she knows will be boring too because she's seen what level 3 does and she already knows those skills, too).

So, I guess part of me realizes that what is best for HER is to move gyms. But I feel like what *I* want is to stay where we are, because I like the people and don't want them to be mad at us for switching gyms. I know that is ridiculous of me and it's not about me in this case, it's about her. I know that most likely, if her evaluation goes well at the new gym, we will move her. I always said I would support her goals in this. But I have to admit I'm having some selfish feelings about all this. I like her being the best on her team, even though she doesn't care. I like her scoring high at competition, even though she doesn't care. And I certainly don't want her to get those feelings from me, because I know they are pretty petty feelings to have (I blame it on just being a proud mama...). I like the people, I like the gym, my husband likes the convenience of the place, etc etc. But we know we have to move gyms eventually because our daughter wants to move at her own pace and the gym we are at now is very systematic, so that won't happen where we are. We just didn't plan to make the move this soon.

So, any thoughts, support, and advice are appreciated here.

shen7 March 20th, 2013 09:08 PM

When I had just turned 15, I went away to a boarding school to do a few fun summer classes as an "away from home" experience for the summer (6weeks I think). While I was there I realized that this was the school I needed to be at, not my old high school back home. I told my parents I wanted to go for the school year, my dad flat out said no. I cried and freaked out and he finally said I would need 50% financial aid, which we wouldn't qualify for based on need, but he was not going to pay for more than that. I went down to the admissions office and took their tests for merit based aid and I pretty much knew I'd scored close to 100%. I told the admissions counselor what my dad had said and how I really wanted to go. Lo and behold, I managed to get the aid... I have always been a great test taker and the counselor was really impressed by my motivation and desire to go there. So first my dad said he wasn't sure. Now this was insane, he has ALWAYS honored his deals with us kids and there was no way he could back out honorably. He confessed that he didn't realize they had merit aid like that available and didn't think I'd actually get it. The school was in Massachusetts and I am from California so this was clear across the country, he said it was too far. I did have the quiet support of my mom and then surprisingly, my grandmother, my dad's mom, M's namesake. She told him, "you can't keep her here. She is her own person and you have to let her fly and not keep her in a cage." She was not someone who I expected to have a strong opinion but apparently she really gave my dad an earful about it. So he relented and off I went. And I absolutely think it was a huge turning point for me and I may have ended up in a really bad state if I had stayed so frustrated at home.

Your daughter is really young but she is absolutely 100% clear on what she wants and seems totally certain. I think in that case all you can do is support her in her journey. I think you already know that you will... it's just hard. I can only imagine being the parent in that situation... when you were describing your conversations with her, I was totally imagining myself in her shoes and remembering myself at 15. But my dad loves me a lot and it was hard for him to let me go, in the end he did, and now look at me, permanently settled in my old neighborhood and around all the time :lol: so maybe you will get back some of what you are worried about missing, too, later on.

Hope that helps a little. Your daughter sounds very driven, you should be proud of that, she is great at knowing what she wants and how to work for it even at a young age.

alittlelost March 20th, 2013 09:20 PM

Re: Need support/advice (long)
Thanks so much, Shen. IDK why, but your post made me cry. Pregnancy hormones? Yes, I know in the end I'll let her go. My husband and I basically decided we would take her to the eval. If they think there is a good chance she can meet her goal there (being level 4 by next year) then we'll switch, otherwise, we'll have to explain to her she will be in level 3 next year either way and see what she thinks, but at that point we don't see the point in switching. I AM proud of her that she is so determined. The idea of moving up has already brought back her passion for gymnastics. She's ALWAYS loved it, but she's back to the "I want to do this 24 hours a day" phase, instead of "i love this and don't want to miss out, but I only care to do a few hours a day" Granted, I don't want her doing gymnastics 24/7, but it was nice to see that *passion* reignited. I don't want to hold her back for selfish reasons. And I mean, of course I'll be happy for her to advance! I'm just torn, where she is so certain. then I think, I mean, what if I'm WRONG? What if she goes into level 4 and she DOES do great at competitions and DOES do well in her class. I mean, a challenge doesn't mean she'll do worse. Maybe I just need to be supportive and realize that she could very well be capable if given a chance. She tends to surprise me all the time. I don't want her to think I don't believe in her, because I do, but maybe she knows what she is capable of better than I do.

alittlelost March 20th, 2013 09:26 PM

Re: Need support/advice (long)
Oh, I also admit I think pride gets in my way. I am caring too much what other people think. See, if she moves to the new gym and they put her on level 4 and we go to competition and she is struggling, her old gym will think that and think to themselves, "see, she wasn't ready" Of course, in my mind, if they HAD moved her up last summer she definitely WOULD be ready for level 4 this fall, though they won't see it that way. But the reality is, I can't not let her follow HER path just because her old gym might THINK something I don't like. I mean, talk about having my priorities out of whack if I let these feelings dictate my decisions. But I'm just being honest that I have these feelings, even though I know they are ridiculous.

NinjaCakes March 21st, 2013 05:14 PM

Re: Need support/advice (long)
It seems like you've considered all of the relevant information. I'd be torn, too. If kids are bored they tend to lose their drive to succeed at all. But if it's too hard for them, they tend to give up and feel inadequate. I'm not sure what I'd do, really. I guess ultimately it is up to her.

ohnicole March 21st, 2013 06:09 PM

Re: Need support/advice (long)
It sounds like you have already pretty much made the decision to let her try the new gym, but that it's making you a little sad and nervous to see her taking such a big step. Your daughter sounds very mature to be so excited about the challenge of taking her gymnastics to the next level, and that's so great! She sounds like such a hard worker :) I hope that however it works out, your daughter continues to love challenging herself.

alittlelost March 21st, 2013 06:21 PM

Re: Need support/advice (long)
Thanks. Yes, I think this is totally a case of ME having a hard time with her decision (and wanting to make sure I was doing the right thing by following her lead on this). Ever since she's even had the IDEA that she MIGHT get to go to a harder level, she has been worker harder and harder to get new skills. I've never met someone who doesn't get discouraged like her. She could try something 100 times and not get it and it just wants to make her try more. I'm certainly very proud of her and think this is a great trait of hers (though one that certainly has a downside at times lol) but it's hard for me.

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