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To say no to daughters opportunity

(64 Posts)
LittleReindeerwithcloggson Tue 31-May-16 23:47:17

I have a 7 year old DD who is very sporty. She has already completed the 7 main swimming stages and is on level 9. There was a talent scout from a local swim club (very very successful ) at their lesson last week and I received an email today inviting her to train with their performance squad so she can compete when she's 8.
BUT - she doesn't want to. She enjoys swimming but really only does it because I say she has to go weekly (I can hardly swim myself and want better for both my children) She's also not 8 until next year. The main concern is that she will have to train 4 times a week and - due to the times - will have to give up Brownies and gymnastics. She also has a pony that she rides evenings and weekends and will have to cut back on that. She doesn't want to give up the things she loves.
AIBU to agree that she needn't take this swimming opportunity? She is so young and I would rather she had enjoyment and fun in her activities. Or am I ruining chances of her progressing a long way in the future by turning this down and will she resent me later??

GreaseIsNotTheWord Tue 31-May-16 23:49:46

You can't make her want it.

I would have a chat with her about it - about talent, she'd obviously do well but would have to make sacrifices etc.

Let her think- but ultimately, if she doesn't want to, there's little point in pushing her.

Bolograph Tue 31-May-16 23:50:38

The main concern is that she will have to train 4 times a week and - due to the times - will have to give up Brownies and gymnastics.

Say no. Competitive swimming training is an absolute treadmill and, unlike (say) football for boys, there is almost no chance of ever making any money out of it, either. That latter shouldn't matter, but it is a consideration. To give up other activities you enjoy at seven, SEVEN, to train four times a week is madness. She doesn't want to do it. She shouldn't do it.

WorraLiberty Tue 31-May-16 23:52:56

Errm if she doesn't want to then surely it's a no brainer? confused

Lurkedforever1 Tue 31-May-16 23:54:47

Yanbu. A routine like that is fine if the dc is the one wanting to do it, but otherwise just wrong to push a child into. And although I'm not familiar with top level swimming, with any other talent any reputable trainer wouldn't be issuing an ultimatum that dc must drop everything else and follow a training regime at 7yrs old, or never get another chance in the future.

PreciousVagine Tue 31-May-16 23:54:55

She could resent you for not making her do it. She could resent you for making her do it. She could appreciate being made to do it in the future. She could appreciate the time she spent in activities she enjoyed.

I think you have to weigh it up and decide which you could cope better with being resented for.

For me, I'd rather risk being resented for not making her do it because the things she enjoys will give her a lot of happy memories and experiences.

LittleReindeerwithcloggson Tue 31-May-16 23:55:31

Worra that was my automatic reaction. But then I started to doubt myself and wondered if I was being a bad parent by not making her at least try it.
Very grateful to all of you who have answered

ExtraHotLatteToGo Tue 31-May-16 23:56:53

She's 7. She doesn't want to. She's the one saying no to the 'opportunity'. Swin training is pretty brutal and pointless if her heart isn't in it, which it isn't.

JakeBallardswife Tue 31-May-16 23:59:14

We've got a similar issue with our DD, She's really keen to do it but wants to continue with everything else too. So she trains twice a week which will keep her proficient. If she's still really keen in a few years then we can revisit it.

Couchpotato3 Tue 31-May-16 23:59:54

You've made her try swimming, and she does it once a week - fantastic, your child can swim. She also has a healthy balance of other activities that she enjoys. Don't give this another thought. Say no to the training and carry on with your life. She won't even remember this when she's older if you don't mention it again. And if she changes her mind, then you can go back to the local team later. Nothing is irrevocable, but committing to a strenuous regime at a young age when the child themselves isn't interested would be madness and very very bad parenting indeed!

austenozzy Wed 01-Jun-16 00:00:12

Massively ott for a seven year old, imo. At that age they should be trying all sorts of different activities to find one(s) they enjoy most, not knuckling down to pro levels of training and commitment. She'd soon hate it when she has to give the other stuff.

What is the regimen like? Fun sessions or drills and lengths?

I'm with you op. Maybe when she's in her teens but not yet.

Iknownuffink Wed 01-Jun-16 00:03:25

She doesn't want to do it.

End of discussion .

YolandiFuckinVisser Wed 01-Jun-16 00:05:25

Only pursue this if she really wants to and she is really good (and you really want to commit to taking her swimming all the time!)

I used to swim competitively from the age of 7. By age 10 I was training 3 mornings before school, 5 evenings after school plus Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon, and then there's the endless galas during the season. I gave it up at 14 when I started wanting more from life!

I am still good at swimming but there's no joy in it for me, ploughing up & down a pool is one of my least favourite forms of exercise now.

WorraLiberty Wed 01-Jun-16 00:07:18

You're not a bad parent at all.

I think anything that takes that amount of dedication, discipline and sacrifice needs to be something the child really wants to do.

I've known a couple of children who have been talent scouted (mainly for football and rugby), who tried their hardest to live up to their parent's expectations.

But it didn't work and caused no end of misery because it really was only the parent's wishes and not the child's.

She might grow up with a fleeting regret that she didn't seize the opportunity, but at least it won't be resentment aimed at you.

LaPharisienne Wed 01-Jun-16 00:13:49

I'd do what Jakeballardswife is doing; keep her swimming so she can up her commitment in the future if she changes her mind?

FWIW I swam 4+ times a week when I was little and it was brilliant for me. I didn't mind when I was younger, i.e. wasn't bothered either way - did it because someone drove me there and I didn't think to object. Also, I didn't have a pony or anything better to do, I suppose! When I got older I started to really enjoy it because the social side was fun. Then when I got older again and wasn't swimming any more I was grateful for the amazing physical start it had given me and how much it helped with the sports I'd swapped to. Don't underestimate the value of all of those drills and lengths smile

byjimminey Wed 01-Jun-16 00:15:44

As you will already know, it will quite likely involve really early weekday morning swimming sessions ( do you fancy getting up at 5am every Wed morning??) Its an awful lot to commit to and from a very young age and such a shame she will have to give up the things she really enjoys.

I know a boy who does competitive swimming and his timetable is pretty full on, though he does find time for football and another activity. I know another boy heavily involved with another competitive sport and while he may well make it as a famous sportsperson one day he has missed out on so many events at school and out of school with his friends. I cant remember the last time he came over to us or we went to him.

Perhaps try it out for a month and see what she thinks, then at least she has had the chance to experience it and make some kind of informed decision.

Notcontent Wed 01-Jun-16 00:18:55

Maybe see how she feels when she is 8.

But yes, competitive swimming is very demanding in terms of the amount of training required. My dd is in a club, but only because she loves it, not because we think she will win an olympic gold medal.

justatoe1 Wed 01-Jun-16 00:22:26

Competitive swimming is a huge commitment for both you & her. My DD stopped at 9 to play football, then stopped hockey (was on England Dev pathway) to play football.
Will probably never progress further than local club football but she has made some wonderful friends, gained so many skills and has a team sport she enjoys for the next 30 years or so. Enjoyment is the priority I think.

QueenofLouisiana Wed 01-Jun-16 00:22:33

I'm a mum to a competitive swimmer and the regime is bloody hard. We have cut back to 4 sessions a week plus a land session. He also spends time in the gym doing cardio.

His diet is carefully watched before bigger competitions- carb-loading etc. We need to watch what medication he takes as some asthma meds are banned while he us "in competition".

DH and I have trained as judges and timekeepers to support the club. We spend a fortune on goggles, jammers and other kit.

DS rarely goes out on a Saturday night as he trains the next morning, sleepovers need to be after school on Friday (but not if he's competing on Saturday). We don't go away for weekends. His friends can make comments about the amount he eats (huge quantities, especially after a 2 hour pool session).

DS has just turned 11, represents his County and is aiming for regional times (about a second off). He was scouted at 8, competed properly from 9. Sometimes he hates it, mainly he loves it- lives for it.

If she doesn't want to do it, would you want this to be her life? It's a massive commitment from you all. I'm not sure we'd have gone in to it so lightly if we'd known it would take over everything we do.

FirstWeTakeManhattan Wed 01-Jun-16 00:55:03

By coincidence, I have two friends, both of whom have DC in competitive teams, and one who has been earmarked as a future Olympian (apparently grin). The training is fierce, and they have zero downtime. They train at 4.00 a.m. at the bloody weekend. It's unbelievable. However, the kids love it, so they do it happily.

If your DD doesn't want to, that's it, the decision's been taken.

Seren85 Wed 01-Jun-16 01:04:04

If she doesn't want to, that's that. I did it. The training every night, before school, the entire weekends given over to drama. Its hardcore for anything above just swimming for fun. I actually loved it until I was 15 and realised I wasn't good enough, few are, at which point its keep trying or actually get your exams. That's the long term reality. Whilst I think it taught me a lot and certainly kept me out of trouble, it'll be miserable if she isn't into it. Oh and swim parents are worse than the stereotypical dance or whatever parents so its not always a great environment.

jellybeans Wed 01-Jun-16 01:08:32

No way. Not unless DC is desperate. I know a few kids who did it but they soon got fed up as teenagers. Silly o clock starts and big impact in siblings and parents. Wouldnt do it unless desperate. That's more than a hobby but a way of life for the whole family.

dodobookends Wed 01-Jun-16 01:11:03

Agree with what others say - the training regime is tough and completely takes over family life (my friend's dc is a competitive swimmer) and if she isn't interested then there is absolutely no point.

MerilwenRose Wed 01-Jun-16 07:49:28

I agree with everyone else; she doesn't want it and if it's at the expense of other hobbies, no point in forcing her! I think with something requiring that level of commitment she needs to really want to do it herself.

whois Wed 01-Jun-16 07:54:03

Agree with all the other PP. if she doesn't 'want' it then there is zero point in pushing her forwards.

Set her up with a range of activities to enjoy into teenage years and adult hood, as you are doing.

You never know, another sport might be her passion.

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