Stressed out 11 year old(9 Posts)
DD is nearly 11 and, since September, trains 18 hours a week on a regional gymnastics programme. There are 4 girls involved (-selected from trials last season) and they all attend school together and finish lessons early to go to train. (Some stay with host families during the week but we are close to the gym and school.)
Anyway, September -November went great. DD loved school, has become organised, works hard and gets good marks. Her coach is pleased with her progress and work ethic and she was really happy.
For the last couple of weeks, she has been upset. Claiming to be stressed about school, tummy aches, asking to home school... No apparent reason. She seemed to relax slightly on Friday when she got her first school report which was excellent.
Today, she's told me she's stressed about gym, worried about competitions, doesn't like finishing school early, doesn't feel like training.
Is it school or gymnastics? Or the is it just all too much?
I told her how proud I am of her, both school and gym but especially how kind and thoughtful she is and how grown up she's been since starting this programme.
Has anyone been through this kind of thing with their kids? I'm really surprised after such a good start and can't work out what's gone wrong or how to make her feel better
I'm no expert in gymnastics (dc a vocational dancer) but that seems rather a lot of hours' training for a 10-year-old.
She hasn't had a falling-out with one of the others has she? Another possibility may be that her heart isn't really in it any more, but she is worried about telling you that she wants to stop in case you are disappointed or cross with her.
She did have a whinge about the other 3 girls funny enough. They are all incredibly close but spend so much time together that maybe bickering and rivalry is going to start up now?
She slept well last night and seemed a bit happier this morning so hopefully the chat has helped her get things off her chest a bit.
Will see how she is when she gets home...
I think it's a lot of hours but it is not unusually high for competitive gymnasts.
Any other gym mums about?
That is a lot of hours.
My dd is a dancer & attends a vocational school. When we decided to let her go I told her that exept for during GCSE years it was fine if she ever decided she didn't want to do it any more.
She did go through a difficult time in year 8 & very nearly gave up but she worked through it & we consulted with her teachers.
That kind of life/training isn't for everyone. It may be the reality is different from the expectation. Leaving school early to train could be the problem. At dds school they do normal school until 4pm then dance every night from 4pm - 6pm. They also don't do PE at all but dance instead.
I think the time of year can't be helping either with dark nights and coming to the end of a long term.
Does she have s break from gym over Christmas? Can you use that time to assess with her whether she wants to continue, and look at ways to cut back on some of it if she wants to?
Sounds like possibly there are issues with the other girls. If they stay together in the week and your DD is at home maybe are they becoming more friendly and perhaps she is feeling excluded.
Gymnastics eats up so much of a childhood that if your DD wants to take a step back, then let her! It only gets harder as they move up secondary school with school work, desire for a social life, and increased incidence of injuries.
Whilst she is doing a "standard" amount of training, 18 hours is a massive, massive commitment compared to the relaxed life some of her school friends will be leading. She may be missing out on social events (even if they are just low key hanging out stuff) or parties etc. It's a very difficult decision imo. To go all the way is a massive sacrifice of "general life" and she might be realising it. Preteens and new teens (particularly girls) have big drop out rates at this level of several sports. I'd try to have a really frank conversation with her. She may want to give up/scale back but be afraid of letting you down re expectations or financial sacrifice. Or she may be destined to go all the way but just be having a wobble. You could try to very regularly see how things are with her for the next 4-8 weeks and then make a decision with her?
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