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Anxious child starting a new gymnastics class

(6 Posts)
Emsicle24 Sun 26-Feb-17 16:22:32

Does anyone have any tips for helping an anxious child starting a new class. We took our son (4.5yrs) to a gymnastics class today and he got himself very worked up.

One of the coaches was brilliant with him and got him to join in slowly with DH close by. However when he got abit braver and went to another section of the class the person in charge went over to DH and basically told him he had to leave DS and sit at the side. DS got really upset and then wouldn't participate anymore.

I know we can't do this every week however I would have hoped for a little more compassion on his first visit especially when it was obvious he was very anxious.

Any ideas on if he's the same next time we go?

angeldelightedme Sun 26-Feb-17 18:36:13

I am a gymnastics coach and would have built up your little boys confidence by getting daddy to help him do something piss-easy like jumping off a bl;ock and then praised him to the sky so he was eager to show me what other 'amazing' things he could do.Also we try to keep the coach staying with a group rather than staying with a piece of apparatus so they can build up a relationship of trust with that coach, but some classes do it the other way round where proficiency coaches are used who are not allowed to do bars for example.

Ordinarily Sun 26-Feb-17 18:43:04

Would it be possible to have a couple of individual lessons there with the nicest coach, so he gets used to the environment?

2014newme Mon 27-Feb-17 12:51:05

Dh wouldn't have been allowed in at our gym I am afraid. It us a great sport for so many reasons.its natural to be nervous first week hopefully he will be ok next time

nonameinspiration Mon 27-Feb-17 12:59:20

We are at a gym club run by an ex Olympic judge that's very sought after locally. Waiting list of 700 kids. My dds have been going there for years. Both of them had wobbles in the pre school class but overcame them. The rule was that you could sit and watch your kid for the first 2 classes then you have to leave them. I didn't watch any of their initial classes I think it makes it harder for the kid. However both kids have tried to Velcro themselves to means screamed their heads off. The coach calmly takes dd2 from my arms and shoots me out. She is always fine moments later. This happens periodically not just when she started

Witchend Fri 03-Mar-17 10:23:52

I have an anxious child for such things.

I have two girls, one of whom got anxious before starting, but her wanting to do it would conquer her fears. She'd take a term before she was used to it generally, but would be nervous and unsure each time. Second term would go in fine.
My second girl loves new things. Will be the first to dash in and always was, will come out at the end of the first session with a best friend etc.

Now I have ds. Oh dear, it's a totally different game. Even though he's 9yo he still struggles.
He will always panic before something new even if he knows he will love it and was totally on board when I signed him up. He'll wobble about it for at least 6 months (yesterday he said "how can you expect me to do things in front of strangers-I've only known them 6 months!")
So he'll panic before going-but then comes out happy and having loved it, but the next week he'll panic again. It's very frustrating. And he's worse after a break even a week.

He was ill last year for half a term and basically dropped everything he loved doing that he'd got used to. I'm now having to build him back into doing things as the more he stays at home the more he panics about doing anything. It's very difficult.

What I do is bribery for him. I do only do it when I think he'll like it. So at present he loves McD's. So I might say "If we go to X then we could go to McD's afterwards."
Let him think about it and then he'll either come to me and say he still doesn't want to go, (and then I'll consider whether to do further bribery, tell him sorry but he is going (very rarely and only for specific reasons-eg he'll be letting others down) or decide it isn't worth it and pull him out) or he will say (very sulkily) that he supposes he will do it, have a few tears on the way into the car, but then will be fine once he's there.

I wouldn't ever force him to do something he doesn't seem to enjoy when he comes out.
There are a couple of things he loves the idea of joining, and he talks about joining quite a bit. When I suggest I ask about a trial session, he think he might like to do it... next term... possibly next year... when he's really old (like 12yo). I am choosing not to sign him up for them at present, even though I know he would love them because I really don't want the fight at present to get him to the trial sessions. It's hard.

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