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Gymnastics for young children - pro's and cons?

(11 Posts)
ThePippy Mon 03-Feb-14 16:35:48

That's it really. Considering a club for my DD who is 4.5 as I can see some health benefits. DH is less keen. I am interested in peoples view, good and bad, of children this young participating in gym clubs. Thanks.

HelenHen Mon 03-Feb-14 16:44:44

I did gymnastics... Probably a bit older than that though. I think it's brilliant for kids, keeps them bendy and in shape! As long as dc's enjoying it, where's the harm?

TheGreatHunt Mon 03-Feb-14 17:36:29

My two love it. They're 4&2. It's good for coordination, great for confidence etc.

Honsandrevels Mon 03-Feb-14 17:40:02

Mine both do it. They're 5 and almost 3. It has improved their balance and coordination and they love it.

fairylightsatchristmas Mon 03-Feb-14 20:32:31

mine both do it (4 and 2). They enjoy it, but no more than running around a soft play. DS (4) we started because he is summer born and we wanted him to practise the discipline of being in a class and taking turns and listening etc before he started school and it was good for that, but 18m on and I don't see any great gymnastic skill developing smile. I don't think they need "fitness" at this age if they are your averagely active kid but the structure of the class was a helpful thing. They both prefer their swimming lessons and I am currently investigating dance /drama class for DS instead of the gym. The classes they go to are run by a v good gym club who only really run the little ones to trawl for talent and keep the money coming in, its not like tumble tots which is more interested in developing the whole child I think. Its also quite epensive, specially for 2.

lechers Mon 03-Feb-14 21:39:15

My two DDs do it. They love it. Both girls do competitive gymnastics now. DD1 (10) does artistic and trains 18 hours a week, DD2 (7) does rhythmic and trains 6 hours a week.

Pros:
Both DDs started as preschoolers. I have to say that I thought the preschool class was excellent school preparation, as the classes started with a game, and then the coach took the children round a little circuit. The children sat down, the coach showed them what to do, they watched and listened, and then did it themselves. It was great to teach them listening, copying, concentrating skills etc.

Both DDs are very attuned to their bodies. It always amazes me when DD1 says things like she was having trouble with a tumble, but realised she needed to put her shoulder in a slightly different position, and then she could do it. She knows her body so well.

Gymnastics have given the girls a real confidence in life, and ability to cope with anything. Being able to do flicks and free cartwheels etc gives them real streetcred, so when a boy says to DD1 that she's no good at maths, she doesn't care, because she can tumble, and that's much more cool grin.

It has given them a huge circle of friends outside of school. So when there's nastiness in school, and the girls are playing up with each other, it comes to 3pm and my DD just walks away from it all, and into her other circle of friends.

My DDs are incredibly fit and bendy. DD can hold her own in most other sports because she is so fit. And she can give the boys a run for their money with arm wrestling too.

Cons:

It is like a hamster wheel that is impossible to get off. You start with one lesson and they're hooked. Then they join baby squad, and you're they're for an extended lesson a week, then it's twice and before you know it, both girls are hooked, go different days and you're there seven days a week, for up to 4 hours at a time.

It is a dangerous sport. My DD has fractured her bones three times now through doing gym. The better they get the more dangerous it becomes. Just watching my DD do flicks on the high beam is enough to give me mini heart attacks.

It's expensive and time consuming. If they get good, it is a lot of hours and a lot of money.

That said, my DDs get so much out of it, I wouldn't begrudge them it. They're fit, healthy, have very active social lives through the gym, and there's no time for boys, hanging out etc. so I don't mind too much. I've made quite a few good friends through the gym as well now, so that's an added bonus too. grin

lechers Mon 03-Feb-14 21:46:20

Forgot to say it also makes them quite fearless. Because they're brave and achieve, when they go on the beam etc, they then don't seem to scared of heights etc, because they're used to it.

When Dd had a gymnastics bday party a few years back, I was surprised at how scared some of the non gymnasts there were from jumping off things that I did not consider particularly high.

ThePippy Tue 04-Feb-14 09:44:19

Thanks all for the replys.

lollipoppi Tue 04-Feb-14 10:09:05

I've just started my DS at gymnastics, he is 3 and loves it.

I grew up as a gymnast, and later moved onto trampolining, and was still competing professionally at 27. gave up after my 2nd DC as the pelvic floor wasn't what it used to be blush
I only have positive things to say about being part of any sport.

What is it your worried about?

ThePippy Tue 04-Feb-14 11:00:56

lollipoppi I had read somewhere that it can give young girls body image issues very young as there is a need to stay thin etc. My DH is simply worried that the limited family time we have will be compromised as the option I am looking at is weekends (we have no time in the week due to work commitments), which I do understand, but since DD started school its rare than we do much at weekends anyway.

lollipoppi Tue 04-Feb-14 12:10:34

Ah ok, I can see why you would be worried.
Saying that though, that could be said for any sport, and I think it would be more about the individual rather than the sport.

At the moment your talking about starting them, they may not even enjoy it. Any sport is good for children, it doesn't necessarily have to be gymnastics.

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