Being the parent of a budding gymnast of any age does involve more than driving them to their next class, training session or meet and buying them the right equipment and clothing. Whether you know it or not you have a huge role to play in their enjoyment of their chosen sport. And this is true whether they are just taking gymnastics for fun or if they hope to get a little further into the world of competitive gymnastics. Here are four great ways you can help make your child’s gymnastics experience a positive, enjoyable one.
1. Encourage Balance
Trying to be good in school, in the gym and keep up with their friends can be stressful for any kid. You, as a parent, can help a lot by helping them learn to better organize their time so they can learn about finding a good balance between all of their activities so that they get more out of them all.
2. Don’t Be Too Keen
If a child starts to show a great deal of promise as a budding gymnast as a proud parent who wants the best for them, it’s easy to get carried away and push a little too hard for them to succeed even further. However that can be a problem.
Studies have shown that many children start to drop out of sports around the age of 13 or 14 because they simply don’t enjoy it anymore, it all becomes too stressful and too much of a chore. And that’s very sad. Gymnastics should be something to be enjoyed. So while supporting your child is crucial pushing them to practice to become the next Gabby Douglas when all they want right now is to have fun with their gym friends and master a few new moves might put them off for good.
3. Show Empathy
When a child is struggling to master something they are trying hard to do they can become rather overwhelmed and upset very easily and that can be true in the gym as much as anywhere else in their lives. Not quite getting the hang of a new move for instance. Rather than telling them it doesn’t matter though, when it’s quite obvious that to them it does, won’t help. Instead ask them about their frustrations, listen with empathy and then help them find a solution.
4. Celebrate Their Individuality
Being proud and passionate about our children is only natural for any parent and it’s often a wonderful thing, as is a desire to see them succeed in everything they want to. What parent wouldn’t want that for their kid?
It’s important however to remember that every child is a unique being. They develop skills at their own pace and deal with challenges in their own ways. The best thing you can do? Encourage their individual accomplishments, in the gym and out of it, no matter how large or small.
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