Choices: A Little Girl’s Dilemma

For those who have been following our little blog for some time now will know that little T has been doing gymnastics since she was about four.  She only stopped for a few months when her gym club closed and moved away.  After going for about two years, we thought that her time with gymnastics has come to an end.  In fact, she even announced her “retirement” from the sport.

That was when we decided that it was perhaps time to try something else.  We found her a ballet class run by a lovely teacher.  T tried it and loved it.  Apparently, according to T’s teacher, she has a natural ability.  Of course, we were pleased.

And then lo and behold, a satellite gymnastics class opened in a nearby town near us.  We took T along and that’s when she changed her mind and announced she was out of retirement.

It’s been about a year now of doing both gymnastics and ballet and I’m proud to say she’s doing well in both.  Her gym club has even invited her to join in the development squad group, which means two hours of gymnastics.  She’s still doing her ballet and is about to do her first ballet “exam” next month.

This term, she has also joined girls-football club and sports club every Thursday after school.  Not to mention she also does cello and swimming on Wednesdays.  Yes, my seven-year-old is doing way too much.

And recently, her gymnastics coach has invited little T to join an additional gymnastics class, this time focusing on rhythmic gymnastics on a Thursday.  But this means driving to the main gym club which is about a 45-minute drive from where we live.  This will also mean, she’ll have to give up sports-club which she loves, because she does it with her friends.  And it will be another late night. At the moment, Monday’s are her busiest since she does gymnastics from 5-7.  Did I mention that my seven-year-old is doing way too much?

And here lies the dilemma, something has got to give.  The problem is, she loves both her gymnastics and ballet.  She also loves playing football with her friends at school.  While she does the girl’s football with her friends on Wednesdays during school hours, she also wants to join the football club which happens on Monday afternoons after school.  Her teacher plans to form a football team and she wants to be included in that team.  Her teacher used to be an ex-professional football player.  When he retired he went into teaching and he said to my husband “Your daughter is naturally sporty.  She has good strength and a natural balance” which of course pleased my husband no end.

But she can’t.  Not if she continues to do 2 hours-of gymnastics, plus the additional 1 hour on Thursday (if she decides to do this).  It’s just way too much.

My poor seven-year-old doesn’t know what to do.  What to give up.  She asks us for advice but we remind her that at the end of the day, it is her choice.  She has to follow her heart and decide on what she wants to do.

At the moment, she’s thinking of giving up gymnastics.  I’m a bit saddened by this.  She’s worked so hard for her badges and clearly, her coaches does see potential in her.  They say that she has the perfect built and stamina to be a really good gymnast.  Some kids in her development class do gymnastics three times a week, some even more.

My husband and I are thinking, do we want this for our child?  While it’s good that she’s really into sports, we also want her to have a life.  We want her to have fun with her friends. As parents, isn’t that what we all want?  At the same, I think we also have to remind ourselves that our kids, are just kids.  Let them be kids.

As mentioned, at the moment, she’s thinking of giving up gymnastics.  We told her to think about it over half-term break before deciding on anything.  She wants to keep doing ballet, she says.  I’m thinking maybe she could keep doing the two-hour gym session on a Monday?  But my husband reminded me that she’s in the development squad for a reason.  She can’t stay there forever.  Besides, this little girl wants to join the football club.  Such a dilemma, for one so young!  At her age, I think the only dilemma I had was which stationary could I afford with my pocket-money, nothing major at all.

What would you advice?

26 Comments

  1. I think it’s hard sometimes to keep track of what children actually want to do at that age. They are so easily influenced and change their mind from day to day so as a parent it certainly isn’t easy to know what to encourage them on.

    • Indeed. My daughter does change her mind about things (especially food!) but when it comes to her activities though, she definitely knows her mind. Let’s see what happens … 🙂

  2. I’m in a similar situation. My little girl does ballet and drama, but really wants to start gymnastics. However, she’d need to give up either ballet or drama both of which she enjoys. It’s tough being little!

    • It’s also a difficult choice isn’t it? The problem with gymnastics, is that if they (the kids) are serious about it. The time will come when they’ll have to do it more than once a week. Not to mention the competitions/displays over the weekend!

    • Not with her development class though. There’s a long waiting list of girls who want to get in. It won’t be fair for the others who really want to be in that class. I don’t think her coaches will allow that either 🙁

  3. Oh bless her, I can see her dilemma. Eliza chose football over Rainbows this end and like you we are packed full of clubs but something had to give. It does seem such a shame to give up gymnastics when she has worked so hard but I can totally see why she wants to do football – can she do a football club at the weekend instead?
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    • There’s no football club over the weekend and her ballet is on a Saturday. Looks like she’s really giving up gymnastics. x

    • Wow, boxing. That’s something else. Yes, that’s the kind of sport he can pick up later on if he decides to do it again. x

  4. It’s so hard and something that can be tricky, particularly finding a balance but letting her do what she wants. It’s great that she’s so sporty though and clearly has some natural talent!

  5. A friend of mine did a number of different sports / classes, but eventually focused on the one she was strongest in opposed to what she enjoyed the most. She said in the long run it worked out better because she because more passionate when she competed and did well, but she also said there was always an element of ‘what if’. I think you will all know deep down what is the best option to take. I always flip a coin on difficult decisions, because when the coin is in the air, I realise what I want the outcome to be.

    • Thanks. It just really surprised me with the turn of events, how she, at an early age, she has to make a big decision like that. I knew we’d have to eventually do it, but not this early!

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