Gymnastics classes, like many other activities for kids, present parents with a dilemma. Should you stay and watch your child's every move, or should you step back and let them shine independently? It's a tricky debate, and we're here to explore both sides of the coin
Your child may be just 5 or 6 years old, and it's completely natural to want to be there for every moment of their gymnastics class. After all, they're cute as a button as they flip, tumble, and balance their way through the session. You don't want to miss any of it. Every somersault and handstand makes your heart swell with pride. It's hard not to watch and cheer them on.
But let's take a moment to reflect on those times when you dropped them off at daycare or kindergarten. You probably recall the teacher reassuring you that, within minutes of your departure, your child was absolutely fine and had a great day. It left you puzzled because, to you, your child seemed clingy and dependent. Were they just telling you that to ease your mind, or had you unintentionally traumatised your child by leaving them alone?
In most cases, the teachers were indeed right. Kids adapt quickly and thrive when parents aren't hovering over them. It's not that they don't appreciate your support; it's just that they need the space to develop independence and self-confidence.
Children often concentrate better, participate more enthusiastically, and let their imaginations run wild when they're free from constant parental scrutiny. They want to make their own choices and play without someone watching their every move. Remember those times you eavesdropped on their little conversations from the hallway? It's their world, where they can be themselves without fear of judgment or the pressure to please.
In gymnastics, having parents and other adults watching can sometimes be daunting for kids. While performing in front of you might be comfortable, having a crowd of parents observing can create anxiety, even for the most confident children. They may need a safe, pressure-free space where it's just them and their fellow gymnasts, away from adult eyes.
Now, consider the joy on your child's face when they get to share their gymnastics adventures with you. This is the time to celebrate their bravery and confidence. Listen to their stories without already knowing every detail. You don't have to witness every second to understand how wonderful it was.
Let them share all the little details with you, and you might discover that you enjoy it just as much as watching from the sidelines. This is your chance to connect over their achievements and encourage them to continue exploring their gymnastic talents. So, when faced with the decision of whether to stay and watch or let them go, remember the benefits of giving your child the space to shine independently. You'll both be glad you did.