Everyone keeps telling me to get my 3-year-old in Gymnastics STAT. She is very flexible and fearless and has learned how to do several tumbling tricks on her own, just in our living room/bed/backyard/etc. I would love to get her into a gym class but I am concerned because we had such negative experiences with trying to get her into other classes (ballet, soccer, and pony camp). She absolutely refuses to join a group without a parent along for the ride, usually me. Normally she doesn't have separation anxiety when being left with a sitter or a relative, or even at pre-school; but for some reason she just doesn't like to join a group activity. I know that some activity providers offer "Mommy and Me" classes, and that's definitely an option; but I'm a little anxious that she has such trouble with the concept of group activities. Again, she has no problem socializing at school, just joining a new group. Does this behavior fall within the range of "normal" for a preschooler? Has anyone else experienced this, and did your child ever grow out of it?
Thanks in advance!
Yes it's perfectly normal. I don't remember any kids taking classes on their own at that age (besides pre-school) when mine was 3 but maybe things have changed.
I'd say this falls easily within the range of normal behavior for a 3 y/o. Certainly was for our son, who grew out of it as he got older.
Ours was just like this at about that age. Birthday parties were awful experiences, she would refuse to join in any of the organized activities and just cling to us and cry if we tried to encourage her to do what the other kids were doing. She grew out of it -- I'd say by age 6 she was perfectly willing to join in group activities. If your kid's only 3, she has plenty of time to start gymnastics or other classes... don't let other nosy know-it-alls try to pressure you into doing anything that doesn't work for YOUR kid.
My kids are grown now, but this sounds perfectly normal to me (from both my experience with my kids and observation of others). I've heard good things about The Little Gym. My neighbors go to classes there with their kids and I think the parents participate in the classes, at least for the younger ages. Might be worth checking out a few places to see which one is the best fit. Good luck.
Thanks, y'all. You know how first-time parents be all like "WTF is my child doing and is this weird??" I appreciate the reassurance that this, too, shall pass!
Sunburst Gymnastics (Union) will let you try a class for free, or at least they did in the past. We tried it with my son, who was not ready at first and they suggested we try again in six months. He did and felt much more comfortable and was a happy student once he was older/felt more confident. Give them a call.
My daughter loved Sunburst when she was around that age or a little older. Good luck figuring it out!
bluepool said: If your kid's only 3, she has plenty of time to start gymnastics or other classes.
Are you insane? She's already three! How is she going to get into a good college if she is already behind all the other children in regards to extracurrucular activities?
I certainly hope she's taken at least a year of algebra at this point.
RobB: don't you mean Algebra 3 ?
Ideally, of course - assuming you want her to get into a decent preschool. But we're talking minimums here.
This behavior is normal. I'd really recommend not pushing her to do any organized activity without a parent present if that's what she's asking for. No better way to turn a child off of such activities by turning it into a frightening experience. Just go with it. She's fine.
There is nothing in the world that a kid can't pick up and get up to speed on both physically and educationally well past 3 years old. There's plenty of research on this if you want to really prove it to yourself
The real concern would be taking something she loves and turning it into something she dreads. Yes, she would likely grow out of the "dread" too, but enjoy this time, for both of you- in a blink of an eye she'll be off flying around with her friends, occasionally finding a way to fit you into her busy schedule
spontaneous said: bluepool said: If your kid's only 3, she has plenty of time to start gymnastics or other classes.Are you insane? She's already three! How is she going to get into a good college if she is already behind all the other children in regards to extracurrucular activities?
You may find, as I have over the years, that the more you push, the more they resist. Let her know what is available to her and then take her lead. And ultimately, this works out for everyone! As other posters have said, sometimes our hopes/expectations kill the joy.
Good advice, all. Thank you so much. I will let her have a look and see if she wants to dive in. Letting her take the lead on developmental steps has worked well for us in other areas (potty training, swimming, learning letters, etc.) so hopefully this will follow that pattern. Thanks for giving me some perspective.
The Y has a program for that age also, if you want to try some close and less expensive. Groups tend to be small and fairly individualized.
And to echo others, yes, totally normal. No need to push.
My experience was a long time ago, but the Y had fun unstructured gymnastics classes for that age. They basically set up obstacle courses for the kids to play on and they did not have to interact with other kids if they did not want that. It was develpmentally appropriate, but then the Y decided to change to a more structured format and my kid could not handle that so we were out. Not sure what the have now but check it out because it might have changed back or combined the two approaches.
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