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My 3.5 yo DS is VERY spirited. High energy, independent, and determined to have his own way. Our biggest struggle is with obedience. I've signed him up for gymnastics class, which I know he will love, but I'm worried that if he is as defiant with the teacher as he is with me, it will be an $85 bust. I don't want my kid to be the disruptive one who refuses to follow the teacher's instructions and gets asked to leave. How can I prepare him for this class so that he is ready to accept instruction?
 

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We did two things that I hope will help us when we start gymnastics class in a few weeks. First, we went to the gymnastics place and had the director talk to DD1 about how important it is for her safety for her to listen to her teacher and follow directions and that we wouldn't be able to stay if DD didn't listen. (I had called the director a few days before and set this up, but she said she does this all the time for parents). We also stayed and watched the class through the glass, and DD saw the other kiddos following directions.<br>
I'm hoping this helps us in our transition to the class.<br>
~maddymama
 

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Our DD is very spirited and high energy as well and she is in gymnastics. Now, my dh takes her and I've only gone to watch one time. The reports are that at first she just ran around and didn't really participate. My dh talked to the instructor and she said it was fine. She was there to have fun and blow off steam and eventually she will probably join in. A few weeks later she was following instructions great. I would tell her before they left to be sure to listen to the teacher and I don't know if that helped or not. The teacher was really great and I think that had a lot to do with it. They then switched teachers on us and the new guy had no control what so ever. The kids did not listen to him and they all ran around like crazy. So, we switched her to a different class. The kids only class.<br><br>
In the kids only class they have two teachers at each station and so there is more guidance. She still ran off, but they were good at working with her. She has only been to that class one time so far and I am sure as she keeps going she will get use to the routine. I expect good days and more crazy days. But, she is having fun so that's what is most important at this age. So, I think it's dependent on a lot of things whether or not the class goes well. It depends a lot on the school and how willing they are to work with different temperaments and what your expectations are for what he will get out of the class.
 

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If the instructor is good, he/she should be skilled at redirecting and have age appropriate expectations that a 3-4 yo is not going to listen to everything they say. We switched from a rec center dance class to a real dance studio due to the rec center teacher's complete lack of skill with preschoolers - she was ALWAYS threatening them and it drove me crazy. Part of doing classes at that age is LEARNING how to listen/participate/follow directions - I have also seen a distinction between recreational classes and "professional" classes so make sure it is a recreational class for fun, not for future Olympians.
 

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When i taught preschool aged gymnastics i always had parents first watch a class with the child and then take a free class to see if the kid would like it before they joined.<br><br>
We also all went over the rules at the start of each class. As long as they stayed off the equipment i didnt force anyone to participate. BUT, a child running down a beam or swinging from a high bar while i was doing warmup is just not safe and i would ask the parent to move to a parent child class or try again later.<br><br>
When DD was 3-4 she was the type to follow the lowest denominator <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br>
If the kids in class were all acting wild she would follow. If the kids all behaved she would too. So for her, i made sure she was on the younger end of the class. So when she was 3 she was in a 3-4 class and when she was 4 she was in the 4-5 class. She wants to follow the class so she did great when she had older better behaved kids to follow.<br><br>
The teacher is a huge influence too. At 5 she had an overlap where she was in both gymnastics and karate. At gymnastics she goofed off a lot. At karate she was all "yes sir!" The instructor at karate is no nonsense and didn't allow any of the kids to act crazy so she didn't.
 

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Our son started gymnastics at 3.5 yo. The teacher is awesome which I think is huge. Most of the kids listen most of the time. I don't think it's age appropriate for 3 year-olds to be "obedient" in a fun, new, group setting, but safety is a concern so some rule following is necessary. Ds does great with rule following (just his personality) but there are some "energetic" kids in the class. As an observer, I would suggest that if you do decide to use the technique "if you don't listen to Miss Melissa then we are going to leave" then really leave if your kiddo doesn't listen. It seems to be much more effective than constantly threatening your kid for an hour with no follow through. Sorry, personal vent <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent">
 
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