Written by: Coach Kelley
Welcome back to gymnastics! We made it to October! Wait, it is October isn’t it?
In NYC, kids are heading back to some form of school or structured extracurricular activities and for most parents, this is both an exciting and nerve-
wracking time. But fear not! We have some helpful tips for navigating these uncertain times.
How to get back in the gym groove:
While your kiddo is likely starving for a sense of normalcy, they might also be exhibiting signs of both excitement and anxiety. Getting back to a "normal" schedule after so much time indoors feels weird. So this is a time to listen to how your child is feeling. Let them feel their feelings, but encourage them to give class a try even if they're feeling a little nervous. Most children find that many of the what ifs disappear once they get into to the groove of things. Remind them that staying active and healthy is fun and it's one of the best ways to boost their immune system!
It's important to familiarize yourself with the rules of the gym before your kiddo attends their first class. Things look a little different in our lobby this fall, so knowing the check in process will help acclimate your child. We have some super cool paw prints to stand on while waiting for your health screening, and our friendly staff will be on the ramp greeting all the kiddos. We even have a loyal following of neighborhood dogs who like to stop by and say hi!
The most important thing to remember is that kids are little sponges and sometimes preparing leads to a bit of anxiety that they pick up on quickly. Drop-off will be a smoother experience for you and your kiddo if they see that you're calm and truly believe that this is a safe place where they will be well cared for as they head into class.
Yup, I’m talking to you dad with the boom mic! Your child is adorable in their brand new outfit, trying out new skills, but maybe leave the film crew at home. We also frown upon sticking phones, hands, and younger siblings heads through the windows (yup, that actually happened). Not only is it dangerous for little baby brother, but tapping on the windows and trying to get your gymnasts attention distracts the entire class and creates a very unsafe learning environment.
Since our lobby is now closed due to our new health procedures, it’s ok to drop-off your kiddo and simply go get a coffee (or head down the block to the water and just sit in silence for an hour). When they're in the gym, keeping them focused keeps them safe and leads to them learning more skills. So take a few pictures and then go do something nice for yourself, you’ve earned it!
Everyone is different - some kids will come back like nothing ever happened and some will feel like everything is brand new. We all react differently to changes in schedules/time off, so it’s important to let your child progress at their own pace. Let them know it’s ok to tell their coach they need a little break. As your child heads back to class, remind them that it’s been awhile, and they need to give themselves time to adjust to their new schedule. Their minds and bodies have changed in the last 6 months, and it’s important they have patience as they process all these things. After a few weeks they’ll feel like they never left and may even have some new skills to show you!
When we reopened for summer camp in July, we honestly didn’t know how the kids would react to being away from home for the first time in months. Would they cry, were they mostly feral, had forgotten how to talk? The good news is that they were just fine! Children are incredibly resilient. In fact, they crave structure. Present them with the simple facts and let them fun. We promise they'll be back in the gym groove in no time!
As we head towards the winter months let us all remember to stop for a moment and enjoy the simple things in life. We made it to October, right? You got this!