34 answers

Boys in Gymnastics

Hi Everyone,
Ok, so I'm here to vent a little and to find out more information about gymnastics. My son is 4 and a very active kid. He is always doing summersaults, hand stands, etc. I thought it would be really cool to sign him up for a beginners gymnastic class this summer at our YMCA. I know he would really love it and it would give him some more socialization with kids his age (what he needs). So I told my husband and in-laws last night what I was going to do. They went on and on about how they didn't want him in gymnastics. "He will be the only boy" "That's a girls' sport" "The only boy I know who went to gymnastics turned out gay" Seriously?!? I was and am so upset. So really for a beginner's class, what is the boy to girl ratio? I am trying to make a pros and cons list of the whole situation. I really think it will be a good thing for him. What do you see as some pros and/or cons of putting my son in gymnastics? I know the whole fitness thing and discipline is good, but what else?

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So What Happened?™

It was my mother in law who had the most concerns over my son doing gymnastics. My husband has the attitude of "just sign him up for whatever". I am going to take my son to watch one of the classes to see if he likes it. He also does swimming during the summer and I think gymnastics would be a fun thing for him. If after he watches it and likes it, I will sign him up. I pay for the class, not my mother in law.

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My son wanted to do gymnastics because he wanted to learn how to do standing front &backflips. He taught himself how to do it on the trampoline but couldn't do it on ground. There were a plenty of boys in the class. It was actually 50/50. The girls had their team and the boys had theirs. He had a blast. He had taught himself so many 'tricks' that they all thought he had previous gymnastics lessons, but that was his first time at it. He is all boy, trust me; and he enjoyed gymnastics, so what? I think they're being close minded and shame on them.

5 moms found this helpful

There were several boys in the all the classes. Why?? Mainly because it was a lot of fun! In addition to the tumbling and other boys events, we also had a rock climbing wall, trampoline, giant foam pit.

Several of the boys who were in the classes were very good athletes in other sports such as hockey, soccer and football. Their coaches actually recommended that they take gymnastics because through gymnastics you can develop skills to enhance other sports...coordination, flexibility, strength and power. There's also other benefits such as increased self esteem, social interaction, cooperation, team work, sportsmanship, listening to directions.

2 moms found this helpful

My 4 year old girl started gymnastics in March and she really loves it. There are boys there, but is mainly girls. I would say that it is only about 10% boys, 90% girls. I absolutely see no problem with it whatsoever, but he very well may be the only boy there. I think that more boys SHOULD do it! It's not all tackle this and kick that, etc. It teaches great listening skills, control and technique and is not a contact sport so the aggression thing is not there either.

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My son wanted to do gymnastics because he wanted to learn how to do standing front &backflips. He taught himself how to do it on the trampoline but couldn't do it on ground. There were a plenty of boys in the class. It was actually 50/50. The girls had their team and the boys had theirs. He had a blast. He had taught himself so many 'tricks' that they all thought he had previous gymnastics lessons, but that was his first time at it. He is all boy, trust me; and he enjoyed gymnastics, so what? I think they're being close minded and shame on them.

5 moms found this helpful

My oldest son (now 18) was a competitive gymnast. He now coaches gymnastics and my 5 yo is taking lessons. Like you, I looked into gymnastics because my boys were constantly flipping jumping tumbling their way around. Yes there are more girls in gymnastics. My main advice to you is to look for a gymnastics school that has a boys program! Boys use different equipment than girls. They actually compete in 6 different events (girls only have 4.) Don't listen to the ignorant comments. Gymnastics is an incredibly challenging sport that increases strength, balance, flexibility, stamina. I hope your son loves it as much as mine!

4 moms found this helpful

So I guess your husband and in laws have never watched the Olympics, huh?

Our gym had LOTS of boys, including a boy's competitive team. But at 4 it's much more recreational than that and it probably would be a coed class.

Depending on your gym he would likely be spending most of his class time on the tumble tramp, trampoline, foam pit, swinging on trapeze/rings, climbing ropes and/or rock wall. In short, it is little boy HEAVEN.

Since your husband sounds like an ignorant homophobe (sorry, but he does) I suggest you take him along with you to visit the gym and learn about their program.

4 moms found this helpful

Don't discuss everyTHING with everyONE! Raising kids is not a democracy. Not everyone gets a vote!

My girl did gymnastics and there were alot of boys n the tumbling class. I think being a guy in gymnastics would be a studly thing to do in highschool. He will be surrounded by all girls!

3 moms found this helpful

My daughter has been in gymnastics for 3 years now (she is 6). There has not been any boys in her class, but there are certainly boys in gymnastics! Our club has a boys gymnastic class starting at about 5 or 6 years old. The coach is also a man... A married man with grown children! I hope your inlaws and your husband reconsiders how silly they are behaving,

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That is absolutely ridiculous! Yes, there are more boys than girls, but who cares?! He obviously has an aptitude for it, and he'd probably really enjoy it. Take him to a beginner's class, and if he likes it, start him some place with a boys' program. So silly!

I agree with another poster... have they seen the Olympics? Those guys are the most buff, most "manly" looking men I've ever seen.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

When my sons were little, they did gymnastics at the YMCA. There was such an interest in it, that they even had a boys-only class.

After the beginner class, there were a lot more girls than boys, but that is partly due to changing interests and part because people are like your in-laws and don't give their kids a chance.

You don't need a pro/con list, you just need to tell them to get over it and it isn't up for discussion. If you try to make a presentation, it tells them that they get to have a say in your parenting choices. They don't.

I hope your husband sides with you if necessary.

3 moms found this helpful

I took both of my boys to gymnastics at that age. My older son's class was a boys class so it was great. THe younger one was in a mix of about half and half b/c it was a preschool class. Instead of the Y you should look at places around you where they train real gymnasts. All of those gyms around my house offer kid's classes.

Sorry you have to deal with such narrow mindedness. Honestly-it is just this attitude that turns little boys into punks when they get a little bit older. You show me the punk and I can pick out the dad. He is usually the "he-man macho sports guy" seriously-I would do what I can if I were you to make sure that this does not happen to your son. Punky kids are rarely happy kids.

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