13 “Flip”pant Responses To Annoying Things Non-Gymnastics Parents Say

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Because sometimes I know I wish I’d have thought to come back with comments like these when people would say annoying things to me about my kids’ participation in gymnastics, I share them with you.  

Yes, sometimes it is better to take the high road. Heading into the holidays, some of these might come in handy…just saying!

1. How long have you guys been doing gymnastics?

Me? I’d look awful in a leotard, besides I cannot image trying to swing tuition for both of us. But my child has been doing it for 5 years.

2. Does she really need to train that much?

Well I guess no one needs to do anything except biological imperatives and pay taxes. But for her to reach her goals, this is the amount of time that her coaches feel is appropriate. And we, as her parents, agree.

3.  Aren’t you afraid it will stunt his growth?

Nah, the weights we put on his head each night do that, not gymnastics.

4.  Don’t you think she’s sacrificing a normal childhood for gymnastics?

If you mean watching 5 plus hours of TV a day, like a normal child, then I guess yes. But if you mean does she sometimes make a choice to forgo one pleasure in favor of another, sure—but we call that a choice not a sacrifice.

5. Is she going to the Olympics?

Maybe, but probably only if she buys a ticket. Since only 4 or 5 kids go every four years, the odds are greater that she will win the lottery. 

6. I bet you are doing this so she will get a scholarship.

The way the math actually works out: I’d be better off socking the money we are spending on gymnastics into a college fund versus pinning our hopes on a scholarship. So no, the scholarship plan makes no financial sense; we are just trying to support our child’s passion. 

7. Gymnastics is fine for girls, but really, for your son?

You do realize we are in the 21st century? Besides, Sport Illustrated named male gymnasts the strongest of all Olympic athletes, so yeah; I’m okay with my boy doing gymnastics.

8. You know there are lots of other sports for boys to play other than gymnastics…

Yes, there are lots of sports and one of toughest one is gymnastics. We’re quite proud our kid challenges himself so!

9. Aren’t you afraid she’ll get all muscle-y from all that training?

Only if it means she can out arm-wrestle me for the car keys when she’s 16.

10. Have him show us a flip!

I forgot my treats at home, and you know how these trained seals are…

 11. My, she is just obsessed with this gymnastics thing…

Some call it obsessed; we see it as dedicated, which is a great trait.

12. Aren’t you worried about her falling behind in school?

Strangely enough, kids on gymnastics teams have higher grades than their peers and in college gymnasts have among the highest GPAs and graduation rates of any NCAA athletes.

 13. What ever will you do if he quits?

One of two things: Give him up for adoption immediately. We only brought him into this world to be a gymnast. Or support his decision to move on to a different activity. I’m thinking the second choice makes more sense, don’t you?