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Top tips to help your child when they get discouraged 

From time to time, everyone gets a bit discouraged with what they do – in all areas of life! Success and progress unfortunately isn’t linear. It’s more of a wiggly, messy looking line and that messy part can be hard for anyone to deal with, let alone a child! Here’s my five-step process for you to help support your child through if they feel discouraged at class, or indeed with any activities.

Written by Jennifer Page

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Top tips to help your child when they get discouraged


Communicate. Talk to and mainly listen to your child. Give them space to tell you what’s going on for them. How do they feel during class? What bits are difficult? What do they enjoy? How do they get on with their coach and peers? What else is on their plate right now? Listen without judgment, empathise with their challenges and reassure them its all ok.


Look at the positives. Celebrate their achievements – there are always lots, big and small. In fact, the small stuff is often the most important and in a discouraged situation, it’s likely these little things have been missed. Our brains tend to forget them when faced with a challenge. Help your child see them. You might even write them all up on a big piece of paper and place it somewhere prominent for a daily reminder of how well they are doing.


Look at the bigger picture. Imagine zooming up in a helicopter and looking down at everything. What’s really important in the bigger picture for you and your child? Are you working towards a specific goal or want a certain value for them from the activity? Is there anything you’ve been worrying about that actually isn’t important? Identify that and when you zoom back down, put that at the forefront of both your minds. Everyone is different and remember to NEVER compare yourself to anyone else – that’s a sure fire way back to discouragement.


Communicate (yes again, it’s THAT important). But this time with those who can help. For gymnastics and related activities that’s us. We will listen to you in exactly the same way you did for your child in step one. It’s important we all know the truth of the situation, then we can work together to help. A lot of times, it is something we can help with – some extra info or understanding the coach needs to give, help making friends in class, or even a class swap – we’ve been here a lot of times and have a whole load of potential solutions in our tool kit.


Support. In an ongoing way. Continue the 4 steps above – keep communicating openly with your child and those that can help support, keep celebrating the positives daily and keeping in mind what’s important. In no time you’ll be back on track and stronger than ever to deal with future challenges.

I hope this helps. Let me know how you get on and of course, if we can help with anything we’ll be more than happy to listen. Drop us an email


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