For Parents Too young to leave?

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ellabella

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May 26, 2008
176
When did you feel like your child was old enough to leave at the gym during practice?

Mine is only 3.5 and I want to leave, but I feel uneasy about it. Since she started going twice a week it's my own gym work-out that has been replaced ( and I need it! ).

I'm scared to leave her because accidents do happen in gymnastics, even at beginner levels. I'd feel horrible if she got hurt and it took me awhile to get there. She's potty trained, but still needs help getting her leotard on and off and I sometimes have to take her to the potty during practice. She's shy and doesn't like to ask. I'll start to notice her standing funny and know she has to go.

I don't think she would notice if I wasn't there. I'm probably shouldn't admit this, but I also find it really boring.

Just curious when the rest of you felt comfortable leaving the little ones.
 
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spokanegymmom

New Member
Aug 21, 2007
18
I didn't leave my dd until she was 6 and on team

Even before she was going 2-3 times a week. I think that 3.5 is too young to leave. Especally if she needs help with her leotard.
 

mariposa

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Sep 25, 2007
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I didn't leave A until she moved to team. I still don't like leaving her there. She was 5 years 8 months old (LOL). Before then she was there 2 times a week for 1.5 hours and I always stayed. I talked to the other moms, watched her and played with my toddler. Had I been alone I would have read a book. :)

I would be even more uncomfortable leaving her if she couldn't go to the bathroom alone and that WAS an issue even at her age because she had a scary potty incident as a toddler and had hated public restrooms until recently. I have a history of ***ual abuse and am not trusting enough to let anyone help my kids go to the bathroom, so luckily she got over her fear of public toilets about a few months before moving up to team.
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
My daughter will be 8 next week and is on pre-team. She practices 8-10 hours a week (depends of she decides to do tumbling or not - that adds 1-2 hrs). I still stay unless I absolutely cannot. I have run errands put never gone more than 30 min. Her shortest practice is 2 hours. Longest is 3.5.

We live about 15 min from the gym, and like you said if she got hurt I would hate for her to be waiting for me to arrive.

There are a couple younger than her whose parents do not stay. A few of them are in the summer day camp at the gym (converts to that from after school care during the school year - so they are there all day while their parents are at work. but during the day they are not doing gymnastics - other activities are scheduled.

I must admit my DH and I are somewhat over protective. But on the good side it is saving gas $ :D
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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I first left my oldest when she was 6 and my youngest when she was 5 as she had the oldest around too. Our gym likes, but doesn't require, parents to hang around when the tinies are in the gym for all the reasons you said. It is hard for a coach to leave the floor for bathroom breaks or for little boo boo's that need a kiss.

That said you know your own child and if she is ready to be without you. The length of the class would be more a deciding factor for me, an hour or under they should be fine, two hours or more might be a challenge.

As for the excercise, I hear ya! There are some gyms that have work out facilities, not ours, you could always jog around the parking lot with free weights in your hands!:D
 

Livinatthegym

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Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
When the practices got long enough for me to get something else done while she was there! So, for dd1, like 9? Dd2 was different. She made the developmental team at 4, and practice started at 4. I didn't get off work until 4:30, so dh had to leave work, pick her up at daycare, take her to gym, drop her off, and go back to work. Not ideal, I know. If you do something like this, make sure the coaches know you are not on campus.
 
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Billy

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My DD is 6 years old and practices 11 hours a week and I still do not leave her alone at the gym. I, too, am always worried that something will happen and I won't be there. But, we also live 40 minutes away so its a lot of time and gas to be running back and forth. I'd rather stay at the gym, watch practice and talk to the other moms than spend and hour and forty minutes in the car driving back and forth.
 

Monkeygirlsmom

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Feb 10, 2007
764
I think it really depends on a lot of things! main beingyour child and the gym and the coaches

I have just recently left my girls at the gym I go do my errands that are near there (target etc) and then come back and watch the last bit so I am not gone the whole time.
They are 8 and 6 They know my cell number and I tell them where I will be so they know!
 

momof5

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Proud Parent
Oct 26, 2007
375
I a dealing with the same situation right now. I feel DD #2 is too young to leave by herself. She just turned 4. They just moved her to an advanced class for 1 1/2 hrs 2 days a week. It's in the evening when the gym and lobby is super crowed. I would not feel safe with her leaving the gym and walking by herself to the restroom with all those people. She also struggles with her leo and is the type to walk back into the gym naked holding her leo for her coach to help her. Yikes! And yet I have many small children and that makes it hard to stay every time. Add another DD gym schedule and its too much for my kids. I am hoping that several of the other moms stay and I can get to know them and then ask if they can keep an eye on my dd and help her if she needs help. A couple of moms did that last year in her preschool gym class and it worked out great. I also just got my first cell phone and would give a few perents my cell number so if I was needed they could contact me.
 
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nettyinpa

Guest
I think 3.5 is too young to leave there alone. Like you said, you never know when something will happen. And I think the little ones like when their moms or dads are watching them. You know how many times my dd asked me "did you see me do that, mom?" I would've hated to say no, I'm sorry I missed it. Now it's not such a big deal since she's on the team and with her friends, etc. But, I still like to watch once and a while. I live 30 minutes from our gym so it wouldn't be worth it to run home. But, if I need to do some errands I'll do that. She's there over 20 hours a week right now so no, I don't stay.
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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I think some of the decision to stay/leave depends on the child. With my oldest daughter(now 17), I think I stayed at gym lessons, figure skating etc. until she was about 6. She was quiet and shy and wouldn't ask if she didn't understand something. With the 2nd one----I think I started leaving her at the gym alone when she was 4.5-5yo. It was only a 1 hour class and as one poster said, they honestly aren't all that exciting. Also this one made her needs or wants KNOWN. Sometimes she'd ask one of us to stay, other times asked us not to---wanted to show she was a "big girl."

To me the issue I would be most concerned about is the whole potty thing. Until she can go on her own and get her leo on/off(the thought of a naked child running into the gym had me ROTFL), then there needs to be an adult there. I think Momo had a great idea about switching off with other parents and have 1 designated "gymmie sitter" for the classes. That way everyone gets a break to do errands or whatever and knows the little ones have someone to help them if needed.

Worrying about child getting hurt at this age shouldn't be huge concern. Won't ever say a child in a pre-school or devo class doesn't get hurt, but certainly not as common as for higher level kids.
 
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GymTwinsMom

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I stayed until the girls are 5. I felt safe because they both had each other. They are pretty loud and lets just say "full of personality." So they will be the type to scream, " I'm going potty" And then walk right off to the bathroom:rolleyes: Momof5- that is an awesome idea about the "gym sitters." I know a couple of moms who have daughters in pre-team or advanced pre-school who watch after each others kiddos.


If I were you, I wouldn't leave just yet...If you are bored, bring a magazine, newspaper, or a book to read. Or maybe have a convo with the other moms. That would surely keep you busy:) I used to get very bored also. When my DDs were pre-team\level 4, I finished a lot of books ( it was the only time I could!) And I made friends with the other moms! LOL. Looks like my girls are not the only ones who can make friends at gymnastics;)

Gym law mom- The thought of a little girl running out naked would make a me laugh too LOL.

Also, gym law mom is right, you shouldn't be concerned about her getting injured...yet;););)
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
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I started leaving my oldest when she was around 6. This was at our old gym and it is a 3 min drive from our house. I would run to the food store or other local errands. After we moved to the new gym (she was 7) I stayed for the first few months. She was around 7.5 when I started leaving the 2-3 hrs practices (she was on preteam, then team). With little DD I started leaving when she was about 4.5 and was on the team. She's always been more independent, plus she had big sister around.
 

ellabella

Member
May 26, 2008
176
Yeah I think you guys are right. She is too young. That was my gut feeling, but just wanted to make sure I wasn't a crazy overprotective mom! My work-out gym is across the street. You can actually see the gymnastics parking lot from the work-out gym and that's why the thought crossed my mind. Maybe in another 6 months I'll give it another thought.

I want to go work-out after she is finished and the gym daycare is open until 9pm so it would be possible, but she begs me not to take her. She's tired after an hour and a half work-out and wants to eat and go home. At least I have a real excuse for not not making it those days of the week now!
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
Yeah I think you guys are right. She is too young. That was my gut feeling, but just wanted to make sure I wasn't a crazy overprotective mom! My work-out gym is across the street. You can actually see the gymnastics parking lot from the work-out gym and that's why the thought crossed my mind. Maybe in another 6 months I'll give it another thought.

I want to go work-out after she is finished and the gym daycare is open until 9pm so it would be possible, but she begs me not to take her. She's tired after an hour and a half work-out and wants to eat and go home. At least I have a real excuse for not not making it those days of the week now!
Are there other parents that stay? I usually work the snack bar part of DD's practice so I am not always watching, but am there if she needs me. I have a full time job, so the first hour of practice I am still working (I can pretty much work from anywhere). I have my laptop w/ me at the snack bar and cell phone if I am needed. That is a great perk of my job. Not so good is that when I am very busy it is VERY stressful and I end up working what seems like every waking minute !! but again, for the most part I can work from wherever.

I think once your DD has got the leo on and off by herself real good you would be ok to go across the street and work out. I must admit sometimes my DD still drags me to the bathroom (she will be 8 next week) - her problem is that she hates the flushing sound and it is awful if we go somewhere w/ the auto flush toilet - it is a fight just to get here to go - I have to cover the sensor and wait until she is done and out of the stall before I move my hand. I am not allowed to flush a regular toilet until she is out of the stall - :D
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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my DD still drags me to the bathroom (she will be 8 next week) - her problem is that she hates the flushing sound and it is awful if we go somewhere w/ the auto flush toilet - it is a fight just to get here to go - I have to cover the sensor and wait until she is done and out of the stall before I move my hand. I am not allowed to flush a regular toilet until she is out of the stall - :D
Your DD and mine are twins. Mine has exactly the same problem, I thoughts she was the only 9 year old who won't go by herself, but that noise has always scared her silly!:D
 
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Billy

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Your DD and mine are twins. Mine has exactly the same problem, I thoughts she was the only 9 year old who won't go by herself, but that noise has always scared her silly!:D
My DD had that problem, too. She hates to have the toilet flush while she's still on it. I had to do the whole covering the sensor thing, too. She's finally over it, though. We convinced her that nothing will happen to her if the potty flushes while she's still on it.
 

mariposa

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Sep 25, 2007
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my daughter JUST got over the fear of self flushing toilets as well. i had no idea it was so common! did your girls have a bad experience or just don't like them? mine had one flush while she was sitting on it when she was 21 months old and she wouldn't even use a public potty, even a regular toilet until she was 3. she would just hold it.
 
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Billy

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I don't remember any specific incident except of course that they would flush while she was still on them. But, my DD always HATED loud noises, even as a baby, and those toilets can be startlingly loud. I think that had something to do with it.
 

Blackie6

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Mar 1, 2007
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I probably did not leave my daughter alone until she was about 5 and on pre-team. When she was in rec classes they were only an hour anyway and it wasn't worth leaving and coming back.

Even when she first started pre-team (age 5) I stuck it out awhile (2 2hr practices/week) just to make sure she liked it and transitioned well to the class time and the coaches. There were three of them when she first started and I wanted to give her some time to bond w/them before I left her alone. Me and another mom would sit for the LONG two hours and think about how we would design the gym if we were owners...like cushioned stadium seating for our sore backsides (aluminum folding chairs are NOT comfy and a sure bet to keep moms from lingering!), reading material, movies, soft drinks, wine or frozen drinks on hot days, snack menu, and of course a waitress to serve us!

Now that DD is 7 and is there for team practice I usually just drop off. In all the years we've been going, there was only one time there was a problem. My DD wasn't fealing well and the office called me up right away and I went to pick her up. I love the coaches and staff and have never had a problem.

Edited to also add that my DD has Reflux, so I often stayed at the gym just to make sure she wasn't going to throw-up all over the place from tumbling. Strange, but I believe the gym is the only place my DD hasn't thrown-up in!!
 
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