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For Parents Viewing blocked for 4 year olds.. this is wrong!

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James

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My 4 year old daughter has recently joined a gymnastics class held in a public leisure centre. Now the windows have been completely covered so we can no longer watch her. This policy was imposed because someone, when we aren't there, was filming. This blanket ban effects all, rather than just stopping the individual. Our job as parents includes protecting our daughter we should be able to watch her and not just leave her to strangers for an hour. Very poor communication as well as lack of trust and respect for parents. Is this normal behaviour for such young children? We are seriously considering leaving gym club.
 

Iwannabemargo

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Its normal behavior for a leisure centre. They have incredibly strict child safety policies.

As for gyms, yes and no. We have been to 3 different gyms, 1st, definitely no viewing,2nd, viewing via large screen, 3rd no viewing ( but mine is much older now).

Welcome to the forum, here you will find lots of great gym information, but if you are looking more UK specific (most posters are US based) have a look in the UK section, particularly the sticky posts about the UK system.

'Margo
 
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Aussie_coach

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Yes, very normal. Most dance studios won't allow parents to watch even the youngest classes.

The main reason cited for students of this age is that it can be distracting for them to have parents watching.

But if you don't feel comfortable with this yiu need to vote with your feet. Take it to the manager or find another gym.
 

xrachx

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Completely normal in UK gym programmes. I've only experienced a small handful that have any sort of viewing capacity for parents and that is normally restricted on amount of time per week/month too.
 

l.c.o

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Is it possible that the gym is looking at this as protecting your child? It does stop the potential for strangers to video your child.

I'm not in the UK, but here in the US it's common for dance studios, martial arts programs, etc, to not allow any parent viewing. You have to decide how you feel about it, of course. Do you trust them? If not, then she probably shouldn't be there whether you can view or not!
 
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GymDad9.9

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Gyms have huge liability issues which is only compounded in your case by being in a public leisure centre. My daughter's gym is all about allowing parents watch their children; however, videotaping is prohibited to protect the privacy of the children. At the summer camp, pick up procedures of kids are extremely stringent, requiring presentation of identification. I'm a frequent figure at the gym but I still need to show my driver's license when I fetch my daughter from camp. When it comes to children, erring on the side of caution is the only way to go.
 

txgymfan

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I wish camps and schools required ID or at least signatures at pick up. In a contested custody situation I am convinced the noncustodial parent could easily kidnap kids.

Especially since older would go to the moon with her mother and would pull little sister with her.
 
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ldw4mlo

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Our schools, camps and daycares, require proof of ID and signatures. And you have to listed as a pickup person on the childs list.

Is it normal for some places yes for some no. You are free to choose.

I would not leave my 4 yr old anywhere where I couldn't just pop in. And it s*cks big time that one person ruined it for everyone, but kids privacy is important.

Our gym prefers you don't stay, and will cover viewing glass at times (mock meet comes to mind, they don't want the kids distracted).
 
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Gymmommy71

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If my kid were 4 and I really wanted to watch her do her gymnastics (and I would at that age), I would just go to a gym that allowed parent viewing (it's not like you're leaving gym team your kid as been on their whole life).

It's not uncommon for gyms around me to prohibit parent viewing for team classes, but no watching of a rec class for 4 year olds? - that's a little unusual IMO - at that age you want to see what's going on for a variety of reasons. I'd feel the same about almost any other activity at that age too - not just gymnastics.
 

z2akids

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I personally would not be comfortable not being allowed to watch my preschooler in an activity. When DD was 4, her dance studio had windows with 2 way mirrors where parents could observe without the lids knowing they were there. My children's preschool had the same setup. Swimming, football, baseball, etc all had open viewing.

DD's gym has bleachers where rec and team parents can watch. They ask the team parents to limit their watchi g because there are so many rec parents and they really want to accomodate them. Plus, who wants to watch their child or their child's friend working some of thos optionals skills (gives me anxiety).

I believe that it protects the child and the adult to havs open viewing. Most of the gyms we have been in have open areas where parents can watch.
 

Madden3

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I would also not like to be prevented from viewing my children's gym class/practice. At the gym facility my kids go to, all parents (Kinder, rec, team, it does not matter) are allowed to stay and there is lots of bleacher space (although it does get crowded on busy nights!) Parents are not to ever go on the floor, of course, but you can see the whole gym without doing so.

Of course not all facilities are going to have this kind of space. But it sounds like your facility does have a viewing area. It has just been turned into a non-viewing area.

In my experience, basically all parents/caregivers watch the little ones in kinder gym. And in a few years of watching 2 different kids in kindergym, I have not noticed that distraction is a problem. Yes, the kids sometimes wave or run to mom for a drink of water or whatever. So what? It is kindergym.

If you otherwise like this facility, why not call them up and talk to them? They may have made a knee-jerk decision and need to hear another angle. On the other hand, maybe they will be able to convince you that in this particular circumstance the window coverings are appropriate and come up with some compromise that you feel comfortable with.

If videotaping is the real reason for the windows being covered, perhaps they can prohibit it and enforce that rule. If the issue is that the facility is open to the general public, maybe they can make the viewing area or the space in front of the windows "for parents/caregivers of class participants only."
 
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cbifoja

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Not being able to see training would be a no go with me. I know that's how most dance studios do it and it would drive me insane. I want more accountability than that.
 
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Learning Parent GB

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I can see this from both sides. (I'm in the UK too). I have seen plenty of cases of children being distracted and looking up to Mum rather than listening to the coach, and of parents trying to coach, or just manage what they are doing through the window. So I get that there are benefits to not being able to watch.

However, I know that at 4 I wanted to be able to see what my child was doing and help to build that trust in the class they were doing. I've heard people say that you shouldn't leave them if you don't trust the coaches, but in a completely new environment you have nothing to base that gut instinct on. So by watching practice in the early days you would build up confidence and respect for the coaches, enabling you to leave them happily as they get a bit older. My children didn't do gym at that age, but I went through it with other activities.

BG have a policy regarding an 'Open Training Environment'. They recognise that it is not always practical to have a viewing area, but I think it means that the club should try to accommodate you if you request to watch some sessions in these early days. Maybe a polite request to watch a couple of sessions would put your mind at rest. And from friends' experiences I think that is more opportunity than you would get with a ballet class.
 

Learning Parent GB

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After you have got over any initial concerns, you could suggest to them that they have 'Open Week' once a term or half term. That can be a great way to watch your child, and having not seen every practice you notice the new things they have learnt. And if it is a small club, it's also a great opportunity to do some fundraising and get people together to feel part of the club.
 
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Tuppy

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My daughter's dance is the same for the younger children. Not for filming reasons but in general I think parents and viewers are a distraction for the young ones. So I think it's a common practice for dance. They do open the curtains for the last 10 minutes. You might suggest something like that as a happy medium.
 
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James

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Its normal behavior for a leisure centre. They have incredibly strict child safety policies.

As for gyms, yes and no. We have been to 3 different gyms, 1st, definitely no viewing,2nd, viewing via large screen, 3rd no viewing ( but mine is much older now).

Welcome to the forum, here you will find lots of great gym information, but if you are looking more UK specific (most posters are US based) have a look in the UK section, particularly the sticky posts about the UK system.

'Margo
Thanks for advice Margo, I'll look at UK posts. James
 

James

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Yes, very normal. Most dance studios won't allow parents to watch even the youngest classes.

The main reason cited for students of this age is that it can be distracting for them to have parents watching.

But if you don't feel comfortable with this yiu need to vote with your feet. Take it to the manager or find another gym.
Yes, very normal. Most dance studios won't allow parents to watch even the youngest classes.

The main reason cited for students of this age is that it can be distracting for them to have parents watching.

But if you don't feel comfortable with this yiu need to vote with your feet. Take it to the manager or find another gym.
Thanks, just sends strange to us to bit be able to watch our daughter, we are a very close family and do everything together. Although she occasionally looks over to us is more distracted taking to her new friends! :)
 

James

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Completely normal in UK gym programmes. I've only experienced a small handful that have any sort of viewing capacity for parents and that is normally restricted on amount of time per week/month too.
Thanks, I just feel that 4 is too young
 

James

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Jun 25, 2016
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Is it possible that the gym is looking at this as protecting your child? It does stop the potential for strangers to video your child.

I'm not in the UK, but here in the US it's common for dance studios, martial arts programs, etc, to not allow any parent viewing. You have to decide how you feel about it, of course. Do you trust them? If not, then she probably shouldn't be there whether you can view or not!
Yes, they are looking at from cold protection point view, but could have achieved in better way e.g blocking some windows, sitting next to and simply stopping people filming. Also curtains just appeared no prior communication.
 
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