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A horrible toddlers gym

  1. #1
    hkbabychat is offline Registered User
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    A horrible toddlers gym

    I just wanted to share with you parents my horrible experience at a new gym called JWT Kids Gym in Central 2 days ago.

    I took my 20 month old girl to a trial session at this gym during lunch break. At one point, my girl was riding a rocking pony when a boy, who was already quite hyper, came and insisted on riding on it. Without asking, his maid just put him on the pony as well! Obviously, the thing was then too heavy and couldn't rock anymore. So the maid took him off. The boy kicked my daughter’s leg. I told the kid he shouldn't kick people, and asked him to say sorry. The maid said sorry for him. She took him away. But the boy returned after a few seconds and kicked my daughter a few more times. The maid didn't stop him. That really upset me, and I said to the boy, "Why do you kick people? You're naughty." I picked up my girl and went to another corner to play.

    After class, the parents of the boy appeared. While I was still trying to pay for the class, the mother poked me in the back and said "You, why did you call my boy naughty?" I turned round. I found a tall Chinese woman, very well dressed, but incredibly rude. I explained how his son kicked my daughter. "My son never did that! My maid said he didn’t do that. In fact, my son is so good he'd never do anything like that."

    The manager of the gym came over and tried to “clear some misunderstanding here” as he claimed. Up to this point he had been chatting with the father of the boy. Immediately he told me I was over reacting… I took it too personal… all kids do kick (people)… and that’s totally normal in the “real” world. He even said that my girl would not succeed at kindergarten because I didn’t let her live in the “real” world!

    After this came the father of the boy – a big Chinese man. He came up to me real close, raised his fist, paused for a moment, and pointed his finger at me. "You’re taking the whole thing too personal. You're upsetting me. You're upsetting us. Leave this place now!"

    The management stayed silent.

    I was shaking, my voice was trembling, my little girl was screaming as we left that place.

    It's one thing to have an out of control kid in a playgroup kicking another kid. It's quite another thing to have obnoxious parents bullying other parents in a playgroup. It's totally unthinkable to have the management of a playgroup preaching aggressive behaviour as the norm, saying it's perfectly acceptable to have kids kicking other kids, because that's "the real world". Any parents who objects to that are "living an unreal life”.

    Looking back, the lack of class management was evident throughout the whole hour. Maids barged in and snatched toys off other kids. Maids jumped queues. The boy was already out of control, but the class supervisors did nothing to calm the boy down. The class supervisors made no attempts to keep order in the place. The kids did whatever they wanted, and helpers did whatever they wanted too. A totally out of control playgroup!

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    i sypmathise with you, however, as someone who has taught in kindergartens and playgroups, i can tell you that it is the parent/helper's responsibility if they are attending an "accompanied" playgroup to discipline the child.

    i do completely understand that you don't like your daughter being kicked. it is only "normal" in that many toddlers who cannot yet express themselves verbally resort to pinching, hitting, pushing, biting or hitting. This in NO WAY excuses it and children should be told immediately that what they are doing is wrong and asked to appologise. (however, it is unlikely that the child will be able to verbalise this so early). it is completely UNACCEPTABLE for parents to harass other parents.

    you know the saying... "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree"...seems to ring very true in this situation! i kind of feel sorry for this child. He's going to grow up to be a bully and more than likely not have many friends because of it.

    be glad in knowing that you are teaching your daughter the value of a human relationship and respect. you're doing a great job. (those parents are lucky that i wasn't there, in my current state of crazy pregnancy hormones, i probably would have taken their heads off, and then the manager of the playgroups too,for good measure!)

  3. #3
    Bizeemama is offline Registered User
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    What a horrible situation to have been in. There is nothing more distressing than being threatened. It does not sound like a very nice environment to take children to if there are threatening situations occuring between the adults. Interestingly enough I was thinking aobut going along for a trial lesson but wont bother now. A similar thing happened to me a few years back. My son scrambled on a piece of play equipment and pushed a younger child in the back, I was watching him but also nursing a newborn so could not get up very quickly to speak with my son and ask him to be more careful and apologize. It was not a malicious act but he was being careless (please remember he was two at the time). The father of the child grabbed my son by the arm and frog marched him over to his son screaming at my son to apologize. I calmly asked him to "let go" of my son and to please calm down, he replied that my son was a "very naughtly boy", I told him that adults "man handling children" was far more offensive, and walked away. How interesting to realize later that he was a junior school teacher in Hong Kong! I have always regretted not defending us more but I guess sometimes as our mothers have always taught us it is more dignified to walk away and less stressful for our children.
    I hope you can put it behind you and not lose anymore sleep over it.

  4. #4
    starburst is offline Registered User
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    wow this is so disappointing to hear. my son and i have been going to this gym and really enjoy it - mainly because the instructors are SO SO nice (obviously management isn't!). the instructors really love playing with my kid, and the other kids - one of the main reasons why we go - actually think they are the nicest ones out there, and i have been to heaps of these playgroups (although, have to say cara was so fantastic at t&t! you had so much enthusiasm and we sure miss you!). such a shame this whole incident has happened to you - i feel really upset for you. well you know we are on your side and the other parents are just nasty! keep us up to date on whether management have got back to you.

  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    thansk starburst! do i know you? i miss the kids sooo much! don't know what i'm going to do after the next little one arrives...just scheduled the c-section for feb 13! so excited to have an end in sight!


    hkbabychat, like i said, there are ignorant people everywhere, be glad knowing that you are NOT raising one!

  6. #6
    JWT Kids Gym HK is offline Registered User
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    We are writing in response to Mrs.hkbabychat’s comments on the Geobaby forum. I think it is only fair that we clarify this unfortunate situation and do explain our side of the story. We were not aware of the issue of your daughter being kicked by this boy until after it happened, and when we started hearing the heated discussions between both sets of parents at our premises. As a parent, I hope you would appreciate that if another parent were to tell off your child, you might be justifiably upset. I believe the situation escalated as you had called the boy “naughty” and disciplined him when his parent was not present which was the reason why the boy’s parent was upset. If you have had only brought it to our attention from the beginning, we would have mediated and highlighted this issue to the boy’s parent so that they can deal in a manner that they suitably think fit and maybe even talk to you directly on it. When the situation got out of control and the other children (and parents) present were getting frightened and upset as both parents were arguing loudly, we had to ask all concerned to calm down. I also like to state that the comment that was made “it is normal for kids to sometime kick …….. might have difficult time when she gets to Kindergarten” was NOT made by any staff member of JWT but rather some of the parents who had witnessed the entire scene. In addition, your husband did visit us at the gym after the incident and did agree with us that if the boy was not called “naughty” and not disciplined by you, and if the situation handled in a slightly different manner, we would have avoided this awkward situation.

    JWT trainers are trained to handle situations between children in a constructive and non-confrontational manner. We teach the children the skills such as “sharing” and “waiting their turn”. Some children pick up on these lessons quicker than others but it is always a “work in progress” and these messages needs to be reinforced on a continuous basis even at home. We hope that you understand that in our capacity, we are not in a position to control either maids or parents! With JWT’s experience in the children’s business on a global level which spans over 20 years, an unpleasant incidents such as this is extremely rare. Our clients worldwide will attest that the time their children spend with us, is the most fun they have all week and we intend to maintain our extremely high standards in our Hong Kong operation.

    I apologise that your first trial lesson with us resulted in this unfortunate situation and we would like to offer the opportunity for you to try another trial class which we are confident that your child would enjoy.

    We hope to hear from you again.

    Best regards,

    Gerald Lau
    Managing Director
    JWT Kids Gym Hong Kong

  7. #7
    shri's Avatar
    shri is offline Administrator
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    I think its time to take it offline.

    HKbabychat : if you want to post a response, email me on [email protected] and I'll reopen the thread for you to post a response.

  8. #8
    shri's Avatar
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    A couple of members want to add their opinions.. so I'm re-opening the thread.

    I do hope no one gets too "naughty" and uses this thread as a launching pad for an attack on either of the two parties concerned... :)
    Last edited by shri; 12-04-2006 at 10:19 PM.

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