Gymboree in West Orange, NJ

Received Friday, February 27, 2009
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Where: West Orange Gymboree
When: Friday 2/27, 930 am class
Description: Your daughter Rhone (approx 2 years old) and her neglectful nanny. The caregiver is a thirty-something Caribbean woman, very well put together. Today she was wearing a black and white striped sweater and she always holds her hair back with bedazzled sunglasses.
Incident: I have never seen this nanny interact with her charge in any positive way but, in today's class, Rhone was climbing play structure by herself while the rest of the class participated in a group activity and her nanny had a lengthy (10 minutes, minimum) conversation with another caregiver (the nanny had her back towards the little girl). At one point, I glanced around the room and it took me a good thirty seconds to spot Rhone (who was playing by herself in the corner). The little girl relied on the kindness of other caregivers/moms to supervise her and did not get to participate in the group activites due to the inattention of her nanny. While this incident isn't one of gross negligence, I can't tell you how sad your daughter looks and how distant and disinterested your nanny is. The saddest part is, your daughter seems totally used to the lack of attention and didn't seek out your nanny at all. I have never seen either parent at a class before but hope someone sees this and passes it along.


a reader said...

This is sad.

Nanny Taxi said...

Sorry, I make look like a fool but I love to "shake the sillies out."

Baltimore Nanny said...

Poor little girl! Those classes aren't cheap and either are nannies.

Chantel said...

So sad. Hopefully her parents or someone who knows her parents see this.

honest nanny said...

those classes are way too expensive to be wasting away by inactivity. one of the great things about those classes is that you get some great opportunities for active one on one play!

sad story.

no drama said...

you assume the girl was so sad and neglected because she was playing by herself? at her age, it is common to play independently and not want to join the group activity. in fact, i have taken a two year old boy who preferred to wander away from the group and do his own thing. those classes are not right for the girl at this time.

mercy said...

no drama, hmmm, maybe you should stop carousing the board and making excuses for shitty nannies. The ops in these cases were there and saw something that disturbed them enough that they took the time to send in a nanny sighting. Why don't you go write an op ed piece and deal with your anger.

Why are you so angry? Because poor little nannies are getting a bad rap? Phooey.

dontwantnodramadrama said...

Mercy-what did No Drama say that makes you believe she needs to deal with her anger? She stated an opinion. Sounds like you have some anger issues yourself.

nannyinmanhattan said...

Hi OP,
So, if this is a class you pay for (obviously) you could easily leave your number or email with the coordinator (not the instructors themselves since they do not actually see the parents) so the coordinator could pass this on for you( since due to privacy policies they may not want to give out the child's personal information) and you could tell the parents what you observe.
Fair enough??
Good luck though and good looking out for little Rhone.


Manhattan Nanny said...

The point op made was that the child was climbing, and the nanny was on the phone. Gymboree asks that the adult be at arms length and spot the child at all times. If a child doesn't want to do the group activity, and continues to play on the apparatus, that is fine, but you have follow after them, and be attentive. Anything less is negligence.

M&Ms said...


I agree with dontwantnodramadrama, there was *nothing* no drama said that would warrant that kind of response.

Manhattan Nanny,

Excellent point!!!

former Gymbo-bot said...

Look, i worked as a gymboree teacher for a long time. We would call out anyone who wasn't paying attention to their kids, and if it was a nanny with an absent parent who was constantly ignoring the kids we would email the employer.

It is worth repeating, however, that some kids will have plenty of fun by themselves. they will have NOTHING to do with the group activities.

Gymboree states in its policy that our playplace is a child-driven environment. Caregivers are expressly discouraged from forcing a child to participate in activities.

Management is probably already on to this person if she constantly ignores the child. If you know the kid well enough to know her name you can ask management to contact the parents on your behalf. If that doesn't work ask for the contact information of the franchise owners and speak with them.

honest nanny said...

very helpful and informative former Gymbo-bot!

i hope the OP follows through with your advice.

mom said...

Nanny in Manhattan said it best. The Gymboree clerk can call the parents and ask them if they might be interested in sending an attentive caregiver to class with their daughter from now on so that she can 1) be safe, and 2) fully enjoy the classes they are paying so much for.

I know there are all kinds of different theories on parenting, and I don't reacall my Gymboree classes encouraging anybdy to let any kids roam during circle time or group activities. And my personal thought about that is that it is a good time to teach your child that sometimes they need to do what the group is doing, or waht mommy/nanny/teacher tells them is appropriate at that time, even thought they may WANT to do something different.

In my experience, parents who took that more casual, "let the kid do whatever he chooses whenever he chooses" style of parenting had a devil of a time getting their children to sit politely in restaurants, etc., when they "didn't feel like it." The parents are eventually at the mercy of their children's whims and ensuing tantrums if they don't get their way. Kids need to be taught about doing appropriate things at appropriate times, and in appropriate places, and it is never too early to start teaching that.

mom said...

PS I do agree, however, that if a particular child is simply unwilling or unable to participate in a class on a repeated basis, it is probably not the right class for that child at that time.

former Gymbo-bot said...

mom, believe me i am with you!!

i worked for a franchise with a never-tell-a-child-no policy. ESPECIALLY when i would have the older kids class with 8 or so kids over the age of 3 versus me. i would try my hardest to keep the kids engaged, but it always ended in chaos.

i often wished that i were allowed to tell the kids that they needed to participate.

DesignNanny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DesignNanny said...

I happen to know who your talking about! I used to bring my charge to Gym class and I know Rhone and her nanny very well. If you were observing Rhone you obviously werent watching your child, and once again you should have noticed a little bit closer that Rhone is a child who CHOOSE not to participate in the group or even play with others. I've talked to her nanny many times and shes a very nice woman who really LOVES working with Rhone... Get your nose out of other ppls business, go on with your cady life!!!

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