Playground politics??

(49 Posts)
HeffalumpTheFlump Tue 02-Jul-13 17:32:13

I am currently pg with my first child and am already dreading her going to school because of what I have read on here about the playground politics that goes on. Is it really as bad as it's made out? Are there any of you out there who have managed to escape this crap? It sounds like cliquey, bitchy, passive aggressive bullshit that I would absolutely hate. Is it even possible to have your child attend a school without having to deal with all that?

If not wibu to home school my child because it sounds like my absolute worst nightmare??

I live on the same road as a primary school and there has recently been a full on physical fight between some of the mums. They have been warned by the school that if there is a repeat, they will no longer be allowed on school property. Why on earth does it need to be like that? What is it about the school environment that makes these fully grown adults act like high school kids again?

Obviously I'm not a parent yet so if I have got the wrong end of the stick I am happy to be told iabu!

FrenchRuby Tue 02-Jul-13 17:33:19

My ds's school is nice, all the mums are nice to each other. No fights as far as I know!

SkinnybitchWannabe Tue 02-Jul-13 17:34:52

No fights at my dc schools either. We act like adults when we're there smile

Its nice at our school.There are groups of friends but not deliberately cliquey. If you work you stay out of most of it anyway.

MumnGran Tue 02-Jul-13 17:37:11

You really don't have to opt in to the politics of it all. Drop off, collect, and don't interact otherwise. I assume you already have friends outside the upcoming school parents for your DCs year, so just continue with those. Making friends/enemies at the school gates is fully avoidable.

That said ...some schools/year groups/parents are lovely. It is absolutely not a reason to home school.

Fakebook Tue 02-Jul-13 17:37:11

You know I was thinking the same thing the other day! Before dd started school last September I was absolutely petrified about the school playground politics and the alpha mums thanks to MN. Our school is nothing like that! I have met quite a few mums from the older years and they're all normal and down to earth. Most mums and dads tends to keep to their own little group of friends in the playground and at home time.

I really wouldn't worry!

MadeOfStarDust Tue 02-Jul-13 17:37:21

our school is lovely - I guess some might be cliquey, but to be honest I turn up, chat with anyone there til the door opens, then go home....

ilovexmastime Tue 02-Jul-13 17:40:43

There is none of this at my DC's school, or if there is, I'm blissfully unaware of it grin.
When I first started doing the school run I made sure that I said hello to anyone and everyone that I passed and eventually I've made some really good friends. It took at least a year though, I didn't want to come across as needy so I made sure that I spoke to whoever was waiting outside first when I got there, rather than only certain people. Now that I have good friends ( which some might call a clique I guess!!), if I get there and they are not there I will talk to someone else and not abandon them when my 'real' friends arrive, as I think that I wouldn't like to have someone do that to me.
Anyway, I've digressed!

chickenliversfortea Tue 02-Jul-13 17:45:29

Village primary in affluent area (at least third year 6 go on to private) . All our mums are lovely.
Actually there are one or two that try to be a bit "special" but as everyone else is lovely they never get very far.

Chocotrekkie Tue 02-Jul-13 17:45:43

Mine is nice - everyone chats (mainly about kids - dont forget they need wellies tomorrow type of chat). Some people/groups are friends so tend to stick together as they have more to chat about but most people just kind of stand together.

HairyGrotter Tue 02-Jul-13 17:46:24

My DD started school last September, I've managed to avoid speaking to anyone other than teachers since then, and it feels pretty good. I go in, drop off, come home etc.

If someone says hello, I'm polite and say hello back but mainly get on my merry way. Groups have formed, but I have no interest in involving myself much in school, other than to ensure DD is coping and behaving smile

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 02-Jul-13 17:49:04

My DDs are in reception and year 4 and I have encountered nothing but kindness and lovely people. Honestly. It's very nice....I don't make best friends there or anything but the other parents are great.

I made some really good friends in the playground when the dses were little - it's not just that it doesn't have to be a bad experience - it can actually be a really good one!

Congratulations on your pregnancy, and in the nicest possible way, please stop worrying about schools etc - you will deal with them just fine when the time comes, and you have so much good stuff to look forward to, that you should be focussing on that and not letting worries rob you of looking forward to all the wonderful bits of being a mum.

My favourite book for new mums is How Not To Be A Perfect Mother by Libby Purves - itis full of good, practical advice and humour, and says that it is OK not to be a perfect Madonna-mother all the time - sometimes you can have 10 minutes off with a cuppa and a good book!

IfYouLeaveMeNow Tue 02-Jul-13 17:54:33

I wouldn't worry. You will probably like some, dislike others. But you don't have to hang around in the playground if you don't like it - turn up just before drop off/pick up and leave straight after.

mrsravelstein Tue 02-Jul-13 17:59:05

ds1 went to 3 different primary schools, ds2 is now at primary school, so i've got experience of 4 schools. some were friendlier than others, but that's mainly down to parents who already knew each other from preschool or nursery. i've never seen any sort of "playground politics". i stay away from the peculiar lady who sent me a an email to ask why i hadn't invited her son to ds2's birthday. i stayed away from the dad at ds1's school who kept hooting me every time he drove past me. other than that, just smile and chat to everyone, it'll work out fine.

HeffalumpTheFlump Tue 02-Jul-13 18:00:39

Glad to hear I may have got quite a one sided view! From some of the threads on here I was starting to think it was a given! I just couldn't quite understand why all these normal mums and dads apparently suddenly regressed into the childish twunts you often read about on here!

Meglet Tue 02-Jul-13 18:06:02

They aren't all as scary as your one!

Ours is nice, people who have moved into the area have mentioned how the playground is chattier and more relaxed than other schools.

There is one school near me which looks like it has some 'characters' in it though. I usually have a hmm face when pass.

Seriously, don't worry about it. A lot can change before your DC goes to school.

Boomba Tue 02-Jul-13 18:06:32

there is NO cliquey shit at our school, at all

some people are friends, some not...everyone is pleasant to each other

Tee2072 Tue 02-Jul-13 18:09:14

We have none of this at my son's school either.

There was one mum who tried to alpha. We laughed at her collectively.

QueenofallIsee Tue 02-Jul-13 18:23:24

No issues at our school - certainly never felt out of things or judged so its not par for the course in my experience

HeffalumpTheFlump Tue 02-Jul-13 18:27:09

The thing that made me really wonder about it is the school by me has a really good reputation! It's supposed to be a lovely school so I was really shocked to hear about it. I then thought if it happens there, it must happen everywhere like it seems on mn!!

DeWe Tue 02-Jul-13 18:30:32

I think if you go expecting to see cliques, you will see them. If you go expecting there to be some parents who are good friends with each other, and some parents who will be as new as you are-and both will be happy to make friends if you are friendly-then you will find them friendly.

aquashiv Tue 02-Jul-13 18:31:47

Its all quite pleasant and supportive where we are too.

Jimmybob Tue 02-Jul-13 18:40:51

Ours is fine really and most people are v nice. I think we had a fight once ( a couple of years ago- it was probably v polite!) - and wouln't you know I missed it as I was working that day! was only because one mum was stupid enough to have an affair with another's dh.

FunLovinBunster Tue 02-Jul-13 18:45:01

Our school is a bit cliquey, especially DDs class. However I have met some other lovely mums in other year groups, so it's not as bad as it could be! Home schooling just to avoid the shit flinging is a bit drastic though!

FunLovinBunster Tue 02-Jul-13 18:46:33

In one year group there is a coven of blonde mums. Rumour has it they have chucked their keys into the middle of the table on at least one occasion....

LadyFace Tue 02-Jul-13 18:47:57

It's not like that at my dd's school. Everyone is friendly and there are friendship groups but it's not cliquey. No bunfights to my knowledge!

However, there is another local school which is known to be full of social climbing queen bee types.

I think that the school's reputation seems to dictate the parental behaviour iyswim. Dd's school is a more nurturing, family type environment whereas the other school is very results orientated.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 02-Jul-13 18:47:58

Fun are you sure that's not the bitching gossip of the REAL coven?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 02-Jul-13 18:48:53

If anyone did any car key parties in my clique it would all be bike locks and walking boots! None of us drive! We'd likely chip the coffee table.

maillotjaune Tue 02-Jul-13 18:50:34

Ours is pretty friendly too. I do wonder about all these cliquey playgrounds - often what one person thinks is a clique is just a few parents who are friends because they are neighbours / used the same pre-school / are extended family etc. They are usually friendly to others too.

A few people are a bit unpleasant but then you'll get that in any gathering of a dew hundred people won't you.

BarbarianMum Tue 02-Jul-13 18:51:44

OP there are things in your child's future that will cause you great anxiety and sleepless nights. But they are rarely the things you think in advance will be a problem.

Don't worry about stuff that's years away. The future will come and you'll deal with what it holds.

Cherriesarelovely Tue 02-Jul-13 18:52:11

I've experienced both, lovely friendly parents and not so friendly much as you would expect from 2 massive schools. I've made some great friends but have also had a couple of run ins. Must admit I'm glad I work part time and that my Dd will be at high school soon.

wonkylegs Tue 02-Jul-13 18:53:31

DSs school is full of nice parents/grandparents/childminders at drop off and pick up.
DS was one of only a handful who hadn't come up from nursery and we were welcomed really well.
Some people obviously know some others better but everyone is chatty & friendly.
I hope his new school when we move is as good.

VeganCow Tue 02-Jul-13 18:53:34

You walk into school grounds at drop off and pick up. You stand and wait til the doors open. You will see groups of parents talking, and you will see individual parents standing alone. Some parents already know each other from home, some have got to know by starting to chat. Some prefer to stand alone.

Totally up to you how you do it.

Cherriesarelovely Tue 02-Jul-13 18:53:40

Barbarian I completely agree with you. All the things I thought would be difficult haven't and vice versa

NigelMolesworth Tue 02-Jul-13 18:59:03

Everyone is very nice at our school (either that or I am blissfully unaware !!).
Here are my rules:
1. Talk to everyone (only about mundane isn't the weather nice/what are you doing at the weekend type things)
2. Look friendly and repeat step 1
3. Avoid the stirrer like the plague (there is always one and you will work out who they are v quickly!)
4. Leg it for the car as soon as child leaves school

All will be well!

witchface Tue 02-Jul-13 20:31:41

Im looking forward to August in the hope there will be fist fights now! I doubt it though that must be quite unusual surely.

thegreylady Tue 02-Jul-13 21:01:16

When I take/collect my two dgs all the other parents [not just mums] and grandparents seem lovely.

CrapBag Tue 02-Jul-13 22:14:27

I was dreading this too when my DS started last year. I was determined that I was going to get there as the bell rang, stand on my own and just not interact.

Didn't happen. The parents all seem lovely and nobody seems to want to get into playground politics. So far so good. If anything ever does happen in the future (which I can't see really) I'll just keep out of it. If it involves the kids behaviour then I'll say its a matter for the teacher to deal with.

SuburbanRhonda Tue 02-Jul-13 22:25:18

Your DC isn't even born yet and you're worrying about this? shock

GiveMumABreak Tue 02-Jul-13 22:31:26

No playground politics at our school ( well if there is its minor an all goes over my head!)

I suppose you have to take into account people really only post about issues - nobody is going to post asking for advice when things are fine and dandy - which is most of the time!

Balaboosta Tue 02-Jul-13 23:12:46

I like the mums in our school!

louee93 Wed 03-Jul-13 00:47:37

im pg with my first too and this has crossed my mind- its part of fantasising about what sort of parent you'll be. When my brothers and I were at primary school my mum would pick us up and drop us off (I'd have to walk up the road to get in her car) and never interact with other mums, even resorting to calling them 'sad bitches' and saying they had no life for chatting at the gates. I now suspect this was jealousy or insecurity on her part- maybe she never integrated with the mums when we were at playgroup so didn't have the confidence to stand in the playground in case she was put in a position where she was the only one standing alone. I would like to think that when the time comes, I'll be able to make friends amongst the other mums, and hopefully avoid any 'Mean Girl' type cliquey scenarios.

So imo you are not BU for wondering

louee93 Wed 03-Jul-13 00:50:27

Oh but i think YABU to consider home-schooling your child on the basis of what you might think the dynamic amongst the mothers will be. This has nothing to do with the best interests of your child.

HeffalumpTheFlump Wed 03-Jul-13 09:10:09

That's it exactly Louee, i love thinking about what's to come and wondering what motherhood will be like. I'm not staying up at night panicking about this, I was simply curious.

The homeschooling part was said in jest to illustrate my hate of bitchy crap etc. I wouldn't really keep my child from attending a normal school just to avoid this stuff.

freddiefrog Wed 03-Jul-13 09:18:35

Our school is a bit cliquey, although no fisticuffs yet

I stay well out of it, I get there just in time to drop them/pick them up without having to hang around too long

LadyBryan Wed 03-Jul-13 11:22:47

Teeny little prep school here.

We have friendship groups of course, and some people I like better than others. But there's certinaly no nastiness, no public bitchiness.

Be adult, be civil, be pleasant. Easy smile

Osmiornica Fri 05-Jul-13 15:31:18

I've never heard of anything like that in our school. I don't even think there are cliques either - at least I've not noticed. People seem happy to say hello and stuff. It only takes 2 people to have an argument and tarnish the rest of the parents with the same brush. I expect most of the rest are perfectly normal.

burberryqueen Fri 05-Jul-13 15:34:08

yeh it can be bad, but don't worry about that yet....i used to arrive 5 mins late on purpose...

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