to feel sad at this mum's behaviour at parents evening?

(51 Posts)
spookyskeleton Thu 27-Feb-14 17:03:44

Have just been to parents evening and everyone sits in the hall looking at their DC's work whilst waiting to see the teacher.

Was sat opposite a mum who had her daughter with her and as she was looking through all her workbooks, all I heard was 'oh, you haven't done that right', 'you got that wrong', 'why have you done that', 'you should be working above a level 2a now', and so on and so on. Not one word of praise in the 15 minutes that we were sat there shock

I felt so sorry for the girl - who to be fair, just kept shrugging it off and at one point tried to argue that the way she had done it was the way the teacher had told them to do it at which point, the mum said 'well I'll show you an easier way of working that out'.

Just very sad - and before anyone says anything, yes I know it is none of my business etc etc wink

SapphireMoon Thu 27-Feb-14 17:05:03

I too would judge with a private cats bum face....
Poor child.

spookyskeleton Thu 27-Feb-14 17:07:06

Oh yes, my judging was done in private wink

ladydepp Thu 27-Feb-14 17:08:23

I am not in favour of over praising children but that seems ridiculous. Poor girl, hope her Dad is a bit less critical!

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Thu 27-Feb-14 17:09:32

YANBU. I'm sure there was something in the workbook worthy of a little praise confused.

I would be judgy as well. Did she have a good look at everyone elses books too-that gives me the rage.

is the Mum a teacher herself?

spookyskeleton Thu 27-Feb-14 17:13:12

No, to be fair, she didn't look at anyone else's books otherwise I think my face would have looked like this shock and I wouldn't have been able to hide it.

No, mum not a teacher.

I was at a Secondary school parents evening. not eavesdropping but we were sat very close to the teachers, waiting our turn, couldn't help but overhear..
One lad was sat with his Mum and Nan while they told his teacher what a lazy arse he was and he could do better. The teacher started defending him. grin

OneStepForwardTwoBack Thu 27-Feb-14 17:24:27

yanbu I had the exact same experience this week but it was both parents. I don't really know their child but pretty sure they are one of the brighter ones too. It shocked me. One of my kids has SN and I am over the moon at the slightest bit of progress, I can't imagine being so critical of a child that is doing so well.

If it wasn't for the fact his grandmas have never been to parents evening I'd wonder if that was us, Sparkly grin

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Thu 27-Feb-14 17:28:16

I would have had to have a quiet word with the teacher tbh. It might be none of my business, but that attitude is not going to help the child and sometimes teachers don't know what is going on behind closed doors. (not suggesting that the teacher should have been asked anything or have volunteered any information or their opinion)

grin Johnny. YY Grandmothers at parents' evening-probably not a great idea.

spookyskeleton Thu 27-Feb-14 19:07:19

I am not sure I would have spoken to the teacher as it is none of my business plus it was a different class so couldn't even if I wanted to.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 27-Feb-14 19:08:32

Yanbu how sad poor girl

NewtRipley Thu 27-Feb-14 19:09:49


Some kids have a lot to put up with.

lazyhound444 Thu 27-Feb-14 19:12:08

I've had parents say to me in front of their children at Parent's Night "We know she's a little bitch". This was about one of the kindest, most able children I currently had in the class. Some of the horrors would make you weep.

NewtRipley Thu 27-Feb-14 19:13:21


IME, teachers get a pretty good feel for the parenting styles of the parents. Hard when you can do little about it.

MoominMammasHandbag Thu 27-Feb-14 19:13:56

I am with Jonny, I have told teachers that DS was a lazy arse. He was the ultimate cruiser. Not all teachers realised he was only working at half power most of the time.

bodybooboo Thu 27-Feb-14 19:15:18

some kids are just not going to be good enough ever for their parents.

some parents love and esteem is dependant on how their children make them look.

I have an acquaintance who to this day feels her dd failed her grammar school entrance exam just to spite her.

stupid sad idiot.

bodybooboo Thu 27-Feb-14 19:16:52

Lazyhound words fail you. dreadful.

Scholes34 Thu 27-Feb-14 19:17:17

Moomin I think we might share the same child!

NewtRipley Thu 27-Feb-14 19:18:10


Me too.

But I bet you aren't relentlessly negative to his face ...

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Thu 27-Feb-14 19:19:05

I wouldn't judge to be honest. You don't know the background. Kid could be lazy as shit and might use her homework workbook to wipe her arse with.

NewtRipley Thu 27-Feb-14 19:20:03

But a Primary age child is like a Secondary age child.

lazyhound444 Thu 27-Feb-14 19:20:38

bodybooboo. It can be terribly depressing. I had a very able child who had a problem with toilet accidents. Her father quite blithely told me that I was to inform him every time it happened as in future she would "get a good beating".

Another Mother banged on constantly about how marvelous her older DS was and how disappointed she was in the younger one, essentially for being a different person.

If I could take these kids off them there and then I would, but sadly no dice.

MoominMammasHandbag Thu 27-Feb-14 19:37:54

I think you can nag them a bit about stuff they have the power to change. So not basic ability. But effort definitely.
Mind you, I should've saved my breath; it never did that much good.

HadABadDay2014 Thu 27-Feb-14 19:56:42

Perhaps her daughter can do better and is not trying at school.

I will praise my DC when they deserve it, but I don't specifically look for something to praise them for. I don't have many expectations for them but I do expect them to try their hardest.

Fusedog Thu 27-Feb-14 19:58:11

Au least she turned up I feel sorry for the children who parents feel nothing they ever do during school is worthy of there presence

Fusedog Thu 27-Feb-14 19:58:43

I even saw a few with there olde siblings now that's sad

NewtRipley Thu 27-Feb-14 20:00:14


Can you imagine not offering a word of praise when looking at the books of your year 2/3 child?

spookyskeleton Thu 27-Feb-14 20:46:04

hadabadday there is a huge difference between not praising unnecessarily to constant criticism - she could have sat there and read them in silence which would have been preferable.

Some very sad stories on here - older siblings sad

FLURMP Thu 27-Feb-14 20:53:39

I think it's easy to judge as others have said.

There's stuff like what they're like the rest of the time, that child's behaviour and botheredness at school, what that child responds well to, and what the parent felt worked for them as a child that you can't gauge from one overheard conversation

BlackeyedSusan Thu 27-Feb-14 21:14:17

i used to bribe dd with a trip to the cafe if she would just write her best in school... instead of pretending to be unable to write at all. it carried on into following years... I would be able to find at least one comma, or question mark or time connective or whatever in her books somewhere so she could have her treat.

BlackeyedSusan Thu 27-Feb-14 21:15:19

she works much better with encourgement and praise for what she has done. i hope the girls teacher encourages her.

800threadcount Thu 27-Feb-14 22:14:30

In Irish there's an ancient phrase - "Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí. Bual sa tóin í agus titfidh sí".
Praise the young and you'll bring them along. Kick them and they'll fall".
There's great wisdom in there.

Oldraver Fri 28-Feb-14 00:06:18

I remember a Mum shouting at her daughter while she was taking part in a race "come on you can do much better than that" a the top of her voice. She was only in Reception as well

bedouincheek Fri 28-Feb-14 00:45:53

Well as an ex teacher, I have heard and seen almost all of it. From absolute denial that their precious little darling is a little shit disruptive in class, to watching as they smack them repeatedly round the back of the head as they walk away (overseas but British family, so no SS!).
Professionally the best way to point out areas for improvement is to question, discuss, advise and reinforce. It works. Unfortunately we are educating the children not the parents. I have no more lips to bite.

bedouincheek Fri 28-Feb-14 00:48:39

^^ positively reinforce (ie well done! you got it! great, can you explain to me how to do it now? ... Less of the head smacking!)

ilovesooty Fri 28-Feb-14 01:13:47

I've never forgotten the mum of two daughters, 2 years apart. I taught both of them. She used to come and enthuse about her older child. However her younger (more academically able) daughter was another matter. She once told me that her elder daughter was "so affectionate" but her younger daughter was "so difficult to love" angry

Eggsiseggs Fri 28-Feb-14 06:54:39

ilovesooty I was just about to mention those situations. Awful.
From the mild and totally unaware 'oh Jane isn't the clever one, are you? Emma's the clever one, isn't she Jane?'

To the more disturbing frank favouritism and lack of love/pride/support in the child sitting beside them.

It can be so sad - I have defended more than one child, and been pretty blunt with quite a few parents over the years!

TamerB Fri 28-Feb-14 07:02:51

Unfortunately it isn't uncommon- some children have very difficult parents and sadly there is nothing you can do.

MargotLovedTom Fri 28-Feb-14 07:17:09

FLURMP - really? hmm

Okay, to those who think it's not that bad - if you had an appraisal at work which was a constant stream of negativity, would that make you feel good?

Whatever happened to constructive criticism? Or a shit sandwich - good comment, critical comment, good comment?

baggytshirt Fri 28-Feb-14 07:31:41

I really hope the poor girl had lost her iPhone/broken the home computer/run up a £100 games bill just before they came to school and the mother isn't always like that.

thegreylady Fri 28-Feb-14 07:58:50

Re competetive parents: my youngest dgs is in Reception and at last Sports Day when he was told to run and jump into a hula hoop he said"Why?" His dad was encouraging him by saying,"Let me see how fast you can run!" The child just said "No thank you." My daft but lovely dsil said "Shall I show you?" He had to be gently dissuaded from joining 12 little ones and running to a hula hoop and jumping in it!

Tulip26 Fri 28-Feb-14 08:31:19

This makes me so sad, it was basically me twenty years ago. Still can't do anything right. You do learn to tune out and accept praise where you can find it. I was unplanned first child. Sister was planned second kid and could do no wrong. She's got a better job than me, funny that!

PumpkinPie2013 Fri 28-Feb-14 09:32:54

This is sad sad how will the poor child ever develop confidence and self worth if she is never praised for anything sad

I'm a teacher and always find something to praise all of my students with.

It makes me very sad when I hear parents saying their dc 'is just being lazy' when I say that they are finding the subject difficult but are trying their very,very best (I teach A-level).

These are the same students who frequently say they are 'no good at anything' or 'stupid' or 'can't do it because I'm not clever enough' and have terribly low self esteem sad

MostWicked Fri 28-Feb-14 09:48:11

I wouldn't judge to be honest. You don't know the background. Kid could be lazy as shit and might use her homework workbook to wipe her arse with.

Then you would need to motivate that child. A barrage of criticism about how rubbish your work is, will never motivate any child.
Some criticism, along with lots of praise and encouragement will motivate.
And if a child is "lazy as shit", there's a reason, and it is highly likely to be a lack of confidence. Even high achievers suffer from that, because they can be so afraid of failure, that they don't bother trying. Sometimes it is easier not to try, than it is to fail and know that your efforts will be criticised as never being good enough.

And I think you should find reasons to praise. If you are willing to look through books and find things to criticise, then I think the least you can do is find things to praise. Parents who predominantly criticise, make their children feel crap. If you went into work and your boss just pointed out all the things you did wrong, you wouldn't feel inclined to work much harder. If they said, you did a great hob with that, thanks for your effort, can you do the same again with this please? you would be more inclined to do it.

KrevlornswathoftheDeathwokClan Fri 28-Feb-14 13:06:03

I had a phone call from one of my year 7s parents which was basically a rant about how awful the child was. The lad was difficult and was economical with the truth but his mum was so so negative about him sad No wonder he lies if he gets a ton of bricks come down on him every time he gets something wrong.

sunshinemmum Fri 28-Feb-14 13:22:16

I followed an extremely gifted sister and my Dad was like this or worse a sigh and 'well you tried your best' smile I am pretty sure that I over compensate with DS as a result, but I occasionally bring myself up short if I hear Dad's voice creeping through mine.

blessedhope Fri 28-Feb-14 13:30:23

YABU to suspect the mum's somehow a bad parent on this evidence alone, but YANBU to feel sad for the girl- it could be that her work was significantly below the level her mum knows she is capable of and so a firm clear rebuke of the errors was in order...parenting isn't always about 'unconditional positive regard'. Still without knowing the circs I would lean towards there being some value in finding something to praise in addition to the necessary criticism so the child doesn't experience it as a total rejection of their efforts.

sunshinemmum Fri 28-Feb-14 13:45:33

Also I don't think that rebukes need not to be public.

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