Dealing with other parents.

(69 Posts)
ketesh Wed 12-Jun-13 10:45:00

DD2(5) is gifted as identified by school, although they say she is too young to be tested as she is still in reception. She is the brightest in her class and excels at everything. Everything comes easy to her. I'm a member of Mensa and joined when I was just 10. My mother (whom I no longer talk to) was the embodiment of a Tiger mother. Private tutors, hours of homework, I wasn't allowed to associate with "stupid" friends... and any digression from her rules was met with physical violence. I am educated, but not successful and I am painfully aware that IQ does not denote future success nor happiness. The dismal reality of my relationship with my mother has meant I am very wary of pushing DD2 in any manner. It was an awful upbringing and I just want DD2 to find a profession that makes her love Monday mornings.

However, recently, other mothers of DD2's class mates have been making some really snide remarks, normally within earshot of the children.... "oh look, here comes S, bet she's already completed all her homework and then been made to do some extra?" Or, "I believe in allowing children to be children first rather than forcing them academically, not like 'some' mothers". "Another golden certificate S? Just think of all the fun you could have had if your mummy let you play like a normal child?".

I'm not the only mother of a bright child to suffer at the hands of this group. Another boy who was originally identified as having behavioural problems, seemed to be targeted and there were definite aims to have this boy expelled for being violent. It turns out he was also gifted and just bored. Properly channeled he has become a delightful addition to the class and a firm friend of my daughter.

DD2 is friends with the children of many of these mothers, and I don't want her to be the social pariah that I was (and DD1 who has autism), so my blunt force, dry wit wouldn't go down so well. I was wondering if anyone else experienced this and if so, what they did?

amistillsexy Wed 12-Jun-13 10:53:12

How do the other mothers know that your child is identified as G&T?

None of the parents at my sons' schools know anything about my children's attainments, and I know nothing about their children's attainment.

Nor would I want to.

Also, 'blunt force and dry wit' rarely go down well with people you meet on a regular, but casual basis. Best to stick to smiles and comments on the weather.

Startail Wed 12-Jun-13 11:01:03

I wish I could offer some positive uplifting advice, but I can't.

Two very bright siblings left our school for private (mum returned unwillingly to work to fund it).

One left for a three form entry school where she stood out far less.

One lad stayed the distance due to a socially adept mum senior school teacher mum.

DD2 isn't mega bright, but might have stood out in some years, did ok because she fits in easily and her cohort had 3 other bright DCs.

I'm afraid if they are starting already, I'd seriously start putting her name on any possible waiting lists for other schools.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 12-Jun-13 11:03:22

It sounds as if the parents (if this IS happening), are picking up on something from you. Does your child play? Do you encourage that. Do you boast about certificates, even stealthily? You seem a bit condescending about the upset the little boy caused - if he was hurting children their parents have every right to be upset. How do the parents know your child is apparently 'gifted'?

exexpat Wed 12-Jun-13 11:18:43

Some people do seem to think that if a child is doing well at school, he or she must be being pushed, which obviously - given your childhood experience - you are not doing. But it's hard to know how to dispel that impression without looking like you are boasting about how naturally brilliant your daughter is.

I'd just say smile and ignore, or maybe try to drop subtle things into conversation about your DD's favourite TV programmes/lego obsession or whatever she actually does at home rather than extra homework... Do you have any good friends amongst the mothers that you could have an honest chat with, and who might be able to spread the word that you are not a pushy mother? But unfortunately some people just do seem to dislike anyone whose child could be seen as doing better than theirs.

Do you invite these other children round to play? It may be worth it even if they aren't particular friends of your daughter, to establish the fact that she is quite normal and has a social life. You could also suggest meeting up at soft play or whatever other fun things there are for her age group in your neighbourhood.

But some people just find it hard to believe that there are brighter children than theirs, who are not being hothoused and made miserable by a pushy parent, and are frankly bitchy about it. You may just have to ignore them if they won't change.

ketesh Wed 12-Jun-13 11:29:40

Oh... there's this group system at the school. The children are divided into groups dependent on their ability and assigned a shape, squares, circles, rectangles. Squares are known as the top group. Other parents are actively encouraged to go in to help with reading and word spreads. I found out DD2 was in the top set after some of these mothers because I don't do the school run as my kid gets the bus.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ketesh Wed 12-Jun-13 11:55:43

I don't often go into the school. The only time I do is when DD2 is getting a certificate, I work and have a younger child so I just don't have the time otherwise, DD2 is so proud of her achievements and wants me there. But I can see why this may be seen negatively or even as boasting. People ask why I'm there as it's rare to see me. Most parents go every week to the school assemblies just to see what their kids have been up to during the week. Dd2 doesn't really have any issues with the children, she is a very amicable little girl. She plays with them and they play with us, but even when it seems the mothers are being nice, they still make these remarks. I spent the last 10 years in Spain where my eldest was at school and what happened in school, stayed in school and the parents really didn't give a flying fig who was the best in the class. No one knew.They didn't even have parents evenings. So this whole competition and sniping really puzzles me.

musicalfamily Thu 13-Jun-13 12:00:50

She is the brightest in her class and excels at everything

So if you are hardly ever in school how do you know this? And how do you know she is the brightest in the class? Just because a reception child is in the "top group", it doesn't mean they are the brightest. I speak from experience.

musicalfamily Thu 13-Jun-13 12:12:34

PS for example one of my children started reception unable to read, write or even hold a pencil. He was very behind everyone else. August born boy. I even overheard some parents saying "shame they (meaning their girls) have to be pulled back by some of the younger boys".

At the end of the year the teacher told me that my son was extremely bright and would no doubt be a high flyer. I didn't believe her, he could barely read and write still at that point. She told me "you'll see". He scored 9s across the board apart from reading, writing and maths.

2 years later and her prediction has come completely true. He is not only way ahead academically but it is now apparent that his mind and thirst for knowledge is rather exceptional. His teacher told us that when they started the Tudors he gave a speech on the Tudors in front of the class and apparently he'd gone and researched it in the school library at playtime for months. None of us knew. He is still only 6 years old.

So what I am trying to say is that Reception is a funny year and that there will be other very bright and even gifted children in your daughter's class, you have no way of knowing really. I doubt most parents in my son's class realise how bright he really is, I know my son says his pals call him "clever clogs" but it's all very amicable.

cory Thu 13-Jun-13 12:15:42

It sounds like the school is handling this badly if she is made to stand out from the other children because of constant award ceremonies.

At age 5, there should really be a fairly even distribution of certificates, for helpfulness and hard work as well as for academic achievement (there is always something you can celebrate about each child) and they should be in-school rather than events that you invite your parents to.

It may be that you could also handle it better. It is understandable that your dd wants you there if she has won an award, but it would probably be better for both of you if you could sometimes be seen in other contexts, in other words if you could abstain from the occasional award ceremony to go in and lend a hand at the cake sale instead. Anything that helped you get to know these people as just another ordinary parent. It would also be useful to your dd to see that you value other things about her school and about her than these awards, and that helping out is just as important as being rewarded.

headinhands Thu 13-Jun-13 12:29:26

So its only snide marks from other parents, then just ignore I reckon. Unless you see evidence of these mothers' attitudes affecting your dd just go about your business. You'll be hard pressed if you allow yourself to get worked up about people that don't matter having an opinion of you that you don't agree with. I'd probably just have a chuckle to myself if I were you because you know it's all nonsense.

noisytoys Thu 13-Jun-13 12:42:49

DD became a member of Mensa when she was 3 (cue a Mumsnet flaming) the health visitor noticed she was significantly different to her peers at her 2 year check and referred her to an ed psych for an assessment (I had no idea). She is in reception now and very academic, but she is delayed in other areas - she can't swim, she can't peddle a tricycle / bike or skip. All children develop at different rates at different things. She is given certificates at school but rarely for academic things, more often for attempts at sport etc. the other parents don't say anything to me about her academic achievements because as far as I'm aware they don't know. I certainly don't know (or care) how any other child is doing.

How can you become a member of Mensa at 3? Not flaming but curious.

noisytoys Thu 13-Jun-13 13:17:53

Mensa is everyone in the top 2% of the population regardless of age. Her ed psych report showed she was in the top 0.4% of what was expected on the Welcher IQ test. It's not a big deal and there is no point to a child Mensa membership (other than a shiny plaque on the fireplace)

curlew Thu 13-Jun-13 13:26:04

"She is the brightest in the class and excels at everything" -how do you know?

"Blunt force and dry wit"- how does this manifest itself?

These people could be being ghastly. If so, I would just ignore. However, before you do that, consider two things- be absolutely sure that a) they are actually saying these things and you're not reading between the lines and b) you're not being blunt and dry to the point of offence.

ibizagirl Sat 15-Jun-13 08:02:00

I know how you feel. I had the same thing with dd when she was at primary school. She was on gifted and talented too. Children knew she was very able and were lovely with her and often asked for help. Parents were vile. There was a particular group of 4 who always stayed together and always talked about other people. They ran every parent down of any child that they thought was better than theirs. The four of them were parent governors at the school so i assumed they may have got information about other children from doing that. They used to ignore me if i said "morning" or whatever (not that i was bothered) and say things as i was going past. Just pathetic stuff along the lines of "there are a lot of single parents here on benefits at the moment" (as i was one of them) and "its a shame some children are made to do school stuff all the time. I can't see the point" .Things like that. I helped at the school during dd's time there and to be honest i did know the sort of levels the other children were on. So did dd. She helped children to read etc. I did this too with a child of the horrible parents. I had to write in their reading diary and i got a mouthful one day from one asking "who do you think you are writing in my son's diary. You don't work here. Your'e just a helper. Why should you have a brainy kid?" The teacher came out and went mad at this vile woman. She especially ran down most people as she lived on a private estate and a lot did not etc. I had nothing to do with her all through primary and luckily her ds went to another school with most of the others.

SuperiorCat Sat 15-Jun-13 08:31:32

Wow they sound like particularly nasty people.

Anyone who helps in our school is not allowed to discuss the DCs and anything seen / heard in school is to be remain confidential.

I'd be tempted to express surprise that they are openly discussing confidential info - ie your DCs levels. They may find their "help" no longer needed by the school if you mention their comments to the teacher.

anitasmall Sun 23-Jun-13 07:56:45

My experience is the same. Many parents can't accept that some children are G&T. There are other countries where especially talented children's names are mentioned on school websites under "who we are proud of". We have to learn to be proud of our children's class mates who are exceptional.

Ketesh, be proud of your child and try to mix with like minded parents.

JakeBullet Sun 23-Jun-13 08:24:44

I think any child who stands out as different leaves their parents at risk of this. No matter how much you talk or not about it.

My DS is autistic, he is about three years behind everyone else academically and has struggled socially. I have had the same kind of comments but from a different perspective "what a shame JB's little boy doesn't play with others" then whispers about me working (I worked many hours at that time). Him being an only child, etc.

What I am saying is that "they" will always find something to talk about. And if your child is different then you are more likely to be their topic.

JakeBullet Sun 23-Jun-13 08:25:10

Btw, it sounds like you are dong a fab job OP. smile

lljkk Sun 23-Jun-13 11:40:12

Most parents go every week to the school assemblies

The school has weekly award assemblies, to give out certificates, in reception or yr1?! This is NOT a state school, right?

ChazDingle Sun 23-Jun-13 21:26:33

Iljkk- my ds is not at school yet but i've got friends with kids at primary school where they have weekly assemblies where they had out awards and its a state school

simpson Sun 23-Jun-13 22:36:58

DD is very bright (school have said she is exceptionally gifted) and I don't talk about her abilities to parents at her school.

However, some parents have twigged she is bright and there has been a lot of sniping, "don't talk to Simpson her DD is teachers pet" type comments.

The worst mother's son has started to push DD around in class which is not making things easy.

(She is in reception too btw) and most definately not teachers pet. Yes she has had awards etc but no more than any of the other kids.

My DS is in yr3 and I have never experienced anything like it with him (one competitive mum did a spread sheet of which kids had got golden book award - I kid you not!)

lljkk Mon 24-Jun-13 08:02:19

So glad DC don't attend a school like that.

simpson Mon 24-Jun-13 08:06:08

The school is fab, it's just the parents (or some of them) <<sigh>>

Hullygully Mon 24-Jun-13 08:16:35

I moved both my dc, not because there was loads of sniping, but because they were just not included socially as they were seen as "different"

People like people to stay firmly in the herd. Anything slightly different is threatening.

Those people sound utterly vile.

cory Mon 24-Jun-13 09:38:39

ChazDingle Sun 23-Jun-13 21:26:33
"Iljkk- my ds is not at school yet but i've got friends with kids at primary school where they have weekly assemblies where they had out awards and its a state school"

Those won't be just for academic achievement though: what most state schools do is to hand out one certificate per week for a pupil who has been particularly good at something that week; helpfulness, working hard at her handwriting, making an extra effort to behave, been kind and helpful to his friend, written a nice story. Teachers make an effort to ensure that every child is rewarded at least once a term.

TheYamiOfYawn Mon 24-Jun-13 09:40:15

lljkk, my kid's school has a weekly celebration assembly where children are given awards and it is lovely. Most children get a couple of awards a year for something they have done very well at school, something special they have achieved out of school, reaching key academic milestones such as knowing all the times tables, or something they have worked really hard at. There is also a special kindness award which is rarer and so very highly prized. The celebration assemblies are lovely, with all the children getting a chance for their individual talents to be recognised. My daughter got an award for hula hooping once! The school is generally pretty friendly though, and when I was attending an assembly where the very cleverest boy in my daughter's class got an award, the other children all looked very impressed at his maths ability and spontaneously gave him an enormous round of applause.

I think it makes for a school where everyone can be proud of their own abilities, and so appreciate the different tale.T's if the other children.

TheYamiOfYawn Mon 24-Jun-13 09:43:06

Sorry...talents not whatever strange thing my phone wrote.

JakeBullet Mon 24-Jun-13 10:11:10

My son is in a State school which has a weekly Celebration Assembly for the children, he is in Y5 now but it is something the school has always done.

It's crap if parents are sniping because a child is G&T or anything else (been there with regards to SN). It's horrible and I think you are doing really well with your DD.

lljkk Mon 24-Jun-13 20:05:12

Do parents attend these celebration assemblies? Are they usually held separately for each class, so one celebration assembly per class per week?

Am thinking you guys must have huge or hugely underused assembly halls. DC school has weekly assemblies and often some awards, only attended by some portion of the school body. Parents not invited; sporadically rewarding mostly behaviour and attendance, not academic achievement, far as I know.

LaQueen Mon 24-Jun-13 21:07:07

DD2 is exceptionally clever. She's been assessed and is in the top 0.01%, nationally.

Luckily, for me another Mum at the school, now a good friend, had an equally clever DD, but further up the school - and she gave me some excellent advice.

Basically, having a genuinely G&T child, is a bit like the rule for Fight Club.

First rule of having a G&T don't talk about the fact they are G&T. Ever.

Second rule of having a G&T don't talk about the fact they are G&T. Ever.

It worked for me...I talk about it on here, sometimes. But IRL only DH, immediate family and a couple of friends know about DD2. There's no need for anyone else to know. And, I don't refer to it, or infer to it, or allude to anyway, shape or form, at the school gates.

Some of the other parents do know, because they help out in the school - and they see the stuff DD2 does, and the things she says in class. But, they're discreet enough to rarely, if ever mention anything to me, because they know I'm not going to really chat about it, except in the most bland, general terms.

simpson Mon 24-Jun-13 21:26:20

My DC school do an achievement assembly every Friday although reception have only participated in the last few weeks.

One child from each class gets an award, not just for academic achievement but any area their teacher feels they deserve recognition for.

The parents are not invited and its for the whole school (reception - yr6)

LaQ - good rules to follow smile

AlienAttack Mon 24-Jun-13 22:42:10

LaQ I adopt exact same approach. My DD is in y1 and some parents (typically not those I would call friends) have made various attempts to get me to say something. E.g. At end of reception, "I'm delighted with my DC's EYFS scores but I'm sure that little Alien got perfect 9s and even some level 1s?". I've just smiled sweetly and said that the only people I discuss my DD's progress with are my DD, my parents and her teacher. And smile again. The school recognises all children's various achievements but not at assemblies that parents attend.

LaQueen Tue 25-Jun-13 08:41:00

It's always worked for me.

To be honest, because I work part time I don't spend much time at the school gates. But, I just never, ever engage or comment on any conversation to do with reading books/levels/SATs results. Nothing. I just adopt a bland, nod and smile approach and say something innocuous like 'Oh, I have no idea what all these levels, and numbers mean. All pretty confusing and meaningless, I reckon.'

To be honest most parents couldn't give a monkey's. But, there are the few who have clearly heard on the school grapevine about DD2's abilities, and want to try and pry some information out of you, so they can compare their DC's levels. But, I refuse to play their game.

I don't even understand how they all know unless you have a ludicrously competitive set of parents in reception. We had circles squares and triangles and I had no idea which was the top or bottom tbh. If you're not even at the school gates I'm surprised they're so negative (I'm never at school either & it has allowed me to stay well out of any of the competitive stuff that goes on at a milk level in ds3's class). They have awards each week here as well, but they get rotated around the class and are given for things like 'always having a smile on her face' as well as good bits of work.

musicalfamily Tue 25-Jun-13 09:16:10

I don't see what the big deal is with discussing levels to be honest...

I have been asked about my children books levels and have always been open and honest about them at both end of the spectrum. I am quite happy to say that DS2 struggles academically and is still only on book band level 2 but I am happy he is making good progress. I am also happy to say that DD1 hates reading but does well anyway as she is bright and that DS1 devours every book under the sun and has been since Y1.

If people want to bitch about you and/or your child they find a way whether you tell them about which level your child is at or not. That's from my experience anyway...

musicalfamily Tue 25-Jun-13 09:22:12

PS you'll find the odd parent willing to be horrible about a certain child for all sorts of reasons - I have seen this happen with a number of children, (including my own) and it is hardly ever to do with academics. Parents can get very emotional about these things and are excellent at misconstruing stuff. Often they also just decide they don't like a family because their face doesn't fit with their own or their own circle and there is no rational reason for this.

LaQueen Tue 25-Jun-13 09:53:46

saintly at my DD's school quite a few of the Mums help out in the classroom - so word kinda gets around, quite easily.

It only takes one or two Mums, who ares very competetive to deliberately sneak a peak at children's reading levels, or their SATs results, and then sow a few seeds of gossip.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 25-Jun-13 12:09:35

We left school to get away from this sort of thing although the parents weren't snidy but our dd was definitely different.
Being gifted can be a curse as well as a bonus and imo needs to be managed well.
It is difficult though and understanding that some people will comment. they don't always mean to be rude.
if you are constantly being told how talented or gifted your child is it can become very embarrassing especially when it is parents of other children involved in the same activity or subject as your dc.
Maybe it is something you have to get used to, learn to cope, I guess.

TheYamiOfYawn Tue 25-Jun-13 13:41:07

The celebration assemblies ate for the whole school, and any parent who wants can come along, but specific invitations are given to parents of children who will be getting awards. There are around 350 pupils from preschool to Y6, and the school is in a Victorian build with classrooms built around a large hall on each floor.

simpson Tue 25-Jun-13 14:31:43

The other parents don't know what DD's levels are (I don't even know them all!) but I suspect it started when my other child hurt themselves at school and I got a friend ( or so I thought) to pick DD up from school and I think there was a sneaky peek in the book bag done shock

learnandsay Tue 25-Jun-13 15:06:12

You may (possibly inadvertently) be giving off the impression that you think your daughter is the brightest child in the class. I can't see how you'd have reason to believe this unless you'd tested all the other children. That may have something to do with the situation you and your daughter are finding yourselves in.

LaQueen Tue 25-Jun-13 15:14:18

Yep simpson some very crazed loons competetive parents aren't above sneaking a peek in another child's book-bag, to see what book they're reading, and what numeracy homework they've been given [glares at a certain Mum she knows...]

simpson Tue 25-Jun-13 16:00:31

But that's the thing LandS - I am not sure if she is, nor do I care....she is very bog standard at numeracy and I am sure there are other kids who can write as well as she does.

One mum did a spread sheet of who has gotten golden book awards then grilled another mother to find out what they looked like so she could design one for her DD shock and this was back in October so not many kids had had them yet anyway.

Unfortunately DD is very vocal "mummy I got another sticker/award/praise pad for doing good work at x" screeched at top volume when she comes out of class blush

learnandsay Tue 25-Jun-13 16:21:26

Sorry, simpson. The reply is to the OP. It just happens to be under yours!

learnandsay Tue 25-Jun-13 16:23:11

She said her daughter was the brightest in the class and I don't know where a mums gets an idea like that. How does a mum begin to know how bright the other children are? The whole idea just doesn't make sense.

simpson Tue 25-Jun-13 17:04:43

Oh, blush blush

I do see what you mean!

The school have never said she is the brightest in her class (my DD) which is not the type of thing they should be saying anyway.

And even if a child is, others do catch up.

DS was way ahead in his reading in yr1 and especially yr2 but now at the end of yr3 others have caught up.

anitasmall Tue 25-Jun-13 18:45:27


I think that each parent knows already in Reception, Year 1 what child knows what, who are the High Achievers...

My daughter is very good at maths (not G&T). She is always telling us that the teachers are telling her she is the best in her class from maths.

She is in year one and at winter they wrote a spelling test (100 words by hearing) and another one in spring. So obviously it gives a clear picture to everybody about their abilities. There were children that spelled all the words right, some did not know any.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 25-Jun-13 19:37:37


I totally agree that most dc and parents know what child knows what.

My dd is extremely gifted in music, (so the label said) it has been her culture since birth, but that is another thread.
As soon as they did any music at school dd was shining above the most able dc. It is her talent and everybody knew it.
She has left school now and complete strangers stop us in the street and say how good she is, word gets about and your dc talk. I think it is more important with a G&T child to teach them how to be humble, gracious and thank people for kind words.
It doesn't always come from the teachers sometimes its the dc themselves. The kids at dds old school told me at a parents evening how talented she was, they weren't in her class at all.
If your child is head and shoulders above others it is hard at times, not the blessing some would assume. It can take some getting used to, but if you teach them to be nice and kind, they shouldn't be alienated nor the parents. Its usually the big headed conceited ones, nobody wants to know and who could blame them?

learnandsay Tue 25-Jun-13 21:21:50

Oh, right! My daughter has an interest in Vespasian's building of the Colosseum, the Spanish Armada and likes to play chess. And you'd somehow know all of this how?

Little psychic waves maybe?

simpson Tue 25-Jun-13 21:28:01

Unless she tells her teacher they won't have a clue.

But none of those things are assessed at NC levels (unfortunately for your DD grin).

morethanpotatoprints Tue 25-Jun-13 21:36:06


Yes, you are right. if my dds last school hadn't sung in class, learned about musical instruments, had music lessons. Nobody would have known her interests had she not told them. I think most dc talk to their friends about their interests anyway, whether NC assessed or not.
My dds friend won every race at sports day, during P.E was miles in front of everybody, she was beating the best y6 runners when she was y3, you couldn't not notice.

LaQueen Wed 26-Jun-13 13:31:15

Learnandsay if a Mum helps out as a TA in the classroom, then it's very easy for her to access to other children's reading levels, numeracy levels, SATs results...and of course just observing in class, working with the children...seeing who can/can't do what. And, all it takes is for one parent to mention it to another...

I strongly suspect this goes on at our DD's school hmm

anitasmall Wed 26-Jun-13 18:11:08

I moved to this country 8 years ago but still can't get why some parents are not happy about classmates/friends being gifted. I wish in my daughter's class were more talented children. Everybody could benefit.

simpson Wed 26-Jun-13 18:21:42

There are 3 parents in my DD's class who cause the trouble.

Constant sniping about what the other mums are wearing, what their jobs are, being a single parent (me).

They try the divide and rule thing by being nice to you one at a time to try and wheedle any info they can (book levels etc) or befriending my friends to get info out that way shock

Also they used to hover at pick up time and try and eavesdrop on any conversations you might be having with the teacher.

There was a massive fuss kicked off when DD had her own TA for the first term of reception. Although how they found out I do not know, unless their DC told them that my DD was not taught phonics, numeracy or literacy with the rest of the class.

I will never know how some of the info leaked out (no parent helpers in her class) but it has caused no end of trouble tbh and basically bring on yr1 when 90 kids will all be separated into 3 classes rather than being together.

LaQueen Wed 26-Jun-13 18:45:08

anita that's a very sensible attitude.

However, an awful lot of parnets aren't so generous, and would much rather that all children were kept back to the level of their DCs...and, they convince themselves that G&T children are secretly very unhappy, and their pushy parents hot-house them, and prod them with sharp sticks.

lljkk Wed 26-Jun-13 20:48:42

I think that each parent knows already in Reception, Year 1 what child knows what, who are the High Achievers..

I didn't. Not a sausage of an idea. Even after helping out regularly in class. Sometimes I think I must be the most clueless parent on MN.

Then again, DC school does not have weekly reward assemblies for academic achievement which parents are invited to (unlike everyone else?).

It will be interesting when Dd goes to High School, see how she compares to a bigger (and as it happens more affluent) pond. Probably she will end up seeming reasonably ordinary.

ExcuseTypos Wed 26-Jun-13 22:18:43

I work in a year R class. Anything that goes on in a classroom is strictly confidential.

If parents are gaining information whilst being in the classroom, then discussing it with others you should mention it to the HT. It should be treated very seriously.

BrianTheMole Wed 26-Jun-13 22:29:52

How rude of them. If those parent helpers are spreading round confidential information then bloody complain about them. And avoid, you dont need people like that in your life. Anyway, your child is at school for an education, you dont need to be friends with these people. There must be nicer parents there, they cant all be like that. And it sounds like you are taking a laid back approach with your dc anyway, which is great.

Jinsei Wed 26-Jun-13 22:46:05

How awful. I have never seen anything like this at our school, but perhaps that is because the school manages things more carefully. Awards are quite balanced, there are no parents at assemblies and parent volunteers are not allowed to teach in their own children's classes.

I have always followed Laqueen's rule - just don't discuss dd's academic performance with other parents. Ever.

People do seem to know that dd is very bright, and I have recollections of one mum checking dd's reading book in reception when she went for a playdate hmm but no nasty comments whatsoever.

mountainspring Fri 28-Jun-13 23:13:57

Really glad I found this thread cos I've been having real problems since reception with other parents although I don't think my ds is gifted.

Its the usual turning their backs when I join the queue, cold looks and making sure I'm not included in the 'class events'.
I used to dread pick up time and been trying to find another school for two years now. I'd wait until they'd all gone then dash in and get my ds - but got a vicious letter about being 5 - 10 mins late but still better than coping with the parents.

Then it 'infected' the teachers (they have parents working in the office) and everything to do with ds began to be my fault. I asked why wasn't he doing better when he's bright - not aggresively but his average scores were all my bad parenting too.
Ds teacher was having probs with her daughter (mine got a scholarship to good senior school and hers didn't and I think she resented me - they were in the same class at the school) which is understandable but not acceptable to take it out on ds.
Now we just want out - ds showing signs of disturbance for a year now, I can't imagine what been said in his hearing. He has to get a scholarship in yr6 and I'm worried about the kind of ref this school will send out about him.

Its all been a bit of a nightmare - I wish he's never started there although it was wonderful for my dd and I've known them all a long time now. Just shows how a school can be pulled down by one possy of pushy parents - they can do real damage if you don't get out quick.

toomanyfionas Tue 02-Jul-13 10:04:00

To the OP...

What struck me about your post was your reference to your dd's career. She is only 5. So i think that despite your desperation to parent differently to the way you were parented, there is some of it in you (it happens to all of us)

Your dd is 5. Let her be 5 with all the joy and wonder it involves. This is a time for her to enjoy her 'grown upness' by taking on simple tasks around the house (setting the table, helping to bake, making her own bed, folding the towels etc), to enjoy playing with smaller dolls (as opposed to big, baby dolls), to enjoy "space" (maybe in a hut or tent she has created in her room, to discuss the solar system, to notice differences in leaves, to learn more complex songs and simple clapping games. To put on a puppet show. Teach her to weave on a loom or to sew the initial of her name.

This is the beauty of being 5. And as she devours the joy of being little, she strengthens her foundations for a bright future, and for a lasting and loving relationship with you.

mountainspring Fri 05-Jul-13 01:15:16

toomanyfionas - we all need reminding of that sometimes - whats important to 5 yr olds - thanks

figroll Mon 08-Jul-13 22:11:58

I can assure you that this sort of thing just carries on forever! My youngest is 17 and I have a friend who can't bear to even ask how she is getting on just in case she has done better than her daughter. It's pathetic. My dds both passed their 11+ and have both done very well but this 'friend' is always making snide remarks about how clever kids have no personality and are pushed so much they are very unhappy. My dds are thin so she is always telling me how the pressure they are under makes them anorexic. Ffs! My dd2 decided she didn't want to apply to Oxford because she didn't fancy the degree - omg - this friend of mine was in raptures about it, as if to say that I was really getting my comeuppance now. She was soooo happy!

Tbh I think you need to laugh at people like that because they really have got a problem and it isn't your fault. They are jealous, plain and simple, and they put you down to make them feel better. Stay away unless, like me, you can have a good laugh about it.

outofthebox Thu 18-Jul-13 12:24:57


Is this anti-boasting thing cultural?? (I am American).

I am proud of my son and his achievements and want my son to feel proud too. The tricky part is to teach him how to do so without eliciting bad fellings from other kids. I have become aware that some parents are very (maybe too) sensitive and feel like by boasting, the mom is really saying "my child is better than yours". And her mother tigress comes out.

From what you are saying, I'd try to switch schools and start over again with a different set of moms. Or doing homeschooling with other G&T moms- that could be the key.

Also, it pays to remind oneself that though a child is G&T one year, they might not be so in the future as other interests are explored and so the child needs to be reminded about this because otherwise they might consider themselves a failure.

Failing that- I keep reminding myself about a friend who graduated from University with a Summa Cum Laude- equivalent to an A+ grade- and yet these grades did not help her one bit and she is not financially successful. In the end, the kids really need to know two things- how to be a good citizen and how to fend for and provide for their futures in a competitive economy. Schools tend to fail in the latter area. Grades really mean very little.


OrmirianResurgam Thu 18-Jul-13 12:29:37

Your problem is some remarkably horrible parents. DD is also classed as G&T. Never had anything like that. Mind you, DS2 is a lovely, charming doofus at school and no-one has ever commented on that either. I thnik you need to learn to ignore them, or move schools!

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