Does every class have a high maintenance parent?

(110 Posts)
Rottenluck Fri 16-Nov-12 18:31:11

According to said friend: The teacher coming to the house prior to the start of reception was just an excuse for snooping, the settling in was a waste of time, the reading books are crap, and now there's something wrong with the nativity.

We're only half way through the first term of reception and I just want to tell my friend to button it! It's a good school, her first choice but in her eyes they will never get it right. 9 times out of 10 she has to speak to the teacher at pick up and they have already had several heated discussions about the reading books. Her DC apparently warrants twice as much of the teachers time at parents evening.

She's so absorbed in her battle with them she's lost sight of what really matters and I can't help thinking she won't ever be taken seriously as she complains so much.

clam Fri 16-Nov-12 23:39:39

Any parent coming in to kick off about their pfb having fewer lines than another child gets short shrift from staff. It doesn't tend to happen much anymore.

I would guess that the staff in your school have made a rod for their own backs in their mis-guided attempt to make things 'fay-er.' Sure, pick a play that has a range of similarly-sized parts for a good number of children to have a go, but if anyone is seriously wasting their time adding lines just to placate 'pushy parents,' then I'm not surprised that such a culture has evolved.

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 23:40:39

Sorry, just seen the bottom of your post. Definitely no SEN and if you were who I thought you were you would know that you've told me everything in lots of detail.

NovemberRain Fri 16-Nov-12 23:51:01

I have encountered quite a few mums like this in the past few years and I just give them a very wide berth. I know lots of people who push themselves onto the Board of Governors, to head up the PA, be class mum and I know a few who are in the Headmistresses office every other day of the week trying to change something. One of my acquaintances (who has been relegated from friend) is highly political and thinks she is well in with the teacher/ headmaster/ deputy headmistress and is always in the office and is always getting some petition or other together. She berated me recently because I do not get involved in the school. Well, let's look at that shall we. I spend a good hour with each of my kids after school helping them with homework, reading and making things. My teacher told me to "please keep do what I am doing". All of her children had to have extra support because in all her 8 years as a mother, she has never actually had them read to her nor has she ever read a book to them and she thinks she is mother of the year for all her efforts at the school. Every mum -I know- spending time at school is taking that time away from their kids.

Bubblenut Sat 17-Nov-12 07:45:54

Yes! Sometimes even more than one!

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 07:51:46

I teach Y6 in a leafy suburb. I have at least four regulars and a couple of occasional HMPs depending on the activities and subjects involved. I get a lot of 'Can I just have a word' and emails. I have two children with additional needs, their parents do keep in close contact but are not HM at all.
But no, omletta, my response does not change because they are a child with PITA parents. Ever.

omletta Sat 17-Nov-12 08:19:38

I am sure that it doesn't TheNebulousBoojum but that is not the case at my DC's school which was what I was referring to.

Each year the Christmas show consists of the same dozen or so HMP children, who are largely untallented, 'doing their thing', whilst the others stand around looking bored.

One of my DCs friend's parents was recently elected to the Governing Body, (very HMP), and my ten year old said 'well that's X in the football team then' (this kid can't kick a ball and we are a very sporty school). It's well known at our school that the HMP get attention for their kids.

I am so upset about parents evening - his teacher, who has now taught him for a sixth of the year just doesn't know him, at all. And before people say that children behave differently at school (which I know that they do) it was more than that - there were actual (easy) facts (which are important, but I don't want to out myself) that she just didn't recognise. I felt like I was unwelcome - it was parents evening FGS.......and breath, rant over!

PolkadotCircus Sat 17-Nov-12 08:50:25

Hmmm I agree to a point and have experienced it as a teacher.However now as a parent I'm probably a HMP because sadly I bloody have to be at our school due to woeful information,complete lack of consistency and little stretching.

Kids only get one shot at education and if asking for info,consistency and your kids to reach their full potential makes you a HMP so be it.<shrugs>

I don't however still feel the need to "help" my dc sort themselves out "every" morning,books(they read what they like at home and always have done) or give a shit re plays.

stargirl1701 Sat 17-Nov-12 08:56:10

God yes. There's always one! There can be lots especially in Primary 1. By P7 things are better as parents are used to the school.

Jinsei Sat 17-Nov-12 09:04:44

The only time to be pushy, in my view, is if your child is unhappy. Then I think you should do all the pushing that might be necessary in order to sort things out for them.

I think it's nonsense to suggest that the kids who get picked for stuff are chosen because their parents are "high maintenance" and/or involved in the PTA. Do people really have such low opinions of the people who teach their kids all day?

PolkadotCircus Sat 17-Nov-12 09:14:52

I agree Jinsei,I think some quiet kids can get overlooked but not because of the PTA.I suspect many teachers wouldn't have a clue who was or wasn't on the PTA.

I do think some schools should get used to being more accountable though,give out more info and be prepared to answer questions.I see no benefit to schools sitting in an ivory tower.No other profession does.

Asking for info and having high expectations for your dc shouldn't be looked down on,both raise standards and benefit schools.

Meglet Sat 17-Nov-12 09:19:44

Everyone has different issues at different times though. I had lots of chats with DS's teacher last year as he was being a handful and I wasn't prepared to let it lie. I can be a bit pester-y with book levels too blush, although we read at home a lot and I put the work in with him. However I get very 'cats-bum-mouth' at parents who talk and take photos with FLASHES of their little cherubs during performances.

My mum regrets not being pushy when I was at school and I failed miserably, so I'm afraid I'm swinging the other way a bit and trying to give my DC's a kick up the backside as they'll only get one chance at it. If it means I have to grab the teacher for the odd 2 min chat then so be it.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 17-Nov-12 09:22:00

We used to have one v HMP in DS's class. Classic PFB behaviour, still walking him into the class to help him with his coat despite repeated requests not to from the teachers. Always the first to volunteer for library, support with projects, school trips etc. And then found reasons to be in school pretty much every day (I've seen the signing in book, I know how much she was in that school). They now live in the US and I do wonder how she is coping with putting him on the school bus at 8am then not seeing him until 4pm and having a much more distant relationship with school...

TwoIfBySea Sat 17-Nov-12 09:30:37

Well it does happen, it is clear from the familiar stories here, that pushy PSA parents get their kids favoured. Sorry but I can recognise exactly from previous posts what goes on at my dts' school.

The reason I quit the PSA was because it was so unwelcoming, so clique. This one mum in particular never organises anything but is always there giving out orders - not in a helpful way but in a "know who is boss" way. Her dh is chair of the PSA & yes the dd is chosen with alarming frequency & sadly has become quite obnoxious with it. Lording it over other classmates. I say sadly because she is not well liked.

The other pushy mum has ensured her SEN ds has stayed at the school despite becoming increasingly physical (punching, bullying & allowed to do so). Last year dts2's best friend left to be home-schooled, he has SEN not as bad as this other boy and was being bullied by this boy to the extent it made his life a misery. My dts2 has been punched twice this year & I know she's determined to send her ds to the high school which has me majorly worried.

Anyway OP my dts are in P7 & I can vouch these things get worse. I know for a fact it drives the teachers mad too!

TwoIfBySea Sat 17-Nov-12 09:31:39

P.s. What is pfb?

omletta Sat 17-Nov-12 09:32:52

Precious first born.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sat 17-Nov-12 09:37:59

There is a mum in ds class who is so pushy that she chases other peoples party invites, emailing people to make sure they have responded. It does my head in.

My two are now Year 6 and Year 9. After 8 years at First School of the HMP shenanigans it is a relief.

They go by bike and coach. I hardly set foot in either school. I am sure the HMP still exists in the later years but I am blissfully ignorant. grin

stinkinseamonkey Sat 17-Nov-12 09:55:03

OP I know your friend! grin - I don't really but there were a couple like that at my DSs nursery. Socially they would say they liked the nursery to other people, they had no major issues with it, but they complained EVERY DAY! I'm not kidding, they would be there when you arrived to pick up and still there after you left going through the activity sheet/menu for the day complaining about something. It was so annoying because the rest of us never got to have a quick chat with the nursery staff!

On parent's day they would always get their name down first in the first slot, then make it run over by 30 mins so everyone else was held up. How could they have 45 minuites worth of things to talk about with them on parent's day when they spent 30 mins at the end of EVERY DAY going over things with a fine toothed comb

I'd get phone calls with stupid panics like "DID YOU KNOW THEY HAD MARMITE SANDWICHES TODAY, DON'T YOU THINK THAT MIGHT BE TOO SALTY?" or "I'm a bit worried that there hasn't been anything put in DSs scrap book for a few days" feck off, they were brilliant and our kids were very happy there!

Luckily we've gone our separate way school wise, and there doesn't seem to be any like that in DSs current class

IME there's always at least one. You can almost see the teacher's inward groan as they see them coming. I don't think their children get picked more than others.

There is one in particular in dd's school who's dd loves the same stuff as my dd. They both get picked for stuff in equal amounts. The other mother is a nightmare and disliked by just about everyone.

Any time I've had a real issue with school I've never been brushed aside but I really don't think that being a pushy parent does your child that much good and just brings resentment from other parents.

stinkinseamonkey Sat 17-Nov-12 10:33:21

I agree that I doubt it gives the kid any advantages, probably the opposite because the child might be lovely but people can't be doin with the parent they come with IYKWIM

I wonder if it's better to have TWO sets of such parents per class, as they could interrupt each other etc??

clam Sat 17-Nov-12 10:36:08

So it's the school's job to manage such parents, seamonkey, by organising their own parents' evening appointments (ask parents for an approximate time band that suits, then organise specifics themselves allowing for siblings, NEVER putting a HMP first or last) and ENDING the consultation after 10 minutes. It's not hard. You tell them that if they would like to discuss this further you're happy to see them after school one day, but now is not the time as there are other parents waiting. And smile, say thank you for coming and stand up. Done.

Ruprekt Sat 17-Nov-12 10:36:08

There is a fine line between being a supportive parent of child and school and being a pushy parent.

It can be hard to work it out but there are soooooooooo many parents I want to avoid.

Like the parent who comes in to do readers and just sits with her (top set) DD and rubs noses with her and helps with her learning.

Or the parent who is only on the PTA and being VC (Does nothing as vice) because she wants a job in school!

Tis great once you get to Y3 because there is much less interaction with the parents. Parents can be a nightmare!!

clam Sat 17-Nov-12 10:37:16

ruprekt so you, as the TEACHER, and therefore IN CHARGE, don't put her with her dd's reading set!!!!!!

stinkinseamonkey Sat 17-Nov-12 10:38:45

clam, at the last parents day (before our kids moved on and I became FREE grin of them!) the mum actually ran back into the room after the next person had gone in, interrupting them, because she'd forgotten to check something in her DSs scrap book! I was shocked and also confuseded as to what could be so important in a toddler's nursery scrap book!

stinkinseamonkey Sat 17-Nov-12 10:42:01

I mean she actually ran in! barged in and went rummaging through the scrap book pile!

they were SO ANNOYING!!!

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