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.

EyeoftheStorm Fri 16-Nov-12 18:32:21

Yes - it's fun to watch.

Rottenluck Fri 16-Nov-12 18:34:54

I need to take that attitude, rather than letting her get on my nerves!

Sparklingbrook Fri 16-Nov-12 18:36:27

Oh yes, it's the rules and it's funny and annoying in equal measures. they hog all of the teacher's time and find a reason to disagree with everything the school say.

They are usually the ones taking photos at the Nativity when they aren't allowed having bagged a front row seat by turning up before the doors open and insist on being let in. angry

EyeoftheStorm Fri 16-Nov-12 18:38:38

Can you be the voice of reason? The ones I know I have observed from afar rather than being friends with them.

Flossiechops Fri 16-Nov-12 18:43:30

Oh yes I think every school has them. My 2 dc are now in juniors, the teachers no longer bring them into the play ground at the end of school like they did in infants. I personally think they are hiding from the pushy parents!!

omletta Fri 16-Nov-12 18:44:47

We are at the other end of primary school now and with hindsight I would say make yourself a bit pushier too - I have always been compliant, stood back and watched the pushy mums, now I realise that their DC get picked for everything, they get more information than others on what the child/class/school are doing and they certainly get more than the 2minutes I got at parents evening last night before being physically (literally) helped out of the door.

goralka Fri 16-Nov-12 18:49:59

tell her she should save it for something serious. they will have her labelled as a troublemaker and a PITA. Either that or she will become class rep and one of those ghastly women making tea at parents' evening and deciding who deserves a cup of it or not....

Rottenluck Fri 16-Nov-12 18:53:58

I do tend to disagree with her as I am happy with the school but i feel smiling and nodding is a safer bet otherwise she is going to fall out with me! She really is lovely in every other aspect but she seems to lose the plot about school.

auntevil Fri 16-Nov-12 22:11:44

omletta - totally agree. In fact, I think I could predict the school's head boy and girl when they get to Y6 from the current Y1 - they just have those kind of parents biscuit

monstermissy Fri 16-Nov-12 22:20:23

Every class has them, early years are worse as parents of pfbs are just so bloody keen. Think the school will change 10 yr old rules just for them etc

Though my son is head boy in year 11 and I've never been a pushy mum, he is where he is 100% because of his own hard work.

clam Fri 16-Nov-12 22:33:20

"now I realise that their DC get picked for everything"

Bollocks.

<<angry teacher>>

BabyGiraffes Fri 16-Nov-12 22:55:28

Clam. Oh yeah, like that never happens...hmm Went to one school play where it was blindingly obvious that the lead girl - who did a terrible job and for some unknown reason spent most of her time on stage trying to touch her nose with the tip of her tongue- was chosen soley on the basis of the mother's importance on the school council. Call me cynical but I don't believe teachers are immune to parent pester power.

KTK9 Fri 16-Nov-12 23:00:04

Wish I had been a 'pushy mum', when I thought things were going wrong in reception - wish I had been a pushy mum when dd was telling me she didn't like going to school - wish I had been a pushy mum when I realised she wasn't progressing. I was always told she was OK at the class door and never made that appointment.

Year 2, two weeks in, we pulled her out and sent her to another school, best thing we ever did. I often wonder if I had been pushy parent would we be as happy with her education as we are now in Yr 3.

clam Fri 16-Nov-12 23:06:50

babygiraffes you have NO IDEA of the reasoning behind staff choices for lead roles.
It pisses me off no end when people make the lazy and cliched assumption that "it's because her mum's on the PTA" when, in my 27 years' experience of primary teaching, such decisions are based on hours of careful thought/discussion/auditions. In fact, I think it's fair to say that a pushy parent probably does more to ensure their child does not get a lead part.

MavisGrind Fri 16-Nov-12 23:08:51

I have a couple of high maintenance sets of parents plus another couple that take up time whilst a not really pushing about their children per se, however I would say KTK9 that this isn't the same at all about speaking up when something genuinely not right.

And I would never cast a show etc based on a parent! Never!

MavisGrind Fri 16-Nov-12 23:13:23

In fact the only time I've taken the parents into account when casting a Nativity is when the gender split in class meant that my 3 kings were going to be female.
One of my girls up for the role, before casting, decided to indulge in a spot of home hairdressing and cut all her long hair off. Her mum was so distraught that I cast the little girl as an angel instead - I didn't think her mum could cope with her being cast in a traditionally male role grin!

But parental pressure - no way!

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 23:14:20

I know someone like the OP is describing and her dc is definitely treated differently, eg was able to do SATs in a room by themselves so they weren't distracted by the rest of the class. Lots of singling out and favouritism. Not in my class so didn't directly affect me but I listened to the fall out and resentment from the other mums in that class.

clam Fri 16-Nov-12 23:23:04

"her dc is definitely treated differently, eg was able to do SATs in a room by themselves so they weren't distracted by the rest of the class."

How do you know there wasn't a perfectly valid educational reason for that? It was highly unlikely to have beendown to parental whim.

I mean, really. Do you really think that teachers are that bloody stupid?

wonderstuff Fri 16-Nov-12 23:23:19

Some schools have more than others. There is much discussion at school gates at dd's school about every detail of curriculum and running of the school, lots of worrying about who has which book and worrying in case our pfbs get 'behind'. We are in reception, and I feel like its my first year at school as well.
I'm a secondary teacher and I'd rather some of my students parents were more pushy really. Saddens me that I teach children who have maths skills similar to my dd, when I call home its so much better to have a good conversation about what is going wrong, rather than get disinterest, or even failing to find a working contact number.
(I also think home visit waste of time, ORT are awful, settling in seems very drawn out.. parents who are also teachers are prob the worst grin )

BabyGiraffes Fri 16-Nov-12 23:27:01

Clam - Obviously your school is different to mine. At mine speaking parts are word counted and logged throughout primary, and if a child has less words on average, extra text is written. Because otherwise the high maintenance parents are there like a shot complaining that their little darling has had less lines than other children. I kid you not.

wonderstuff Fri 16-Nov-12 23:28:04

bisjo any child doing SATs in a room on their own has ishoos - I have a very unable child at the moment in year 7 getting taunted by peers because they perceive that his parents 'get him' attention, its very sad and obviously untrue - teachers don't single out children due to parental pressure - parents who have children with SEN do need to spend more time talking to the teachers and sadly they often need to fight for their kids to get a fair crack at education.

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 23:30:36

Definitely no SEN needs in the case I described and no lack of teacher contact in a class of 14.

KittiesInsane Fri 16-Nov-12 23:35:37

Is that my son you're describing, Bisjo?
Class of 14 -- tick.
SATs in private -- tick
Personal attention and long, long parent meetings -- big tick.
Bright as they make 'em -- also tick.

But he does have SEN all the same, and i wouldn't be discussing them with you. Nor would the teachers, if they know their job (and most do).

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 23:38:50

Do you chase other parents around the car park after parents' evening just so you can report how fab your meeting was? If so then I definitely know you Kittiesgrin

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.

Sparklingbrook Sat 17-Nov-12 09:47:39

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!!!

Sparklingbrook Sat 17-Nov-12 11:07:10

These are the parents that look at all the other kids' books and not just their own when they are put out at Parents' Evening.

clam Sat 17-Nov-12 11:09:08

Sure, there are people who push the boundaries, or attempt to. But it's the school's choice as to whether they tolerate it or not. but I'm still staggered to hear that so many other parents seriously believe that that sort of behaviour guarantees teachers bending to their will and giving their kids a lead part in the Nativity! In my experience it has the opposite effect.

Sparklingbrook Sat 17-Nov-12 11:11:49

Re the school nativity. In my experience they just gave all the gobby confident children speaking main parts whether they had HMP or not. Less chance of messing it up.

AmberLeaf Sat 17-Nov-12 11:18:34

No way would a child get extra time/room of their own to sit sats in, because their parent was pushy!

Unless by pushy you mean, supportive of their child who has SN and made sure they got 'help' to take their sats.

A child with no additional needs would not be allowed to sit sats in their own room.

What rubbish!

Sparklingbrook Sat 17-Nov-12 11:20:02

I did think that Amber. I don't think the parents can be that pushy can they? Well not in my experience anyway.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 11:21:42

It's part of the deep and unyielding ignorance that many parents have about the SN needs of other children, Amberleaf.

Ruprekt Sat 17-Nov-12 12:11:55

Clam - I totally agree with you!

However, she was given a list of readers and shown where to sit. Next minute, she was next to her DD, helping her with her literacy!!

Teacher (not me) VERY cross!

clam Sat 17-Nov-12 12:14:20

That would be the last time that parent was asked in to class then. Although our Head doesn't allow any parents to help in their own child's class, partly for that reason. Readers are heard in shared areas around the school, for instance.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 12:15:56

HM parents never get to come on school trips IME.

AmberLeaf Sat 17-Nov-12 12:19:57

It's part of the deep and unyielding ignorance that many parents have about the SN needs of other children, Amberleaf

Sadly, I know it only too well!

tethersend Sat 17-Nov-12 12:24:50

As I teacher, I wholeheartedly agree that there's one in every class.

Unfortunately, in my DD's class, I think it might be me blush

ceebeegeebies Sat 17-Nov-12 12:26:54

Oh yes, we definitely have them at DS1's school. There are 2 of them that spring to mind that seem to spend their lives at the school for one reason or another.

I remember helping out at a PTA event last year and one of them asked me to take something up to the HT's office and when I said I didn't have a clue where the HT office was, she literally rolled her eyes at me and sighed...now why would I know where the HT office is because, unlike them, I do not spend all my spare time at the school hmm

Now guess whose children were the first ones to be picked for Star of the Week in their resepctive classes this year?? Conicidence or not??

FushiaFernica Sat 17-Nov-12 12:27:16

I agree with your friend on two of her points:-
teacher coming to the house to snoop before starting school-government ploy.
reading books are crap i.e. won't engage your child.

So I am not help to you sorry.

ListenUpIdBeAGreatLifeCoachMe Sat 17-Nov-12 13:01:27

If anyone wants one we have a large cohort in DS's year R/1 all of which are to be found in the cluster fuck surrounding the local millionaire's wife (Queen Bee QB) trying to get their kids in the same phonics, maths &activity groups as QB's DD.
1. Would have gone to local private dame school but the QB went state shock now can't get her head round 28 kids in a class, etc.
2. Plumbers wife, playing money catch up, kids reading band part of ascension to local royalty.
3. The volunteer mum readers, are mostly there to spy and observe - Fact straight from their mouths, got very cross when once ordered into another year group and most dropped out.

clam Sat 17-Nov-12 13:23:51

"Now guess whose children were the first ones to be picked for Star of the Week in their resepctive classes this year?? Conicidence or not??"

Star of the week is a pain in the bloody neck. But there is No. Bloody. WAY. that pushy mums' kids are selected for it first. I'll repeat my earlier point: how low do you rate us teachers, ffs? Do you really think we're that stupid?

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 13:26:08

Yes, yes they do clam. Surely you've been on MN long enough not to ask such a rhetorical question?
Have some more gin in your teacup
<passes bottle>

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 13:28:22

I tend to select PITA children for the first few certificates if at all possible TBH, because the lovely children will have lots of opportunities to show their loveliness, whereas the PITA might only have a few days in the term when you wouldn't be lying.

clam Sat 17-Nov-12 13:32:48

<<whispers: what, you mean that the HMP's child in ceebeegeebie's child's class might be a PITA?!>>

Gin very welcome <<wipes mouth on sleeve>>

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 13:35:23

Opinionated, arrogant, inflexible, unable to share time and resources appropriately, lacking resilience when facing a challenge unless supported intensively by adult approval? Dismissive of others? Controlling of relationships?
That sort of PITA?
Surely not.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 13:36:19

Although sometimes you do look at a child and think that they remind you of a parent. Often in a good way, sometimes not.

Sparklingbrook Sat 17-Nov-12 13:40:05

I couldn't be a teacher. I just couldn't deal with the parents.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 13:44:08

It can be a source of great amusement though.
Many parents are wonderful and a pleasure to know, and they definitely counterbalance the less lovely ones.

Sparklingbrook Sat 17-Nov-12 13:49:46

My Mum is very cat's bum mouth about the parents all going in to harangue the teachers. She said in her day you just accepted what the school and teachers did and it wouldn't have occured to her to question it.

ceebeegeebies Sat 17-Nov-12 13:50:07

Clam I apologise if I have offended you - I promise I do not rate the teachers that low (apart from DS1's Yr1 teacher wink). However, I am sure that Star of the Week is difficult, and in particular that first week when you barely know the children so imo, the teacher just randomly picks a child who just happens to be the HMP's child wink

Trust me, I have witnessed conversations on FB between the HMP parents and the HT's wife/the Yr1 teacher etc...and there was definitely favouritism shown last year in Yr1 - things have improved this year although the worst parent's child did not go into the same Yr2 class as DS1 so that might be why grin

teacherwith2kids Sat 17-Nov-12 14:05:57

In answer to the OP, yes every class has a POTENTIAL HMP.

However, the extent to which they dominate is absolutely under the teacher / school's control.

No way would a lot of the behaviour described here be tolerated at my school BUT there are parents I seek out every morning to make sure that their child is OK, and I have had several 1 to 1 meetings with parents since September (as well as parents' evening) because of genuine concerns. It's a case of being proactive and open-door with the parents of children where there are concerns, and being assertive in the face of parents wanting to take up more 'bandwidth' than they should. It's a bit like the children in the class - making sure that the quieter children contribute as fully as the loud ones is part of every teacher's classrrom management.

In the same way, I have been a HMP for relatively short periods with both of my children. I have had lengthy meetings with class teachers and heads during those periods BUT they have been properly arranged and booked so that they are not at the expense of other children's learning.

Plays etc - it's an unwinnable situation. Even if the pfb of a HMP is in fact the most confident, loudest, most dramatic child in the class, or has the best singing voice then the other parents will grumble if they're picked, thinking it's the HMP's influence. If they aren't picked despite being the most competent, then the children will lose faith that selection is fair and basd on ability.....

clam Sat 17-Nov-12 14:15:38

It's OK, ceebies. smile Would seem to have resurrected old wound of Christmasses past on MN where this has been a hot topic.

<<passes gin>>

mam29 Sat 17-Nov-12 14:50:34

mmm thinking about it

old school 2spring to mind.

1 was fixated from 1st day back year 2 and most of ay through year 1 with speaking to teacher in the morning she would park her buggy in the doorway so no one could get past, a sign then went on classroom window unless urgent speak to me after school or book an appointment!

All through year 1 she volunteered as a reading helper to spy on other kids and ork out where her own child was.

All through summer unforytunatly shes on my fb freinds list and one of my freinds is neighbour and bumped into her at libary she intensivly coached her dd as brought entire ort collection off amazon.

September everyone thourght she was barking as she became more needy of teachers time every other day she was in the classroom.
However given fact I dislike her parenting and approach it was found out they had got her childs maths levels wrong typo error and she was placed bottom group for maths when she shouldent be and her dd was behind in reading I think if she hadent pushed her dd wouldent have made much progress as few others dident including minesad

The 2nd was a freind convinced her child was advanced not being stretched enough. I think her r1 teacher who was also reception managed her and used to pacify her by giving her dd extra reading books giving her impression her dd was above average,
Then when end of trem year 1report came out she rang querying and worried about her childs nc grades/levels when she knew full well they were good.

Start yera 2 her child was on top table, she continually asked and bragged about reading levels. whilst saying she wasent bothered about levels.When she had freinds over for tea she used to look in their bookbags.

Shes finding year 2 teacher hard as shes less time and seemed to hate parents going in and question her as dared to be pushy after 2years of being neek and placid and dident get us anywhere so we left.

I was on pta i joined to get to know people,help schoo/support and was handy for hearing things I may not have heard as many pta were freindly with governers. But dident give dd any elevated status or advantage.

I think theres diffrenence between prominant and pushy.

The same girl played mary in nativity for 2years.
My dd got crappy parts in both 2years and got realy upset.
last year they had primary olympics betwen local primaries 2 from each class to compete against other local schools dd was chosen.
The ones who were picked were quiet and studious not sporty.
School council 2from each class seems really odd people too.
Some mums in dd school worked at the school.
One mum used to go out with her childs year 2 teacher which I would find awquard.

Hubby says im being paranoid but its about perception I think of how that child,you as parents and family are veiwed.
I say this as all the down to earth average parents without rangerover, northface coat were never picked for anything prominant.

It used to be parents evening -you all saw parents in hall.
You could then wander down to classrom look at your childs book, wall work-did say on letter please only veiw your childs work so guess somethings happened.

At new school still working out where pecking order is.
Think i can now identify least 3members of pta and havent monoploised the teacher too much as we new we sometimes have lots questions so try to speak to teacher once a week for quick update and where do i go to get this.

Her new teacher leaving after xmas so going to book end of term appointment before she goes to see how dd getting on as missed their parents evening on october as only just started next one not until spring and year 2sats on may.

Hopefully getting balance right and all the other mums not saying omg whos this new neurotic mum at school.
It does seem less competative and more informal at new school.

Its easy to judge and think most are a pain but some have genuine problems. I really should have got pushy in year 1 not say back and trusted them blindly.

I conclude-reading schemes are pretty crap
omg hated the home visit.
hated the sarcastic snappy notes in the homework diary.

im slowly building up trust and confidence in teachers again as feel badly let down and treated by old school.

RaisinBoys Sat 17-Nov-12 17:42:24

Yes there are HMP in every school.

There are also HMP children (unsurprisingly the offspring of the above) who try to dominate and impose themselves at every opportunity - the last class assembly was a case in point.

It's all a bit tedious and sometimes amusing and I find the best way to avoid it is to go onto school only when necessary

RandomMess Sat 17-Nov-12 17:49:20

Yep the HMP in one class only speaks to the parents if their dc are potential friends for her pfb, helps at sports day merely to cheer on her child and tell her how wonderful she is... etc etc etc

CindySherman Sat 17-Nov-12 17:51:13

Oh yes. Tends to wear off a bit but only a bit....

Lavenderhoney Sat 17-Nov-12 18:04:57

Oh yes, usually in groups of 3-4, chuntering daily. They send out emails en masse moaning about indoor shoes. They put their kids in after school program's for maths and then moan about too much home work from the school as they already get homework form extra tutoring. The rat race has begun..

I recently had to go and talk to the teacher, having discovered they had gone to her as a group saying they represented all the mums in.... I was very cross as I had no issue with homework and disliked being represented in this way.

Coffee mornings - was looking forward to a nice chat but had to leave earlysmile turned into a rant about making the school better ( ie suit them and their mad ideas ) and wanted to put a committee together.

I must say if I have any issues I discuss it with the teacher and see the head if need be - but it's to do with my dc, and I don't impose on others. I am very quick to take my 5 mins at the end of class thoughsmile

My dm says they miss work and don't have enough to do. I thinks she's right.

Jinsei Sat 17-Nov-12 20:53:17

My dd is one of those kids who gets picked for everything. It might annoy other people, I don't know, but she certainly doesn't get picked because of me. I don't volunteer at the school (work FT and don't have time), don't serve on the PTA (went to one meeting but found it too cliquey) and don't talk to the teacher when I do pick-up or drop-off (have never felt the need). I don't know why she gets chosen for stuff, but I do know that it isn't down to my efforts!

beanandspud Sat 17-Nov-12 23:21:46

I'm sure there are HMPs in every school.

I remember being taken round DS's school by the Head Teacher and she said very clearly "we want parents to be part of the school - we just don't want them in the classroom - that's our job".

Point taken, and I completely agree. The HMPs may try to get in there every day but it is up to the school and the teacher to deal with it.

headinhands Sat 17-Nov-12 23:49:40

I reckon teachers would rather have the pain of HMP any day as opposed to the sad reality of the DGAF ones. sad

I don't get how people can say oh little johnny had special exam arrangements but definately no sen.

I would lay bets not one of the parents in dds school know she is dyspraxic and add amongst other issues.

I did tell one mum while discussing worries about her son she was suprised.

I am not a pushy parent but I probably do take more of teachers time than others but I do try not too.

Asd not add

And dd doesn't get picked for anything, intact she hasn't been star of the week in the whole time she's been here.

stinkinseamonkey Sun 18-Nov-12 12:55:13

well the HMPs I came across weren't in talking about SENs, they were complaining that the menu wasn't organic (they knew this when they viewed it), they were demanding to know what personal issues made the manager take time off and why someone with personal issues was looking after children in the first place hmm, wanting to know the educational value of every activity etc
- I know because they'd phone me up and demand I complain about these things too!

Lollydaydream Sun 18-Nov-12 14:12:53

It 's depressing to read that volunteering for the PTA or helping in the classroom is taken as being synonymous with being pushy and overinvolved......

difficultpickle Sun 18-Nov-12 14:40:33

Lolly it isn't. There are degrees. You can volunteer for the PTA without letting everyone know that you are on first names terms with the head and frequently phone him for chats about your pfb's progress.

EnjoyResponsibly Sun 18-Nov-12 14:47:44

Yeah, we've got a couple. The rest of us have agreed to let them get on with it and we'll travel in their slipstream. That way they get to do all the agitating, and we get to spend more time mumsnet ting with the kids.

difficultpickle Sun 18-Nov-12 14:52:20

Sometimes they can be useful in passing on information about school that you would never have dreamed to ask any teacher (or had the balls to ask). I take it all with a large pinch of salt. The worst thing I find is if I accidentally compete by mentioning something that ds has done. It is always the case that their dcs has done it earlier, faster, better, in more detail, higher marks etc etc. Even if none of it is actually true. The older ds gets the more chilled I get.

I know a High Maintenance Family - one parent deals with the primary school, the other deals with the secondary. There's much eye-rolling when the secondary one stands up at parents information evenings and starts... Latest was when PFB didn't get predicted grades in an exam, and HMP demanded to know why DC had been told grades before HMP, as PFB was in tears shock. How they are going to cope when the DC reach adulthood and they can't control everything around them any more

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 18-Nov-12 15:51:54

I thought that too Lolly, i love volunteering at school and play a big part on the pta but i do it because i love too not because i want to gain favours or am pushy. As for the comment that those who volunteer at school should be spending that time with their own child, words fail me. Not only would my child be at school so not sure how im meant to spend time with them instead but presumably you think all the nice extras that volunteers do appear by magic.

There are HM parents at our school but they are too busy trying to chat to teachers etc to actually help on the pta.

mam29 Sun 18-Nov-12 16:07:48

Agree with happy mummy the hp ones were not on the pta but used to like to moan anyway.

Couple months ago i get you on pta what you going to do about lost property and kids losing their jumpers/cardies like its within the ptas control.

A lot of pta tried to influence school and make positive changes but rarly did we get things changed, we mainly school dogsbody and school events lot of hard graft no glory or thanks so now have quiet admiration for pta.

Dont get the comment about school dinners as our lea decides the menu and and all local schools have the same.

rabbitstew Sun 18-Nov-12 17:29:12

And then there are those awful parents who spoil your enjoyment of school plays, etc, by complaining loudly that it's the same child every year who gets the best parts, something you hadn't actually noticed and didn't really care about, you just wanted to enjoy watching something that a lot of people had put a lot of hard work into.

Sparklingbrook Sun 18-Nov-12 17:32:43

I assume if your child goes by bike or coach as mine do if I wanted to be a HMP I would have to send lots of emails in about absolutely everything?

I remember at First School the teacher actually said to one boy something along the lines of 'You had better make sure that is done X as we don't want your Mum coming in again do we?' <arf>

stinkinseamonkey Sun 18-Nov-12 19:51:14

agree with happy mum the HMPs I knew never ever did anything to help ever! they would let everyone else help out then whinge that the christmas party wasn't to their standards hmm never ever ever put hands in pockets at events to raise money for the kids outings etc.. but turned up to every fund raising event (both of them! during what I know are their usual working hours so they would both take the day off to go!) and ate all the cakes you are supposed to make a contribution for without putting any money in.. then complained that they thought outings were a bit shite!

Complained the santa wasn't that good, even though they barged their LO to the front of the line TWICE to get two gos/presents. Didn't offer to BE the santa though!

They couldn't ever get involved because then they couldn't complain as it would be their doing!

Same with community events, they turn up and whinge that it doesn't have this or that, but neither of them ever help out with anything. Entitled pricks!

learnandsay Sun 18-Nov-12 20:27:19

To be frank, if it was a parents'/pta event and a person complained to, or around me, in that fashion I'd just tell them to shut up.

stinkinseamonkey Sun 18-Nov-12 20:33:39

I did suggest they give it a go and see if they could do better, never stopped them from cornering me for another whinge next time! I'm not really a smile and nodder!

This thread is making me feel rather sad.
I wonder how I am viewed by parents who have their first born in the reception class with my (second born) ds this year and are therefore new to the school and don't already know me.
I speak to the teacher every moring and afternoon, at least twice a week I will have a longer meeting with teacher after school. I seem to be constantly at school, for parents night the reception teacher is starting early to both make sure i could see the Yr and dd's Y3 teacher one after the other and so that instead of the standard 15 min appointment we can have 45 mins. Top it off many of the patents will have had their child come home and say 'X hit me today', 'x scratched tommy' 'x was hurting other children in the playground', 'x messed up our game', 'x was calling out at carpet time' and I could go on and on. It probably seems like I have an ill behaved, violent child and I take up too much of teachers time. The other children may comment to their parents that my ds got to pick the story because he didn't hit anyone today.
I would hope that people would understand that they don't know the ins and outs if every child and family. I have sergested that we have a home school book so I am not taking up so much teacher time but the teacher would rather speak properly face to face.
What others it seems don't always see is that I am not the PITA mother of the naughty violent bully I am the mother of the despritly struggling little boy with segnificant SN who is despritly upset about other children being hurt and is working frantically with the school to get the right support in place, to get the right profferionals involved to both get a diagnosis for ds (Likly ASD I'd similar) and to try and get funding to get ds the support he needs which in turn safeguards the other children. These things unfortunately take time and it really doesn't help matters to read some of the views expressed here. I mean the mother of the child who took his SATs in a private room, he will have SEN of some sort, has it ever occurred to you that she over shares his achievements because she wants to focus on that rather then his problems and doesn't want to discuss his SEN with other parents? Not saying she is right to crow about acivments but I do understand it. I talk openly about ds SNs, two main reasons being I don't feel they should be a dirty little secret (although I know for others that they don't want to share because its private, not because they are ashamed, every bodies different) and because of the attitudes showmen here, I feel that if I don't share my sons medical information people will just see a pushy mother with a naughty child.
I get so upset when I read some of this crap.

CindySherman Mon 19-Nov-12 09:25:12

Road kill I read your post and felt really sad. Unfortunately there is a pack mentality with some parents. My close friend is in a v similar situation from the other side. Her son is in class with a boy with obvious SN who hits out at others. She often talk about how awful this boy is and how his parents do nothing but spoil him blah blah. It is only after I ask what props this lashing out that she says the other children verbally goad him. She seems to think the school would say something if it was a SN issue but how presumptuous and wrong she is and she is my friend. A reasonable Woman in other respects.

ListenUpIdBeAGreatLifeCoachMe Mon 19-Nov-12 10:12:51

RoadKill, please do not let this thread upset you. Schools have all sorts of combinations of parents and children. The OP kicked this thread off about the combination of 'High Maintenance Parents ' with low maintenance kids. So typical examples of this at our school would be

"X is missing a button off her coat, has it been found in the playground? I did n't want you to worry because I have a spare at home, which I'll sew on tonight after ballet, obviously you can tell X does ballet, is must be apparent in her poise during PE and the way she sinks gracefully to the floor during carpet time, like a swan distraught by the loss of it's mate, they mate for life you know, can break your arm........."

DD's class has a lad struggling to conform to school, he's lovely and luckily so are his mum & dad. He's a challenge for the teacher but she's stamped down on the other kids blaming everything that goes wrong and I like to see the parents catching up with the teacher. They always look rather nervous, I wish they'd relax because they obviously care and are engaged and support their child.

There's another 'spirited' child in class who sadly has a very low maintenance parent, the school try really hard but to be honest the mother is in need of supportive parenting. I always want to give her a massive hug, feed her some vegetables and remove the headphones from her ears so she can see her bright son who understandably is just trying to attract some attention.

rrbrigi Mon 19-Nov-12 10:23:22

That is an interesting discussion.

I consider myself between the "pushy" and "not pushy" parents. I do like to keep my eyes on my child education and of course if it is his interest (at least I think) I would go to speak to his teacher. Usually we speak once a week with his teacher just to get an idea what they did in that week, how I can help him at home, etc... Oh and yes I had a couple of discussion about the books with the teacher. I just generally interested what they did in the school, whether they learnt the number, time tables or shapes. In my country the children have books for each subject to take home. So if you open their books you exactly know what they learnt on the day and what they will learn in the whole year as well. Also they have a writing book and the teacher or parent can write in it if they have something to discuss.

I do feel in England the parents do not get enough information about their children education. We got an A4 paper about their Math curriculum for Reception, however in my country you have a 40-50 pages book with examples and practice and they go through on the book on that year. So you know what your child knows and where he needs some help.

But I only discuss my child education with the teacher. I am not interested in anything else (school meal, nativity, uniform etc...). They do these things as they wish I do not mind. But my child education is two way information. How I can help him not to stay behind, when the teacher tells me in parents evening my child cannot count, but it was discovered 3-4 month ago and the other children already learnt the time tables? The lack of communication can make the gap bigger and bigger between two children.

I do not know if other parents like me or not. I do not know if the teacher likes me or not (however I always try to be very kind with her). But we do not need to be friends. I just want her to do her job and cater my son education with my help.

learnandsay Mon 19-Nov-12 10:24:15

Hi roadkillbunny,

I don't think this thread was about parents who've actually got genuine problems. (I'm sorry to hear about your child's significant problems.) I hope you don't worry about this thread any more. It's about parents who don't have any real problems but just feel good about making a fuss.

Hope you feel better.

mrsscoob Tue 20-Nov-12 10:19:47

Ha ha yes there is one at our school, I know her very well and her child doesn't have SEN (agreed this isn't what this thread is about) Every morning she stands blocking the door whittering on about something or other. The other day we were almost out of the playground when she suddenly remembered that they hadn't told the teacher that her son had swum a width of the pool at his swimming lesson and made him run back to tell her shock

daytoday Tue 20-Nov-12 13:16:40

Its these 'pushy mums' that make it so hard for other mums/dads/carers when they have REAL concerns.

For not wanting to appear like these 'pushy mums' we maybe bite our lips and wait too long to share something with the teacher.

I actually think the term 'pushy mums' is totally derailing.

newgirl Wed 21-Nov-12 18:21:38

Yes some definite high maintenance parents but the teachers at my dd school are most definitely fair and in control - I think they are amazing teachers.

Bonsoir Wed 21-Nov-12 18:35:08

At DD's school there are five parallel classes with an average of 25 children in each. All the classes get mixed up every year and much speculation goes on, every year, as to how the particular groups were made up (the decision is made between the teachers of the current and the forthcoming year in June). This year, all the HMPs' children are in the same class. The teacher actually likes those parents! She's had many of them before.

Taffeta Wed 21-Nov-12 18:37:23

I have 2 DC at the same school, one in Y4 and one in Y2. Y4 class is "normal" - a couple of pushy parents but its not overt.

The Y2 class DD is in this year, OTOH, is unbelievable. It is rammed with PFBs and helicopter micromanagement the like of which I have never witnessed. I actually couldn't get DD in through the door most mornings the first half term because the door was blocked by at least 2 or 3 pushy parents every single morning.

The poor teacher had to send home 2 letters in the first half term to all parents in her class - one explaining why the spellings weren't more difficult as so many of the PPs complained and the other from the head saying please trust the teacher to do her job and keep your beaks out.

I for one will be buying the poor woman a good bottle of wine for Christmas, she needs it.

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