Is it really bad form to take your children with you to parents evening?

(52 Posts)
headfairy Wed 21-Nov-12 20:07:52

It's my first one, parents evening that is, and my mum is recovering from an op so can't look after the children while we go. I can get a 5.30 appointment but in order for dh and I to both go we'd need to take the kids. Is it better for just one of us to go rather than take them?

ImaginateMum Wed 21-Nov-12 20:09:42

Can't you find a friend who has a close-ish appointment and take turns watching each other's children?

I took mine once. The school were fine with it, I got almost zero out of the appointment as was so busy distracting / juggling toys / dishing out raisins, etc.

It is really better to be child-free if you can.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Wed 21-Nov-12 20:10:02

Yes, only one of you can go unless they are old enoughto sit in reception on their own. At ours they can over the age of 8. Can they go in the room with you if its not secondary and possibly encouraged? No.

rcs19 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:10:13

I'm a secondary school teacher and many parents bring their kids to parents evening, it's not a problem.

MirandaWest Wed 21-Nov-12 20:11:22

I take the DC to parents evening. They lurk around outside the classroom. Hasn't been a problem at all.

OddBoots Wed 21-Nov-12 20:11:40

It really depends on how your children are and how you think they will cope and allow you to chat. I've had to take mine with me at times so have brought things I know would keep them quiet like a story CD in a player with headphones or a game system or sticker book. Sometimes needs must, don't sweat it.

It is not considered bad at the school my dc go to.

The child the teacher wants to see sits with us, the other dc sit quietly elsewhere - school encourages the children to be a part of the discussion.

No problems.

FushiaFernica Wed 21-Nov-12 20:13:32

I always take my dd and it is not a problem, she loves to hear what the teacher has to say about her.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Wed 21-Nov-12 20:13:46

We took the dds to parents evening. There was a classroom next door set up with boxes of toys, books, Lego etc and a film on the projector! That's the way to do it.

Taffeta Wed 21-Nov-12 20:15:06

My DC always come to parents evening, DH never home in time. They sit outside and play. They are 6 and 9.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Wed 21-Nov-12 20:15:42

Fushia unfortunately not everyone gets to hear good things! My ds wouldnt take it very well at all. Ds school dont beat about the bush at all.

SavoyCabbage Wed 21-Nov-12 20:16:12

I take mine too and they loiter. It's fine.

purplecrayon Wed 21-Nov-12 20:17:22

I think it would be best for just one of you to go so that you can go childfree. You will be able to talk more easily without distractions and it will be more useful. I always go alone. Sometimes I think it's easier for the teacher to deal with one person rather than being outnumbered.

ByTheWay1 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:21:23

At infant/primary age we took them and they sat outside the room reading.

akaemmafrost Wed 21-Nov-12 20:23:21

Our school has a crèche while its on, so you can park dc in there. They also take responsibility for my ds with autism, which is great.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 21-Nov-12 20:24:11

I would just ask the teacher as all schools are different.
Some have a dedicated area for siblings etc. Others would prefer you didn't as space for teachers and parents are limited, without extra dc.
I'm sure they won't mind if you explain you are without childcare, and its only usually 5 min appointment anyway.

teacherwith2kids Wed 21-Nov-12 20:27:39

In the school I teach in, and at my children's school, children attend parents' evening meeting with their parents - it is expected that they come with their parents, and that they are party to all the discussions.

It means that if there are serious issues we make separate appointments with parents outide normal parents' evening slots - but that is surely the norm everywhere, as nothing that is said a a parents' evening should come as a shock.

BeehavingBaby Wed 21-Nov-12 20:29:25

Ours are straight after school at desks around the hall, so the kids just amuse themselves out of earshot. Is fine.

simpson Wed 21-Nov-12 20:29:59

I would hate to take my kids to parents eve tbh.

I am a LP so have to try and find someone to have them but if I did take them I know I would not be able to concentrate properly on what the teacher was saying (but then I am there on my own not with a DH to help).

Also DS (yr3) would hate to hear anything bad about himself (as someone else said).

headfairy Wed 21-Nov-12 20:30:14

It's only a ten minute meeting but the dcs are young, ds is 5 and dd is 3 in 6 weeks. We've got such a short window of opportunity to book our appointments I'm not sure I'm going to have time to ask other mums if they can watch my children while we see the teacher... I'm on shift for the next 2 days so I won't be able to do either school run and grab the teacher to ask her and we have to have the form in in Monday!

jimmenycricket Wed 21-Nov-12 20:33:48

I took Dd last year and she was an absolute PITA! Not helped by a hovering headmistress who seemed to be randomly winding up children hmm

This year I'm going on my own.

Everlong Wed 21-Nov-12 20:38:34

No I don't think so.

I've taken my youngest ds quite a few times because the appointment was straight after school.

He just sat and read a book or did some drawing etc.

Svrider Wed 21-Nov-12 20:39:13

I take all 3 smile

FionaJT Wed 21-Nov-12 20:40:37

My dd's school says no kids, but this year I couldn't make arrangements and had to take dd (7). There were lots of kids in the playground, various parents that I knew hanging out waiting for partners/children/their slot etc and the Headmaster was wandering around keeping an eye out. So she scooted off and played with friends while I went in.

littleducks Wed 21-Nov-12 20:44:04

I've taken mine since dd was in reception, so ds was about 3. They played with toys outside the classroom door once but now just sit and read. They get a treat afterwards for good behaviour.

cece Wed 21-Nov-12 20:47:06

At my DS1 junior school they expect you to bring them with you to the appointment so that they can attend with you.

There is also no problem with bringing the other DC either. I just leave DD in charge of DS2 outside the classroom.

The infant school used to run a creche facility in the hall with toys out and a video on in the corner. Manned by the Governors.

DD is at secondary school. I suspect I will only be taking her and DH to her parents evening and getting a babysitter for the boys.

radicalsubstitution Wed 21-Nov-12 21:02:03

The most important thing is that you actually attend. If you have children in tow, so be it.

As a teacher at secondary school, I often see parents with toddlers and very small children. Whilst it is not 'ideal' for anyone involved, it is the reality of the world we live in. No reasonable school will mind.

XBenedict Wed 21-Nov-12 21:03:51

Our parents "evening" is often done after school in the afternoon. I always take the DCs. Now DD is in Y5 she is asked to attend the appointment with us. DS sits outside reading a book playing on my phone

marquesas Wed 21-Nov-12 21:07:18

Both parents being able to go to every parents evening is a bit of a luxury imo. I'd rather one parent go and really be able to concentrate on what the teacher has to say. And selfishly when I'm waiting I don't like to see couples ahead of me as they always seem to take twice as long grin

charllie Wed 21-Nov-12 21:08:41

I take my DD with me as i have no other choice. Its never been a problem

heggiehog Wed 21-Nov-12 21:11:51

As a teacher I hate it when parents bring their children into the room during the appointment. It makes it very hard to be honest and talk about the more "adult" parts of parenting and education if you know the child is listening in. Of course it's nice to include the children in some things but there are often confidential matters that I cannot talk about with the child being present.

On one occasion I had a parent that brought in a younger sibling. The child spent the whole time rampaging around the room, knocking things over and poking the mother when she was bored. hmm

coldcupoftea Wed 21-Nov-12 21:18:15

In my class most of the parents brought the kids. They either sat meekly and listened to what was being said, or if there were younger siblings we sent them off to the book corner, or got out some pencils and paper. It's not a problem.

Taffeta Wed 21-Nov-12 21:20:06

That sounds like a fairly normal younger sibling to me, heggiehog. Would you rather have not seen the parent at all?

DuelingFanjo Wed 21-Nov-12 21:20:21

when I was a kid I went with my parents and sat with them so I could hear what they said.

heggiehog What are "the more "adult" parts of parenting and education" ?

heggiehog Wed 21-Nov-12 21:30:43

No, Taffeta, I would rather see the parent. But on some occasions they have had to make a second appointment to come and see me without a child in tow (confidentiality issues, as mentioned), which strikes me as being extremely pointless and a waste of both of our times.

heggiehog Wed 21-Nov-12 21:35:27

TapselteerieO - any number of things. Could be SEN issues, social problems, issues within the family, discussions about school budget, pupil premium. Etc etc etc.

There are lots of things that I cannot talk about when there are children present and listening.

heggiehog Wed 21-Nov-12 21:38:45

Also, Taffeta - I don't think it's "normal" for a six year old child to destroy a classroom while the parent sits there and does nothing about it. Or rather, it might be "normal" for them to allow their child to behave like that (no SEN before anyone mentions it), but I certainly don't think it's acceptable while I'm trying to conduct an appointment with them. What's the point?

ladygoldenlion Wed 21-Nov-12 21:39:50

I think it's normal for the child to go in secondary school but not in primary school.


missmapp Wed 21-Nov-12 21:46:34

It is times like parent's evenng that a DS was made for- keeps mine quiet anyway!!

LapinDeBois Wed 21-Nov-12 22:03:29

Have you spoken to other parents? We've just been to our first one, and the boys (5 and 2) stayed in the hall with a couple of other kids, and a TA to look after them. There were books and cars etc for them to play with. But the school didn't advertise this 'service', and if I hadn't asked other parents with older kids what they were planning to do, I wouldn't have known it was ok.

EdgarAllanPond Wed 21-Nov-12 22:07:44

i take all of them so we can both go - DH loves that opportunity to be involved but i am the one who has most charge over her education.

it will probably change when they get older, and get more constructive styles of feedback

nipersvest Wed 21-Nov-12 22:07:47

i always take mine to parents evenings, they go into the IT suite and play on the computers. they don't listen to what is being said though.

timtam23 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:09:09

Just had DS1's first parent's evening (in reception) and we both went, took DS2 as well as he is only 2 and we have no family locally. It was only a 10 minute appointment, the school is a 5 minute walk away so barely worth troubling someone else to take the kids for a few minutes. They sat on the mat in the classroom playing with the toys while we perched on the miniature kiddie chairs and had our few minutes with the teacher

No one turned a hair so I guess at DS's school it must be the done thing to bring kids too

amck5700 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:16:06

We've always taken our children into their own parents night. Not into each others though - so the one who isn't in with us sits on the chairs or benches outside the class with a book or a DS while we are in. Obviously if they were tiny and oblivious to what was being said we would have taken them in with us however as our boys are only a year apart that's never been the case. There are usually other parents and children waiting outside anyway so they are rarely out there alone and you only get 10 minutes so it's not exactly a long time to wait. Usually there are older kids outside the class keeping an eye on the appointment list and maintaining order anyway grin

They did do a creche thing in the library area one year but i think people saw it as free babysitting and went to the pub for an hour or two......... and I'm not joking!!

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 21-Nov-12 22:17:41

I always take mine (LP) school usually has a box of lego on the carpet while the table you sit at to talk to the teacher is the other end.

Taffeta Wed 21-Nov-12 22:18:46

heggiehog - 6 yo, no. I assumed you meant a younger child.

I guess the point is that they may not get to the appointment unless they bring the child. You know the child doesn't have SEN, but what else do you know of the situation and the younger sibling? It all sounds very judgmental tbh.

arkestra Thu 22-Nov-12 18:03:23

Both go. If kids act up then one of you (agree which beforehand) fields them. At worst you are no worse off than if just one of you went. At best you will both get to attend properly. That's what we do anyway.

sausagesandwich34 Thu 22-Nov-12 18:10:07

the afterschool club at our primary runs a creche until 8pm

50p a child and they get a drink and a biscuit

you really can't argue with that

heggiehog Sat 24-Nov-12 13:33:08

"You know the child doesn't have SEN, but what else do you know of the situation and the younger sibling? It all sounds very judgmental tbh."

I know the family and the children very well. Cannot say more for confidentiality reasons and I don't want to be identified. You are being "judgemental" about me by making such a comment - YOU don't know anything of the situation beyond the very brief description I gave.

Headfairy - I hope you found a solution.

VonHerrBurton Sat 24-Nov-12 15:02:21

There's school-age childcare provided at our school. Doesn't help if you have toddler/s or baby to deal with though, obviously.

healstorturepeople Sat 24-Nov-12 18:07:59

When I was a teacher I actually preferred it when the children came too. It was much more relaxed and informal and also the child felt more included in their learning.

I did have a couple of occasions though when children were running around, yelling, causing chaos and this was difficult as I didn't feel like it was my place to tell the children to stop it while the parents were there. If you do take the children just make sure they know they have to behave, otherwise you won't get the info you came for! Maybe take some toys or a colouring book.

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