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To think that school plays bring out selfish behaviour in some parents?

(79 Posts)
BaconFrazzles Tue 17-Dec-13 12:42:42

This morning DH and I went to our youngest child's school xmas play. The school our DC go to doesn't charge for tickets, but you have to book tickets as due to space restrictions, and for fairness, there is a limit of 3 seats per child. You are given confirmation of your tickets but there is no policing of the tickets at the door, and every year some families seem to bring loads of people with them, and take no notice of the ticket rules.

This then means that many parents that have stuck to the rules end up with no seats, and standing at the back or crammed at the side of the hall, with a rubbish view. The ones that break the rules are generally there first of all and reserve rows of seats, and get all the front row seats for their grans/aunties/next door neighbours.

This morning at DS's play, I saw that one family had taken up a total of 12 seats: the mum, the dad, both sets of grandparents, the mum's auntie, the mum's 3 cousins, and the family's next door neighbour and her daughter! Another family had a good 6 or 7 seats reserved in the front row.

I know it's only a school play and not that important in the grand scheme of things, but I just think it's so bloody selfish. Everyone wants to see their child perform, and it's unfair that some are blatantly breaking rules, meaning that others don't get to see much of their child. I also noticed today that many people in the front few rows kept standing up to take photos and video their children/grandchildren, meaning that those of us stuck in the rows behind got no view at all for much of the show.

2madboys Tue 17-Dec-13 13:08:44

I think some people's children are just more important than others biscuit

BaconFrazzles Tue 17-Dec-13 13:09:16

Very true, madboys grin

SunshinemMum Tue 17-Dec-13 13:11:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiggytape Tue 17-Dec-13 13:12:37

Ours is restricted to 2. With tickets send out in the bookbag the week before. The tickets are collected and checked on the day.

It wasn't the case until a few years ago when it got completely silly so they introduced tickets and banned younger siblings (one year, DS's school play was standing room only and had a group of about 8 toddlers invading the stage and running up and down the hall the entire time)

BaconFrazzles Tue 17-Dec-13 13:14:30

I think they definitely need to implement something to stop it happening again. Only problem is the headteacher is a bit of a wet weekend so no doubt even they do conduct things more strictly next year he won't actually have the gumption to tell anyone that no, they can't bring in an extra 5 people, he'll just let them in.

Perhaps I'll offer to go on the door for them...if they ensure the play is in my PMT week I'll have no problems re-iterating the rules to people grin

kungfupannda Tue 17-Dec-13 13:16:04

Yes, do that. And confiscate the cameras and phones of known offenders.

BaconFrazzles Tue 17-Dec-13 13:16:16

tiggy, you've just reminded me about an incident this morning! the stage was all set up for the play, and a woman decided it would be a good idea to let her 2 toddlers (aged around 1 and 3 I'd say) 'play' on the stage before the performance started. The reception teachers then had to re-arrange the stage before the kids could start

ShanghaiDiva Tue 17-Dec-13 13:25:05

12 seats is ridiculous - if you need more than 3 then the extra people you wish to invite need to stand at the back.
ipads should be banned - spent the whole of dc's Xmas show watching the performance though the screen of the thoughtless woman in front of me.
Also woman next to me:
please do not chat when your child is off stage - other children are still performing!

NoComet Tue 17-Dec-13 13:26:50

Ours usually runs reasonably smoothly, the tall dads are stuck at the back to take, video, photos and we short arses sit. Older siblings on benches at the front, babies on knees.

The problem is our hall, like a lot of primary schools, has a stupid arty shaped hall. You can't set up a proper high stage and still get all the parents in.

lookatmycameltoe Tue 17-Dec-13 13:31:32

I actually despair of human nature more on occasions like this than at any other time.

The selfish cunts at my DC's school hog the front rows with loads of extended family and constant filming on ipads. This is complimented with hostile self-entitled glares.

They are generally poorly educated, uncivilised, entitled muppets sadly raising another generation of poorly educated, uncivilised, entitled muppets.

I just don't understand why people don't have consideration for others. I just don't get it. We ALL love our children and want to see them. What gives YOU the right to ruin my experience.

I am concerned that these 'people' are breeding at a great pace than the generous, kind people. By my maths my grandchildren will just be tripped up/beaten up/stabbed when attempting to see their children's nativities in 2 decades time.

BaconFrazzles Tue 17-Dec-13 13:39:27

I generally find at my DCs school that the selfish, inconsiderate parents seem to be the 'loud parenting' ones. They seem to think they are too important to follow rules and that they can park where they like/have as many performance seats as they wish/take as long as they want at parents' evening even though others are waiting.

It seems to be a case of 'Look how wonderful my child is, as so many family members want to see his play'

3asAbird Tue 17-Dec-13 13:49:28

Ok at dd1st school they only had 1 performance limited to 2 tickets in church next door but most parents sat upstairs as classes wee watching downstairs plus those with kids if kicked off they make less noise on balcony upstairs but upstairs on balcony were row of tripods and serious ott photography we used to joke how many cameras this time as we were balcony veiw wasent too bad.

one year the had it in school hall was far too tiny.
another reception play mini beast play missed most of it due to lack space in hall and selfish parents and tanrtruming baby then told parent felt bad as had leave early to which she said shame it was really good.

2nd school no nativity this year as juniors but last year dd1 had best part yet went evening again in large church off balcony got good veiw less selfish parents and think having daytime and evening option better.

We have carol conert in church fri where dd1 narrating and singing so hoping get ok veiw its big hurh thanfully and small school only really 100-120sets parents.

On fb encounter people who photo every moment of kids lives surprised they not sat on the loo looking cute!

DeWe Tue 17-Dec-13 13:52:35

Our schools do similar. 2 tickets, but never checked. Siblings only allowed in dress rehearsal (to which anyone can come).
Problem is if they've never checked, to check could mean huge arguements at the door, plus great aunt marge who's travelled 200 miles for a one off doesn't get in.
The problem I've also seen, is the nice polite parents who go and ask, are often refused, so don't bring the extra who's staying with them. Whereas those that just rock up never get challenged.
You would need to make it very clear well in advance and have bouncers on the door the first year.

Personally, I think I'd do it strictly 2 seats only, and a third seat applied for, subject to space, except in certain exceptional circumstances, which might get you 4 tickets.

But I quite like standing at the back. You get a better view because the hall is so small sitting often you can only see a small amount of the stage at a time.

poorbuthappy Tue 17-Dec-13 13:58:05

This year our very small school did 2 performances and policed the tickets with alarming force.
And it worked, everyone got a seat, everyone saw the performance they had paid for.

WipsGlitter Tue 17-Dec-13 13:58:18

Ours doesn't impose a limit. But you need to get there early to get seats. Lots of parents realised this last year and were there at 9am, despite it not starting until 10am! Some parents were standing round the sides but pretty much everyone got a seat. It's a year group of 60 children.

motheroftwoboys Tue 17-Dec-13 14:03:30

Ha Ha. You all a need a me. That is one of my jobs as Manager of the Performing Arts Centre at the school I work in. We don't charge for tickets but for big/popular events we issue seat allocated tickets so there can be no arguments about who sits where. At Junior School events (where parents are much keener to attend) they usually allocate two tickets per family and then they can request extras if available. All schools should be aware of fire regs. At our school we are not allowed to have anyone standing. It really is worth checking this out as a school performance could be closed down at any time if regs. are not followed. The council do impromtu checks. We have had them more than once. Also, we do not allow parents to film or take flash photographs as it can disturb the performers. You really need to have a couple of ushers/fire stewards/bouncers/whatever on the door. Tickets MUST be checked otherwise what on earth is the point of them?

Domple Tue 17-Dec-13 14:07:19


This happens every year both in DS and DD years, despite rationing tickets.

It is always the same families, they bring everyone and the rest if us mortals get two per family! Their kids are horrible and have the same sense of entitlement as their parents. I just hope that this behaviour will only get them so far in life as at secondary school the kids have to make their own way.

I would like to say they are the bad parking parents too but they are not at my school. That is a whole other tale!!

Most parents want to see their kids 'perform' unfortunately you are right as school seems to bring out the worst in some people.

Sparklymommy Tue 17-Dec-13 14:08:13

Our school have a strict two tickets per performance per family, sent home in book bags. If you don't need them then you are requested to send them back and school reallocate them on a first come first served basis.

Can't say i have ever noticed a huge problem. And they do allow anyone to watch the dress rehearsal who cannot get a ticket/ make the performances (of which they do two).

We also have an official photographer and video-r at the dress rehearsal so you can buy a DVD. Must admit that rows of seats being taken up by one family seems a bit off!

I have four children in our school, I still only get the four tickets (2 per show) and I have never seen a reason to complain.

Mim78 Tue 17-Dec-13 14:17:25

I think yanbu. This was always happening at my daughter's nursery despite people being told many times. The school should police it better though.

There are always some who think their extended family have more right to be there than other children's parents.

Also it is a health and safety problem (dreaded words I know!) if people cannot get out because the hall is so crowded.

BaconFrazzles Tue 17-Dec-13 14:18:25

That would be a far better way to do it IMO; send 3 tickets home with each child, and ask for any spares to be returned to school. And then put out the number of chairs that corresponds with the number of tickets allocated.

I'm sure the hall was way above capacity this morning, especially for fire safety reasons. It's not a huge hall, and I'd say there were probably in excess of 200 people in it, including the children, possibly more. It was literally impossible to move

BaconFrazzles Tue 17-Dec-13 14:19:45

I have to admit it did make me laugh that the 12 tickets family seemed to think their neighbour and neighbour's daughter all had a right to see the play. Weird

Tailtwister Tue 17-Dec-13 14:20:59

YANBU, that's incredibly selfish! DS2 has his nativity on Friday and we have tickets for 2 adults. His GP's would love to come, but won't because there simply isn't enough space.

The photos/filming thing really gets me too. When DS1 had his nursery nativity we couldn't see a thing because of all the phones blocking our view. Incredibly selfish behaviour. At his school nativity there was some stupid woman with one of those really clicky cameras with the huge lens. All I could hear through the whole thing was her camera clicking away.

BaconFrazzles Tue 17-Dec-13 14:24:29

As some of you have already pointed out on here, these parents will raise a new generation of entitled, selfish, inconsiderate brats that think the world revolves around them

Scrounger Tue 17-Dec-13 14:28:54

At a play in the church I was sat on the floor in the aisle with my DTs (3yo and bribed with choc buttons to stay quiet) and loads of parents standing at the back. The doors opened an hour before the performance started and there was already a queue. A mother who needs a wheelchair / crutches to get around arrived to see her daughter. She stood in the aisle for a minute or so trying to work out where to sit but no one moved, . However the HT saw her and went over and sorted out a seat for her at the front with the teachers. Thank goodness for her.

KellyEllyMincePieBelly Tue 17-Dec-13 14:38:15

Going to DD's first Christmas play tomorrow (she's in nursery and they are doing a joint one with reception). What time realistically do I need to arrive to get a good seat? was just going to turn up ten minutes before but not after reading this!

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