parents' evening at secondary?(15 Posts)
Hi, I just wondered what others do about parents' evenings at secondary if they don't get along with their XP?
Basically XP left coming up to 2 years ago, same old story he said he was unhappy but it turned out there was someone else. He has said we should be able to have an amicable relationship by now but I can't get over all the lies which he has never apologised for. So, while I can be polite I find it stressful to be near him and don't want to make chit-chat.
DS lives with me and sees XP EOW but I do all the day to day stuff including all supervision of/help with homework. On the weekends DS is with his Dad he chooses to do his homework here on Sunday night so he can do fun stuff with his Dad. Last year the parents' evening was parents only so we waited on opposite sides of the hall in between our appointments and converged at the teacher's desk for our 5 minute slot and it was only just bearable.
However from this year the students have to attend the parents' evenings and I think the tense atmosphere between us would be upsetting for DS. Obviously XP has the right to be involved in DS's education and if it was primary school I would ask for separate appointments but I can't do that with 8-10 teachers can I? I would be happy not to go myself but the whole point is to discuss any areas DS is having problems with and XP literally has no idea what subjects he's doing and anything the teachers said to him would only get back to me through DS. Really the focus of the evening should be about helping DS rather than making XP feel more connected to DS's day-to-day life. If it's relevant before we split up XP never ever came to parents' evenings!
Has anyone got any thoughts on what to do, what have you done in a similar situation?
As a teacher we do occasionally have students make 2 appointments so Mum and Dad can see me separately. I have to say though, that except in the most extreme of circumstances, it makes me sad that the parents can't make the effort for one night for the sake of their child. Even if you do go apart, who does your ds go round with? You are unlikely to have identical conversations and stuff might come up with Dad that you won't hear and vice versa so you might end up with different opinions anyway.
The thing is I could make an effort for the 5 minutes with the teacher it's the time in between that is difficult. Especially if we see DS's friends and their parents, I know DS will want us all to go over and chat but I find it really difficult to compartmentalise and pretend everything is fine.
If XP could ever just apologise for his behaviour then maybe we could have an amicable relationship in the future but not sure that will ever happen. DS will be upset if we wait separately when he sees his friends with their parents together but equally the tense atmosphere will upset him if we do wait together. This is why I am thinking of not going and maybe emailing all the teachers to say could they convey any areas of concern to me since XP and I have no real communication?
If XH wants to be involved, you will just have to bury your feelings and do what you did last year. It's one evening, and the focus is entirely on DS and how he's doing at school. Everything else is irrelevant.
So everyone else has to suffer because you want an apology (that is of no concern to anyone else?) How embarrassing, sad etc etc that he has to make separate appointments for his parents. As a teacher it's one of the few things I ever judged parents about.
It sounds really tough. I think if at all possible you need to go too. As you say, you're the one who deals with all school things so it's important you go. Also, it would be upsetting to your son to know you didn't go because of the ex. I think you need to put your brave face on and endure the waiting time together. You could always get your phone out and need to email someone and mainly address ds when talking. Your son would probably really appreciate both of you going. I'm a secondary teacher btw.
During my uni graduation I sat next to a girl downing whiskey from a hip flask as it was the first time her parents had been in a room together for 15 years. You don't want it to get to that stage. Be the bigger person.
Oh and Don't make separate appointments. His friends would notice.
Maybe the best thing would be for me not to go then. I really can't bear to be in a social situation with him. Surely if there are any major concerns the school would have contacted me already.
But it isn't a "social situation"! It's parent's evening.
It's about your DS, not your feelings. It would be ridiculous for you not to go, as clearly you're the main parent.
You not going is not what is being suggested by most of the posts. Most posters are saying that for the sake of your son, you should go. There maybe no major concerns from the school's point of view, but it sounds like he's at the stage of his school career where GCSEs subjects are being discussed and your son will want and need your support.
For your sake I think you should consider some counselling to talk through this situation - you can't go on for the rest of your life having this hanging over you. Remember you can't make someone else change, all you can do is change how you behave
Last year I managed to do it even though I found it really difficult but as I say DS wasn't required to attend and we just met at the relevant teacher's desk for the appointment and then waited separately.
But I find it really really difficult to not show what I am feeling and don't think I can put a brave face on for 3 hours of his company (that is literally how long it takes, you have one 5 minute slot and then it can be 20 minutes until the next appointment). But DS will be upset if he sees I am upset but also if we wait separately. I was hoping things would be better a year on but really nothing has changed.
I would really try to get along for DS sake, you don't have to speak to each other and can sit separately if need be. It's 1 night that is important for DS and he should have both of you supporting him. If you genuinely cannot be in Ex-H company for a couple of hours then I'd suggest you do half of the evening each. It would probably be a good idea to get some counselling or help with your feelings towards Ex-P as you will need to see him for years and you need to be able to be around each other
DPotter I understand what you are saying about not making someone else change but I don't know how I can get to a situation where I can stand around and make chit chat with him which is what is required if we are going to be there with DS's friends and parents in a group. I was hoping that over time my feelings would become less raw and I would be able to make casual conversation because past events would seem so distant.
Some people are being really harsh!
Please Go to parents evening for your sons sake.
It's going to be hard but your son is worth it.
Separate appointments are fine but tricky to manage for your son. It's not un common though and as a teacher I have never judged a parent for doing this, I don't alway know the history of someone's relationship (is it's not come up as safeguarding or as a issue for the child) and it's not my job to judge them on it. My job is to give feedback on their child's progress.
Small talk is awkward, talk to your son. This will get easier over time, it has to. For your sons sake.
I hope whatever you decide, it works out for the best.
Please don't miss it, you are only going to regret it. X
The thing is though it doesn't sound like your ex is going to give you the apology you want. Ever. So you will not go to parents evening for year 8 through to year 13? Or if you do go you won't sit together? If he goes to uni and graduates you won't sit together. Won't sit on the top table at his wedding? You need to do it now so that it doesn't get worse each year. It would be shit for your son. I'm sure this is not what you want to hear, but you need to go and put a brace face on for 3 hours. It will be over and then you go home, drink wine and have a cry if you need one.
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