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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

roadkillbunny Sun 18-Nov-12 23:13:47

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.

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!

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 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!

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>

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.

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.

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.

IShallWearMidnight Sun 18-Nov-12 15:05:49

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

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.

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 14:40:33

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.

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......

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!

Whistlingwaves Sun 18-Nov-12 00:02:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Whistlingwaves Sat 17-Nov-12 23:59:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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