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Would it be mean of me to ask?

(18 Posts)
CrazyOldCatLady Thu 20-Feb-14 16:34:18

My mother is a retired teacher and visits a couple of schools local to her every so often to do storytelling with the younger classes.

When DD moved to the toddler room in creche, mum rang the owner and arranged to go there every so often to tell stories in DD's room. It happens every few weeks and the staff and kids love it.

I suspect that when DD starts school, mum will do the same thing again there.

Would it be terrible of me to ask her not to? I want DH and I to have a chance to form our own relationship with the school, without knowing that my mother is in and out of the staffroom.

We've always had a very difficult relationship; I suspect her of being a narcissist and in all honesty, intensely dislike the way she behaves sometimes. DH and I don't have great social skills and will find it hard to deal with the school in any case, without the potential embarrassment she could cause (as an example, she lied to NICU staff when DS was in there for a month and connived her way into having unlimited visiting for herself and my dad, which was against the ward rules and especially mortifying as the place was massively overcrowded at the time so there was bloody good reason to try and limit visitors).

Also, I hate the fact that she never tells me when she's been to the creche, even though I'd love to get a fly-on-the-wall perspective on what DD's like up there. But if we mention anything the creche staff have said about DD, she'll say yes, she knows about that, she saw her do this or that, or knows who her friends are, or whatever. There's always the feeling of games being played - she likes the power of knowing things we don't.

AIBU to just want to be left in peace to deal with our kids' school without her?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 20-Feb-14 16:36:51

Probably best to have a word with school rather than your Mum. Explain that she's a bit difficult, tends to take over, and I'm sure they'll twig on instantly and divert her to a different part of the school where her contribution will be so much more valuable... or some flannel like that.

MairzyDoats Thu 20-Feb-14 16:48:17

The thing is, if shes a bit narcissistic and you do ask, it's going to end badly, isnt it?

Sorcha1966 Thu 20-Feb-14 16:52:57

not mean, COMPLETELY reasonable. But I agree - tell school - in writing if necessary ....

Logg1e Thu 20-Feb-14 17:00:01

I had exactly the same thought, ask the school to veto any approach from your mother. You wouldn't even have to explain why.

Pippilangstrompe Thu 20-Feb-14 17:02:44

Definitely ask the school. Your mother is not going to take it well if you ask her not to. The school will deal with the situation better.

MummaMouse Thu 20-Feb-14 17:06:44

I agree, talk to the school. They'll soon put a stop to it.

onepieceoflollipop Thu 20-Feb-14 17:07:48

We had a similar situation with mil (she is a narcissist). she wanted access to the school for her own narcissistic reasons. we approached the HT and nearly had to remove our dcs. (happy to pm you but not to put more on here)
What might work in your situation is for you mother to not have access to the classes your dd is in. Howeve ime narcissists are often highly skilled in manipulation and pushing boundaries so this may not work. e.g. a supply teacher may not realise and you could find your mum manages to wangle herself into dd's room anyway.

Slipshodsibyl Thu 20-Feb-14 17:09:20

Quite often, schools have a policy where parent/family helpers help in classes other than their own children's to avoid problems which can arise. I expect they will be happy to oblige if you do as suggested above and go to he school first.

Notify Thu 20-Feb-14 17:28:54

Yes, I think you need to speak to the school rather than your mother. If she is playing games then she'll really enjoy that she's getting to you and do it anyway.

AFAIK there are no "rules" preventing a relative from volunteering with a child from their own family and I don't think it is normal to do that in all schools. IME most parents/relatives who volunteer do so to be involved in their DC's schooling and are therefore assigned to their child's class. However, I know that the head at our school isn't going to make trouble for himself so if a parent says they prefer that their own mother didn't volunteer in school he would just politely decline any offer she made.

For that reason though, you need to do it early. It will be much harder for him to say she's not wanted after he's already agreed that she can come IYSWIM.

onepieceoflollipop Thu 20-Feb-14 17:32:28

Yes and that is kind of what happened with us Notify. Mil led people to believe that we knew...we found out at a later stage and it got messy.

Biscuitsneeded Thu 20-Feb-14 17:35:50

It may be they won't let her in your Dd's class anyway. In my DC's primary, parent volunteers can't volunteer in their own children's classes - I imagine that rule would extend to grandparents, Probably worth just giving the school a small warning that if she approaches them they can just insist that this is the policy, and then if she's that keen to tell stories she can do it in anothe class and otherwise she won't bother.

Logg1e Thu 20-Feb-14 17:38:40

I think I'm right in understanding that the OP doesn't want the grandmother in the school at all.

Notify Thu 20-Feb-14 17:40:47

I think she's right to take that line Logg1e TBH

Once "in" especially if she's the kind of person who "can talk to anyone" she'll get whatever info she wants regardless of if she's actually in the child's class.

Logg1e Thu 20-Feb-14 17:48:11

Well me too Notify. My post was in response to the discussion about rules around which class you can volunteer with - seemed to be missing the point.

diamondlizard Thu 20-Feb-14 17:55:01

Oh op she sounds horribly controlling

I'd follow others advice and tell the school what you've just told us

I don't think your mean in the slightest

CrazyOldCatLady Thu 20-Feb-14 18:53:53

Thanks, folks. It's good to get outside perspective on things like this as I still find it hard to work out whether I'm completely misjudging her.

I think I'll have a word with the school when the time comes.

MushroomSoup Thu 20-Feb-14 19:04:55

I'm a Headteacher. You won't be the first person to bring in a request like this!

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