11+ applications - dealing with other boasty parents!(32 Posts)
So I've already got another thread here about the competitive environment that North London is, and this brings me to another issue - other parents!
We are in islington so no grammar schools but heaps of people apply for the handful of selective state schools elsewhere that we are eligible to apply for. The results have started coming in and already I have had a few mums approach me to share the news of how well their DC have done. This will be repeated in February once the private school exams are over.
Any strategies for just brushing it off? Or just coming to terms with it?
How about 'Oh that's great news you must be so proud'?
I do not believe in grammar schools so my child will be going to a comprehensive school, usually stops the conversation on their child's success or otherwise.
"Oh well done-that's wonderful!"
Repeat for the next 5 years.
Yes, I have been just smiling and saying how wonderful, etc. - through gritted teeth! Btw, I am not saying that there is anything wrong with sharing your dc's successes, but in this context it just gets a bit much.
There's nothing else for it I'm afraid. Smile - say well done then excuse yourself.
People should really keep this stuff for close friends and family, not the playground.
Just to warn you, my ds is in year 11, and last week I got a head tilting "And how is he doing?" in Morrisons!
Its a long term game. At 11 they have another decade of education.
So sit back and remind yourself that all sorts of skills are needed to become a sucessful functioning adult. And sucess at 11 is not more than an indicator of sucess further down the line. DD is 18 and took till about 15 to find herself academically. Her Fb feed is currently flooded with pictures of Oxford matriculation, not always the ones you would have predicted at 11. Whilst the girl who got a full house of 11+ acceptances, with Heads of sought after schools phoning the mother to try to pursuade her their school would be the right choice (in contrast my DD was delighted to get two offers despite having sat for 7 so I was relaxed about hearing about other people's child geniae) is headed for a good University, but top 10 rather than top tier.
Its weird looking back. There have been a few casulties along the way: anxiety, drugs, teenage rebellion etc, and though there are still a few alpha mums preening about Oxbridge/Ivy most of us are simply relieved to have got through secondary and onto the next stage.
I was one of those mums I'm afraid, I just couldn't help it, I was soooo proud of his 6 offers and 3 academic scholarships. I think I might have lost a few friends looking back Now 2 years down the line and DS is just about coming to terms with the reality of being very average in a selective school, when he was easily top of his class in primary. DD on the other hand has just started in a state comprehensive and is so much happier.
Would it help (is it possible) to think of them as so proud/relieved/excited that they can't hold it in, rather than anything more unpleasant? If not then just knock back some
It sounds pretty mean to me to boast like that.
My DS has passed. I have only spoken to friends who have asked me about it. A good friend of DS is really suffering as he thought he'd pass and hasn't and I'm really feeling for the other kids and their parents. Believe me I'd love to sing it from the rooftops as he passed by a long way without a tutor and is obviously brighter than we realised! However, I'm quite happy to celebrate the news with the people I can!.
I was actually mortified when someone congratulated me rather loudly at parents evening and didn't even tell the teacher. Thats a whole other subject though!
Oh how I agree with admission. I live in a grammar school county and have watched the distress caused over the years by 'passing' and 'failing'. But five years after the children have left school it is surprising what some of them have achieved--or not. Hooray for Comprehensives.
Just smile and say ''that's nice'' and be extra nice to any that were not successful.
I have had so much head tilting faux sympathy over the past 5 years that I am so hoping ds's GCSE results are good enough for the local paper........
if they are, the September 2017 Book Club meeting will be sheer, unadulterated joy.
This is a delicate balance. When my DS passed the 11 + obviously I was thrilled for him. However I had to get lots of passive aggressive comments from a couple of mothers who had felt their sons would pass for sure (and didn't) about how it was " all right for those who could afford tutoring"
Actually ds had 2 lessons in how to do the type of test Something you could have done with bond tests from WH Smith at the time (and exactly what one of the mums of a girl who passed did) I didn't feel comfortable doing this as English is not my 1st language so I paid for the 2 lessons.
So it does go both ways. You are not allowed to be proud of your child doing well as it is seem as boasting. DS also left with 6's in SATs I only told 1 friend as I was so worried about what others would say if I did. So for the mothers of the children who pass it is also a bit of a minefield.
As it is now in Y10 he is thriving in the grammar school he went to (we live in a Grammar School area - Not selective schools) For him it was absolutely the right place to go.
I was/am genuinely interested in how other people are doing. I have always been pleased and impressed when children do well. I'd hate to have friends keep things from me, or leave me out of conversations because they thought I would be upset. But, I have always been satisfied with my own children's progress, so I don't feel particularly sensitive.
Just smile and say congratulations. There are boasty parents at all stages of schooling.
To help deal with it, try and remember that kids come into their own educationally at various different stages .
Bertrand I so understand your position! But I am afraid that the feeling that your DS is not somehow as clever as theirs will always remain in their minds --however brilliantly he does in the future. ''I did not know he had it in him'' was a comment I have heard about a boy who later did very well after 'failing' by a years before 'passing' parent
Why do you mind? I used to love to get the gossip, used to love hearing about children I had known for seven years doing well. I loved staring at the parents boasting at me and thinking "Aren't you boasting? Good for you". If they didn't, I'd ask. Boasting makes life more interesting. If everyone behaved in a tactful, privy srhouded English way I'd shoot myself out of boredom.
I am not saying that there is anything wrong with sharing your dc's successes
That is exactly what you are saying.
So glad we don't have this in Scotland, sounds stressful!
My biggest problem with schools selection at the end of primary was the number of comments that slipped out from parents revealing that they believed local non-selective schools, the ones that 90% of year six were going to, were outright unthinkable for their child. One parent whose child was going to a private school said she didn't want to go private but 'felt like she had no choice'. That's what got to me and made me feel awful, the fact that my choices for my child struck horror into the hearts of other parents.
This reminds me of one of my mum's 'friends'. My dad's a doctor and she was a colleagues wife, she had 3 kids - 2 became doctors and one became a lawyer. She lived a couple of doors down from us and never missed the opportunity to express her 'concern' at the academic progress of me and my younger bro.
My mum is really lovely and refused to rise to it but I know she didn't like it. Fast forward a few years and I'm visiting home from uni (NOT studying medicine or law!) and she came over when mum was out - told me she was glad I was making something of myself but she couldn't help but be concerned about my db who was 17 at the time. I told her in no uncertain terms that neither myself nor my db were her concern, and she should focus on her own family and stop obsessing over ours.
I live in a grammar school area & I have DS at a grammar and DD at a secondary modern. I also work for a multi-academy trust which contains both grammar and secondary moderns. All our local schools are great, thankfully - but in my experience grammar does not necessarily mean better, either in terms of how the school is run, or what suits each child. My DD is much happier at school than my DS and Is thriving academically. Now when I hear friends' 11 plus tales, I just smile and congratulate them, and think to myself, be careful what you wish for.
Last year was a minefield. DD passed with flying colours her eleven plus tests but some family members were very anti grammar and anti testing. I remember Christmas at our house - being reprimanded by in-laws for daring to put our daughter through such an 'awful experience'. DD waded in herself and I was so proud with her measured response of loving tests, liking a particular school, having been prepared to give it a go at the very least and having learnt a lot of lessons on the way. In-laws argued for the comp they sent their Dcs to - when DH argued that they were hypocrites as they had moved into catchment so had in effect bought the school places - so DD's test was nothing compared to that. Not the most relaxing family gathering! . DD is happy in her school, thriving, all that a parent hopes for with a school. When it came to September and we posted the first day of term picture I got loads of friends saying why didn't you say earlier she had done so well - sometimes you can't win in how you communicate or avoid communicating a good eleven plus result.
Ungrit your teeth.
They have done well , within the options they chose , to try for selective.
Any head-tilting, horror at other people's choices (or especially lack of choices) etc is the BAD behavior. It is possible to be pleased for people whose options have worked out as they hoped, and / or as they worked for, while balking at sneery , superior behaviour.
Won't you be delighted when / if you get your hoped for first preference non-selective school?
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