Read Chapter 8 “The Networking”
The Different Groups of Parents
30 Nov. 2018
When you are a parent on daily school runs over the years, you will inevitably encounter various groups of parents. During my school runs career, I’ve managed to identify the following groups:
• Mean parents (Christina is the queen bee of that group) – they take enormous pleasure at making other parents feel uncomfortable. They usually try to be the best at everything and anything such as cooking, arts and crafts, organising the best playdates and B-day parties (most expensive as well), the best “friend”, and the most devoted parent to the school community… and on and on it goes.
No one can ever best the mean parents and if anyone ever tries an avalanche of nasty judgment comes rolling. Because whatever you do it will never be good enough for them. The mean gang will always judge you harshly and then talk about you behind your back.
• Passive-aggressive parents (I already covered that extensively) – a lot of them are proud members of the mean parents’ group. It’s easy to recognise a passive-aggressive parent; they can often be seen in the mornings not replying to the morning greetings. If I say “Good morning”, nothing comes back. However, at times, as if by the touch of a magic wand, they reply and sometimes they even want to have a small talk. However, it’s always hard to say when that will happen and what triggers the sudden “friendliness”, but it never lasts longer than a few days.
• ‘Poor me’ parents – those parents are fucking draining. Life is always just one big drama for them. Whatever happens, they take it all out of proportion, often turning the smallest incidents into a big monstrous catastrophe. Some of them stay ‘friends’ with other parents for as long as that people/person is willing to give unconditionally; when the giving stops, they move on to another victim.
• Wealthy parents with shit lots of money that everyone wants to be friends with. Of course, there are many mystical gossips about them circling the school. The school management usually tries to “encourage” them to help out the school financially as much as possible. At times it works, but often it doesn’t. I usually try to stay away from that kind of people. Keeping up with their spending ratio isn’t for humble mortals.
• Parents who like to mix it up – this group of parents is pretty dishonest towards other parents, often using others for their sick petty political games. They usually want to become more “influential”; yes, you read that right, influential in the school community. You would be surprised how many parents practice politics at the drop-offs and pick-ups. You cannot trust those people, because they are internally dishonest and unethical, always representing their own interest only, whatever that interest may be. However, they aren’t as mean as the mean parents, because they have to keep up appearances. They try to be helpful and friendly, but all that “generosity” is interest led only.
• ‘The school and the community come first’ – those parents are always ready and willing to help the school. I think I tried to be part of this group. This is a fucking time-consuming job that is undervalued and underappreciated. Your life, aspirations and ambitions are put aside. Because you are so consumed with everything that goes on in the school that very little energy is devoted to your career or life outside of the school. Not worth it.
• The parents who don’t give a shit – usually the parents with high-flying careers, who just come and go, and don’t really talk to anyone’ cos they don’t give a shit or simply feel too important to talk to the little folks.
• The selfish parents – talk only about themselves and pay attention to their own needs only, disregarding everyone else; at times even put their own needs ahead of their children’s’. You would be surprised to see how many of those people exist within the school community. I am.
• Attention seekers – those parents behave erratically and try to be as controversial as possible, often getting involved in other people’s business, sometimes even breaking relationships. They are ready to do anything for the sake of getting a bit of attention.
• The helpful parents – usually try to help as much as possible, often attracting the “poor me parents” who feed off their good, upbeat, positive attitude and energy. Those poor souls are forever givers, asking for not much in return.
All these groups mentioned above are divided into smaller sub-groups.
In a daily school reality, all of those groups mix, trying to “peacefully” co-exist within the school community while at the same time attempting to gain in importance and prominence. Honestly, the high school is back in session the moment you enter the school runs game.
I must say that, at various times in my life, I’ve been “friends” with parents from different groups. It took me a long time to settle at mine ‘The school and the community come first’ parents group, which I decided to leave anyway.
Since Jim moved out and officially started dating my mortal enemy, I lost interest in building or even being part of the school community.
The fact that my life, as I knew it, is over and not even one of the so-called community members asked me if I was ok. or perhaps if I needed any help. It made me realise that most of those people are fucking full of shit posers with no empathy or compassion behind the facade.
Luckily, I still have my girls, and we are a very exclusive club that no one else is allowed in.