I’m now fourteen years in to school parent life. Not surprisingly, I’ve seen a lot of change in that time. My three kids have made (and said goodbye to) numerous school friends. We’ve experienced the varying approaches of umpteen teachers. We’ve changed schools. And yes, I’ve met many different types of school parent over the years. Most of us don’t like being stereotyped. And writing something like this is probably similar to producing horoscopes: logically most people will match at least one of the boxes! The fact is though, I have genuinely spotted all these types of school parent at some point or another over the years. I think it’s safe to say most parents do fall into a certain category.
So if you fancy a giggle (or just the chance to match parents you know with some of the following types of school parent) then read on. Maybe you’ll even recognise yourself in this list!
1. The Interrogator
Asks more questions in an hour’s orientation meeting than an entire class of students does in a whole school year. If the Spanish Inquisition were around today, this parent could ‘out question’ them. You can almost hear the teacher’s eyes roll back in their sockets at the continual interruption to be asked about things that have already been fully explained in the 1) meeting 2) notes they’re holding 3) orientation email everyone received. For. Goodness. Sake.
2. The Couple Everyone Loves (and wants to be)
New to the school. Genuinely lovely people (ugh). They both exude warmth and are – somehow – always smiling, even if they’re having a bad day. (Hang on, do these two ever have a bad day?) They also seem to have bags of time on their hands as they are often seen (usually hand in hand), dropping off and picking up their darling cherubs. Every kid wants a playdate with their kid, every teacher instantly adores them …every mum wants a coffee date with the mum, every dad wants to play golf with the dad.
3. The ‘My-Kid My-Kid!’ Parent
“Can you provide more PE lessons for the kids who are better at sports?” “Tommy will need extra homework as he’s more advanced”. “Will the school add even more after-school activities for the more gifted children?” For real?! Let’s be clear: the “my kid my kid!” parent doesn’t ask such questions in order to get actual information. Nope, they just need to show all the other parents that their child is special. Be warned. This school parent tramples over other children without a second thought if it will benefit their own precious offspring. Almost knocking another parent out of the way to get to the front of the queue for after-school activities enrolment? Tick. Quietly grabbing the last slot at that party venue they overheard two other parents discussing at the gates? Tick. Taking the drama teacher aside to explain why their child should get the lead role in the school play? Tick.
4. Ice Queen / King
Looks right past you when you attempt to smile or say hello. They will never know who you are despite both of you having kids in the same class for the last bloody five years. Worse, they haven’t the faintest idea who your kid is either.
5. Too Cool for School
Happy to make an effort chatting to people at the gates, this parent is sociable but has long given up on getting close to anyone after being burned a few times. Feels like it’s all rather hard work mixing with the melé. Some may think them a bit aloof but this parent has simply learned the art of self preservation by avoiding the cliques and making most of their friends outside school.
6. The Old Timer
Typical characteristics are friendly, approachable and helpful for the genuine good of the school and not for any personal agenda. These types of school parent have been around the block a few times with kids of various ages at the school. There is no smug ‘Been There Done That Got the Tshirt’ aura emanating from this one. They are just a genuine good egg.
7. The Calculated Networker
Beware of this charmer. First name: Super. Last name: Popular. An absolute pro at schmoozing their way into mutually beneficial social circles. Knows everyone and has sized up all the other parents in terms of wealth, job and useable connections by the end of day bell. Cleverly ‘recruits’ BFFs for their kids, usually based on who the BFF’s parents are. And wouldn’t you just know it…by the end of the first week, the families are doing Sunday pub lunch, the dads are best buds and the mums are planning a girls’ trip. The calculated networker moves onto the next job posting in a new city or country and deftly does the same all over again at the next school. What. A. Pro.
8. The “Wait…I Have Kids?!” Parent
This lesser spotted species of parent is MIA as they usually send their child on the school bus or with the nanny so you never get a chance to get to know them. They’re never at sports day or concerts. The nanny is though. They don’t help with homework. Another member of staff does that. Playdates? The nanny’s there… And then you find out it’s not because the MIA parent is a busy working mum or dad. Rumour has it they just don’t like the erm parenting part of parenting. Ouch.
9. The Non Participator
Wouldn’t mind offering the odd day here and there for school trip attendance or reading assistance but has enough trouble fitting in mother/household duties never mind fitting in all that malarkey too! This type of school parent is quite frankly relieved when the bell rings for the last time on the last day of the school year. Does any of this sound familiar…?
10. The Frazzled One
Looks permanently stressed, even when not stressed and actually having a good day! Totally struggles Monday to Friday to get anything constructive done beyond grocery shopping and occasionally hoovering the house. This type of school parent genuinely wonders how on earth others manage to help out at school and get stuff done in the the six hours between drop off and pick up.
Not to be confused with:
11. The Frightened Deer
Looks more worried than their own kids the first day (week…month…term) of school. Extremely quiet and hardly anyone knows their name nor they anybody else’s. It’s like they are there but not there. They literally look like an animal caught in headlights, the poor deer, I mean dear.
12. Queen Bee
Ah…there is nothing, N-O-T-H-I-N-G let me tell you that this woman (yep it’s usually a female) is not involved in. Every school event, reading day, library help, school trip, concert, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g…they are right there at the forefront. Unlike the Seasoned Old Timer (who has no ego-driven reasons for helping out and simply wants to do their bit for the betterment of their child’s school) Queen Bee sees herself as crucial to the smooth running of the entire establishment. Don’t you know the entire school would fall apart without her?! Woe betide anyone who tries to ‘steal the show’…you know, by just trying to do their bit too.
13. The Not-My-Kid Not-My-Kid Parent
Extremely competitive, this parent will not even entertain the thought that their precious little cherub could possibly bully and intimidate their way throughout the day or entire school life. Ironic considering this school parent’s very mission is to raise masters of the universe and heaven help anyone who gets in their way. It doesn’t matter how many times this parent is contacted by the school regarding their child’s behaviour which violates the school’s code of conduct. It is always the other child’s fault. Funnily enough, this parent will not hesitate to wave the same code of conduct in the Head’s face when it suits them.
14. The Go With The Flow One
And finally, the one I’d love to be. They are neither the tiger parent you wish really became extinct like the animal that gave its name nor the frazzled one; they’re just über calm and laid back. They are neither popular nor unpopular; they are just happy with their circle. They’re neither over-involved nor totally detached; they just do enough. Zen. All the way. And just look at those happy kids.
On a serious note, different types of school parent as we all are, there is one thing that unites us. That is our love for our kids…yep, even those Queen Bees without whom the whole operation probably wouldn’t run as smoothly!
You might also like the fabulous 9 Different Types of Parents at the Playground by the hugely talented Talya of Motherhood The Real Deal.
Most of those fall under the category of the PTA parents here in my small town. I am the go with flow parent. I have no need to be popular or be rewarded for how many cakes I bake…especially since I don’t bake lol. Another great post from the fab Prabs! Thanks for sharing with #momsterslink! Hope to see you again tomorrow!
Thanks Honey for reading. Yep you seem very go with the flow. Love ya. #momsterslink
I’m hoping for old timer, but who knows! Thank you for a much needed laugh. (Again!) #bestandworst
Awww and thanks again for the feedback. #bestandworst
Great post, I am yet to know which type of parent I am at school, I guess I’ll find out next year! Eek, I hope I’m a combination of a few though if I’m honest. Thanks for linking up to the #bestandworst see you again! 🙂 x
Ha ha I think we’re all composites of a few perhaps. Thanks for hosting again love.
Ha! Love it. I feel FRAZZLED just thinking about my future at the School gates.:)
lol! Nah you’ll be fine. It’s just a bit of fun (mixed in with truth!!)
I think I’m a mixture of several of these! Mainly stressed mum, friendly mum I think! Great post, #fridayfrolics
lol well I think we’re allowed to be stressed. Only human and all that. Thanks for reading.
Oooh, yes, we definitely have some of these types at our school. I had an encounter with an ice queen earlier this week actually. Stood around talking with a group of mums from my daughter’s class (Year one) at pick up and she asked me what year my children were in! I spoke to her so many times last year in reception, I couldn’t believe it! Not sure which one I am. Some days the frazzled mum, but I’d like to be a 14 too! #fridayfrolics
Oh to be 14 lol. I was angry mum fetching my son from a party today to be honest!! Good days and bad days (although I also bumped into an ice queen today who tried to walk straight past as if she’d not seen me. C’est la vie.)
I’ve seen them all. Why is it the ice queen bugs me so much. Is it really that hard to smile?! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics
And how can she not smile at you luvvie?!! Thanks for hosting #FridayFrolics
Great post! I think I am a mixture of 10 & 11 🙂
Visiting from your linky #momsterslink 🙂
Can’t believe I haven’t commented yet! I love the gifs!! I wonder who I’ll be and what it will be like in Dubai compared to school in the UK which I remember!
lol probably more chilled I think. And yes can’t believe you’ve not commented (joking). The gifs were a laugh to do x
I’m wary about diving into my daughter’s school and volunteering. First time for us…ill keep an eye out for a few of these. Great post
lol glad to be of service!
HAHA! Love this! I think I’ll be number 10 … 😐 P.s. loveeeee that you’ve featured a Real Housewife in this 🙂 See you next to next week 😉 #BabyBrainMonday x
Oooh which one?! Me?!!
I was mentally categorising people I know as I read this Prabs! Can definitely see bits of myself here and there too. It’s all a bit of a minefield isn’t it this school playground business. And to think I’ve got to go through it all again with another child!! Thanks for linking up this week hon Xx #thetruthabout
oh it worked? lol. didn’t think it linked. thanks for reading.
I just had a lot of fun slotting the parents from my daughter’s school in to the categories! There were a few parents I couldn’t figure out before, but after reading this post I’ve managed to! I’d like to say I’m number 14 but possibly come across more like number 4?! I need to work on that! Thanks for making me laugh so much 🙂
Awww glad you liked it!
Love this post, very funny probably because it’s true! I will soon find out in a couple years. : )
Good luck with that!! Yes you may have it all to come…
Haha, loved this !
I’m surrounded by 3s, and 12s, and loads of MIAs
I don’t think I’ve ever come across a ” Frightened Deer ” in London !
The calculated networkers don’t even bother to be charming here – They
just openly network.
I think you should have put your photo under 14 instead. ( just saying )
Awww thanks mate. Lol no frightened deers in London. And thanks for that lovely last line x
As a teacher, I loved this as I can identify lots of these even though me children have not even started school yet! And it makes me absolutely know which one I want to be – #14 obvs – though I imagine I’ll be more akin to #10! Thanks for co-hosting #effitfriday 🙂
Sending you the positive #14 vibes. Thanks for reading. #effitfriday
I certainly aspire to be the “go with the flow one” but on a good day I’m Too Cool for School, a bad day the Frazzled One and everyone else probably has me down as the Non Participator (I did try and participate, once. It didn’t go well.) I’ve definitely been lured in by the calculated networker though.
lol I get you totally.
Ive been there, Inwas probably the too cool for school mum. Not that I am cool, far from it, but I found the whole socila clique thing a bit much. #effitfriday
yep I know what you mean love. #effitfriday
Haha. Wonder which I’ll be? Based on my usual record of interactions with others, I’ll be 11 but people will mistake it for 4! #effitfriday
lol all I can say is good luck!
Haha! I am constantly back and forth between 5, 9, and 14. My kids’s schools are complicated. My oldest is in middle school so the parents are less active and my youngest switched schools last year and I’m still trying to get to know other parents because last year I had a really hectic job that kept me from participating. it’s also kind of an uppity area, which makes it difficult too because I’m not an uppity kind of person. Love this! Visiting from #effitfriday
I can’t stand uppityness! Thanks my dear. #effitfriday
Very good – i’d like to think I am a blend of 5, 6 and 14 #effitfriday
Oooooh I like you!
Oh dear, you just gave me a glimpse of my future! At least you made it humorous. I doubt it always feels that way! #effitfriday
Great post 🙂 I’m not even a parent and I still recognise most of these types lol. Thanks for hosting #effitfriday
lol in a way we meet them throughout life (actually I must amend the post to say that!!). Thanks for stopping by my loyal follower you.
Love this post! I’m not at that stage yet but can see it all coming on the horizon. Sharing it now wifey xx #effitfriday
I wish we were at the same school. We’d just spend the WHOLE time drinking coffee having a giggle about some of these erm types. Thanks for the share my love.
Haha love this and accompanying gifs. Just trying to figure out what parent I’ll be when the time comes! #effitfriday
I’ve read your blog. You’ll be chilled girl x