It wasn’t until my little guy started preschool that I understood the term ‘parental politics’.
It’s been a tough year of adjusting for him and I guess myself, settling into not only a new suburb but also the politics of school and what comes with it.
Now I know this post will possibly cause issues and have some people question me and perhaps themselves, but let me first explain that this is not only based on my experiences, but also those of friends who are in similar situations to myself. I’m not ‘attacking’ anyone nor is this about anyone in particular.
I have approx 5 close friends who also have 3 year old boys. Not all my friends live in the same area as myself, majority of the group live approx an hour away from me so I can’t say situations are aroused from certain suburbs?
I guess I never quite understood the ‘cliquy’ groups and for most of my life I’ve never been part of them. I have no aspirations to be accepted as part of those groups. I am my own person and don’t mind to be outcast. I’m an individual and I guess if you don’t like me for who I am, that’s your issue. I’m happy with myself and you either accept me for who I am or don’t. What intrigues me though is the battle of being accepted by others. Why do people feel they ‘need’ to be part of something?
As a qualified counsellor I would assume that the ‘need’ is derived from the lack of inner security, lack of self confidence and perhaps the ‘want’ to be accepted into something that in their own mind is ‘better’ or ‘cool’.
I had a recent conversation with a girlfriend who is having issues with her little ones preschool. Well not so much the preschool but the parents of the other children at the school. She explained that some of the mothers at drop off dont even acknowledge others that they basically ignore you unless you are their ‘friend’. I thought this type of behaviour ended when we left high school? Evidently not.
My friend went on to explain that her little guy has been at this particular preschool for over a year now and has had the same children in his class for the most part and he attends 3 days per week. 3 days I feel is a decent amount of time and he has made good friendships with his peers, so why can’t the mothers take the time to simply say ‘hello’ or even smile and acknowledge the other mothers?
My friend seems to think that as these mothers have known each other for many years, they must feel like there is no need to be polite to strangers? But are you a stranger if you see each other every week and your children are friends at the same school that they attend 3 days per week? Really?
This behaviour to me is juvenile and crazy. I don’t know the majority of the children’s parents at my sons preschool, however I’m still polite and say hello to them and or smile to acknowledge them at either drop off or pick up. It’s really not that hard. I quite often ask them how they are and have conversations also. Is that strange? Am I the only one that thinks this is polite or perhaps common courtesy?
I’m not trying to be best friends I’m just being polite. There is an old saying about a smile is contagious and may just be what another person needs to brighten their day. It’s not hard.
Another friend has previously passed comment that the other mothers have said that she is not ‘their cup of tea’. Seriously? You now have to be a particular type of person in order to be acknowledged or spoken too?
I’ve also heard from another friend that there are a particular ‘group’ of mothers that are really quite social and often do ‘coffee’ or ‘catch ups’ with each other and have also been out in public at a cafe when another preschool mum who isn’t part of the ‘group / gang’ has walked into the same cafe and was completely ignored.
This type of behaviour leaves me dumbfounded. How would ‘these’ people like it if there were ignored or outcast?
When my little guy first started preschool I knew no one from the preschool. My husband and I chose to send him to that particular one as we had heard nothing but great feedback from parents that we had met in the local parks about the centre, then when we visited the site, we were extremely impressed with the centre and his class teacher was amazing. So friendly and caring. Although she has since left the centre to start her own business in family day care, she still babysits for us on quite a regular basis and we catch up socially.
His teacher was lovely and friendly towards us from day one. It did take me a bit to make friends with the other mothers, however I have made a couple of good friends from the centre.
I remember the first day I met a really lovely mother from the centre. She has a daughter in my little guys class. I was approx 7 months pregnant it was about half way through the year and it was a Mother’s Day afternoon tea. This lovely mother came up and introduced herself to me. We got along really well and have pretty much been friends since. I perhaps should have made more of an effort to ‘get to know’ the other parents prior to that, but I was having a tough time trying to get my little man settled. He didn’t enjoy preschool at that point and every morning was a ‘battle’ trying to get him there. He was and still is a ‘mummy’s boy’.
This mother saw that I didn’t know anyone and she went out if her way to make me feel welcome and I guess part of the preschool community.
Why do some parents feel they need to be mean to others?
Do they have to ‘look’ a certain way to be accepted?
Do you need to have gone to a particular school?
Perhaps live in a particular suburb or street?
Maybe you need to have some sort of career?
It’s like they feel they are superior?
But why? At the end of the day, we are all people. Why ignore or outcast someone ‘just because’?
Have you experienced anything like this?
Email me, I’d love to hear your stories.