Kids are cute but the Parents are cuter. I attended a school orientation for parents yesterday and it was amusing. I am going to share my observations about different types of parents with you. Read how this began…
The Google Meet links were sent a few days back by the teacher. The parents WhatsApp groups were buzzing with activity after a brief lull due to summer vacations. The parents WhatsApp groups are mostly dominated by moms with a couple of fathers for gender diversity. The admin is always one enterprising mother who is proactive, makes a group and magically adds parents the minute section is announced. Just like Harry Potter received his letter to Hogwarts out of the blue I too received a group invitation for KG-C. I accepted without batting an eyelid. The admin acts as the messenger and knows it all. I feel genuinely grateful to such moms because I certainly lack the drive and enthusiasm.
So last evening at 7pm the parents of Kg-C had their online orientation with Class teachers, headmistress and subject teachers. No, this was not my first online meet. We have done a few already thanks to being socially distant in 2020. The time slot was specially selected to accommodate the working parents with fixed office hours. Here are my observations of a typical online orientation-
- Ideal Parents– will log in before time, greet the teachers and switch off their mikes. They know what they are doing. Maybe they have an older child and they know the drill.
- Frantic Parents- will frantically ask in the WhatsApp group last minute for the link. Admin is always there to help.
- Confused Parents-will attend with their kids even when the school mentioned clearly that it is an orientation for parents only. They will nudge their child to speak loudly and wish all the teachers.
- The Teacher who is a Parent– will keep announcing “Please switch off your mikes and cameras Dear Parents so that we can begin”. Most people will not listen. Children follow directions easily sometimes than adults. You can sense the frustration in her voice masked by mandatory politeness. Only if she could put her hand in the screen and pull some ears! The headmistress is attending and a good impression counts.
- Parents who dress to impress-Some parents will be well dressed and some will look like they are attending a pyjama party.
- Careless Parents-There will be some children attending the session with parents hovering in the background.
- Not So Tech-savvy Parents– sometimes you will see people with the weirdest email names, weird body parts facing the camera and looking clueless. Some don’t understand how online meetings work. Teachers will mute them by force.
- Poor Connectivity Parents– some have a poor internet connection and they keep logging-in and out.
- Venue and Parents– Some people will have a really good background like a study room or a fancy living room. You will also find someone plopped on the bed suffocating a pillow without realising that camera is on. Comfort comes first in parenting.
- Ambitious Parents- Some parents will have a million questions end of the session. They know the syllabus by heart and very worried about the emotional, educational and physical development of their child. Their child in kindergarten can already write, read and ahead of the prescribed syllabus but it is still not enough.
- Worried Parents-Some parents will ask questions not related to the session like “ Madam my daughter does not listen and wants to watch cartoon all day”!
- Enterprising Parents-Some parents will demand regular homework and assignments and activities because they are paying the school fees. They don’t understand boundaries and message and call teachers after school hours.
- Indebted Parents– Some parents will shower praises and show extra love for the teachers and headmistress by writing appreciation messages in the group chat since their mikes are turned off. This starts a chain of thank you messages since other parents don’t want to feel left behind. Bachhe ke future liye kuch bhi karega!
- Analytical Parents– after the orientation is over The chat begins on parents WhatsApp group. Some parents are happy and some don’t approve of the new online system but they don’t say it during orientation because Bachhe ke liye kuch bhi karega!
- Silent Parents-Some parents join on time, switch off the mike and camera, observe, make notes if needed and are a bit laidback. They probably have an older child so they know it’s not worth the stress. They remain the same in WhatsApp groups also.
So which type of Parent are you? I think we all have evolved from different avatars and learn through our Parenting journey.
Dear Teachers Thank you for doing what you do. Learning new skills, adopting new skills to teach, bearing with us and making this school session fun. Dear Parents Don’t stress! ‘Sab ho Jayega.’ !Let’s do our best and make sure our little ones are happy.
All the best. Let’s attend together and make Back to School Fun!!!