School, a new chapter in your parenting life
You have been through the sleepless nights and the toddler tantrums, just as you thought you would kiss the school playground tarmac when it came time for your child to go to school, now it is here, you are a bag of nerves and are unsure if you want your child to go yet. You can feel every ounze of seperation anxiety and you haven't even got there yet.
Well when you do, you best have more cunning flare with your tongue than a politician has, you are entering the territory where there are women that make alley cats look tame. You are pretty much back at school yourself, back with the bullies, the gossips, the liars, the haters and the scruffs and if you are lucky you may pull out the decent kind and genuine parents also. However, it is not the decent human beings that you need any training on. Those people in the school playground have etiquette and manners and rarely over step boundaries.
There are a few different stereotyped parents that you need to be careful of as you have to share the playground with these people for quite a few years.
The catty parent
This is one of the easiest to deal with in character wise. These people are usually so clique and hostile to anyone they don't already "hang" with, you wont usually even get a sentence out of these people, unless you do something that happens to bring attention to you in a negative way, like fall out with someone in one of the next categories. You may find they are friends with the person you fell out with and you will for ever get catty snidy looks or remarks. Just grin and bare it, eventually you will never have to see these people at some point.
The trouble causing gossip parent
This type of parent plays on the fact that you don't know anyone and will pretend to be your friend. They may even be so convincing that you lay your trust down with them. What ever you do, do not confide in these people at all. This type of parent quickly takes the fact that you may have mentioned that another parent said something mean about you or your child and before you know it, it has been turned in to a chinese whisper around the playground and in to something completely hostile, putting either you in a position where you are having to verbally or physically defend yourself, or if you have confided something about your child such as a bed wetting accident or a case of head lice, your child could end up being bullied as these type of parents don't care if a child or an adult hears them spreading their gossip. School yard tactics you may well remember from your own childhood.
The scruffy parent
This parent you may start off feeling sorry for, wondering why things are so bad that they and their children look so bedraggled. Then it starts to impede on your child and then your home. These families who have no hygiene level bring worms, ringworm, impetigo and other contagious diseases. I have purposely left out head lice in that although these kind of families are infuriating with the fact that when their children get head lice they do absolutely diddy squat about it, head lice or not a product of being un hygienic, as well a lot of us mummies already know, to our peril.
The School playground bully
If you thought it was just school children who were the school playground bullies, think again. There are some parents that walk around the playground acting worse than the children do. You look at them the wrong way, or they think you did, or if they think you look like an easy target, you will likely get grief off these fools.
Easy enough to deal with these right? I mean, if they hit you, you call the police and get them charged. Ok, be aware though that your actions provoke a reaction, usually from the school playground bullies' child towards your child. What can you do then? Well, if you find yourself in that situation you could go down the legal route, but you could also give them a good punch to the head, sure you could get away with one if they were seen to attack you first. There are always going to people you just want to punch square in the face, these bullies are those kind of people.
The over eager user parent
Oh you will be so happy when these parents first talk to you because you feel quite lonely when you stamnd in the school playground and you don't know anyone. Be warned however there is a breed of parent that will befriend you, with in days you have them stuck in your home and you can not get rid of them. Worse than that is they are constantly asking you for favours. If you find it hard to say no to people then these people quickly ride rough shod over you. Learn to keep your distance from parents until you really know them. If you are not weary of this kind of parent you could end up with their children and them around your house regulary.
I wish I could lie and tell you that it is lovely to go to the school playground but the truth is that most of us parents just stand there and it can't come fast enough when your children come out of school. The average day runs smoothly enough but the genre of parent mentioned above take a lot of fun out of your experience of being a parent of a schooling child.
The best tip is to keep your friends seperate to those you mix with at school as a parent. Be friendly but not inviting and keep chatter to unimportant chat, with no information that could be twisted or cause you or your child grief.
If you are very lucky you will be starting the whole school play ground lark the same time as some of your real friends and you can just stay near those parents.