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Angelo Angelo is offline
 
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Angelo
 
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High Maintenance Parents
Old 10-29-2017, 06:07 PM
 
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In some professions, they call it the 80/20 rule. It says that you’re likely to spend 80% of your time on 20% of your clientele.

I always find myself asking why high-maintenance parents aren’t embarrassed by the number of e-mails they send to teachers / counselors / admins in a week or the number of phone calls they make. I have a few theories:

1. High-maintenance people are so oblivious and self-absorbed they have no sense of what is normal in terms of school contact. On the rare occasion they ever spare a thought for anyone else, they just sort of assume everyone else is firing off daily e-mails and leaving several voicemail messages a week.

2. High-maintenance parents can’t see themselves as others see them. They labor under the delusion that being obsessive and demanding really comes across as being caring, committed, and involved.

3. High-maintenance parents live a state of irrational fear and anxiety. Just as they see every skinned knee as a possible case of flesh-eating bacteria, every setback or disappointment as a debilitating, irrevocable trauma, and every less-than-perfect mark as an impediment to their child’s future that must be fixed immediately.

4. High-maintenance parents are brazen narcissists who see their children as an extension of themselves. They couldn’t care less how their constant demands for attention from the school come across, because, dang it, their kid is SPECIAL and WORTH IT and if the school doesn’t like the constant phone calls and e-mails, well that’s just tough.

5. High-maintenance parents think persistence will pay off. If they become too exhausting to deal with, teachers and admins will simply cave and give them what they want — perfect GPA, starting quarterback, a spot on student council, the starring role in the school play, a transfer from the “mean teacher” to the “nice teacher,” etc., etc.

Here’s a rule of thumb you’d assume would be common sense. To figure out if you’re being high-maintenance, multiply the amount of contact you have with teachers / counselors / admins by the number of students that person works with in a term and then ask yourself if that number seems reasonable. For example, if you are writing three e-mails a week to a teacher who works with 150 students, multiply your three e-mails a week by 150. 450. If every student’s parent sent 3 e-mails a week, that’s 450 e-mails a week. Does that seem reasonable?

And I think we’ve all had the Detective Colombo parent. You remember how Colombo would go to leave a room then snap his fingers and say, “Oh... just one more thing...”? Well, what about the parent who thinks every e-mail exchange is an opening to a running, non-stop dialogue and who ALWAYS ends en e-mail with another question requiring a response or a “just one more thing...”? When the teacher sends you an e-mail saying your kid’s essay is overdue, he or she wants you to sit your kid in a chair and tell him or her to finish the damned essay. He or she isn’t trying to initiate a long e-mail thread about adolescent angst or “what the essay question is really asking” or “whether there’s evidence that writing essays is really the best way for students to demonstrate their learning” or what the exact mathematical value is of the overdue essay in the students grade / GPA, etc, etc.


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Ruby tunes Ruby tunes is online now
 
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Exhausting parents
Old 10-29-2017, 09:13 PM
 
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I think you nailed them with numbers 4 and 5. And they DON'T CARE if they rudely and repeatedly inconvenience anyone else. I wish you could write what you wrote here on a laminated card with the heading, "Which One Are You?" And then hand or send that card to such high maintenance parents! You could tell them it's to speed up any communication between parent and teacher, as at least you'll know right away what kind of nonsense to expect.
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yet to experience
Old 10-30-2017, 02:34 AM
 
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Having taught middle school to high school students, I've never had these helicopter parents yet. Maybe one day, I'll be lucky, ! I wonder if they're actually worse than parents who could care less, the absentee or ghost parent/guardian. Sounds to me like they got too much time on their hands too. Would these parents actually feel more satisfied if they have a face to face with you?
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Old 10-30-2017, 02:44 AM
 
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I had a real old school principal in 1985. He had a parent come in bching about the grade on the report card. He said "Miss so%so, what grade would you like little Bosco to have, we can change it to that right now." She had no reply. I wasn't there but THEN knew he was a good guy. Same guy told the kitchen to make a big pot of soup for the day it last snowed good in north central Fla. cause they were all going outside to play in the snow. A teacher told him her shoes were wrong for snow so he said "go home and get some that work"
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You are always spot on...
Old 10-30-2017, 06:35 AM
 
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I keep emails as documentation for PT log. 1 have 1 parent who not only emails me a few times a day, but often she starts w/ a new message. It would not be so annoying if she kept it in a same long running email.She fits under your "oblivious" parent though. At least she is just sort of dingy.


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Old 10-30-2017, 06:59 AM
 
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Quote:
...the parent who thinks every e-mail exchange is an opening to a running, non-stop dialogue and who ALWAYS ends en e-mail with another question...
I HATE this parent. Some of them are perfectly nice people who are starved for adult interaction and think I’m their new friend. Ugh.
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