Our kids are back in school and many of us are learning the ropes (i.e. politics) of the school yard. We’re learning to use our inside voices, temper frustration with the reality of 300 small kids in one place, stop and think before talking to the first person that walks into our kids classrooms.
Lots of other parents and I have been trading stories on the play ground for the last couple of weeks and wow have we learned some big lessons. Don’t get me wrong, these conversations will and often need to happen. But, on first impression, they may not go over so well. Here are the top 10 things you shouldn’t say when meeting new parents at school:
1. “I hear that kid over there is a little jerk. Watch out for him.” (eeep, you’ve got a 1 in 22 chance that kid is their kid)
2. “When are you due?” (Baby weight is brutal)
3. “Can you believe some parents that don’t teach their kids the ABCs by grade 1?” (no judgers)
4. “Who let that kid wear that to school?” (ummm, again, that 1 in 22 chance)
5. “We were trying to get into another school. But, there wasn’t room. So, we decided this would be OK for now.” (Can you say not a team player?)
6. “Did you see what was in that kid’s lunch?” (food is a tough one)
7. “Can you believe that those kids can’t even read yet?” (Oh my, kids learn at such different paces)
8. “Did you see that woman over there? Who does she think she is?” (Mom judgment is brutal)
9. “That kid is so fat.” (Wow)
10. “My kid is so far ahead of everyone else’s” (They may be. But, find a crew you can relate to before declaring it in public)
And so the parents on the playground go. Funny, us adults are. Sometimes we are the ones negotiating our behavior.