When your child starts school for the first time or moves school it can be a bit intimidating the first time you reach the school gates and are wondering who to talk to. Here’s some advice on how to survive school gate politics:
#1. Smile, Smile, Smile
Even if you aren’t feeling the love from another parent, just smile nicely. You may end up getting a smile back too.
#2. Try to Include Others In Conversations
If you know another parent and are talking to them, and you see a 2nd parent standing alone nearby it’s nice to involve them in the conversation.
“Be the one to step out and initiate conversation, say hello, give a quick smile. Who cares if they respond or whatever at least you have been polite and that’s all. If someone doesn’t smile or talk to you don’t let that rob you of being a happy person” – Olivia L
#3. Avoid Gossip
Nobody likes to be gossiped about so don’t gossip about people yourself. If you do gossip, you can be sure it will come back to haunt you.
#4. Be Kind to Other Parents
Try not to judge other parents. Maybe the woman running in looking like a mess has an ill parent to care for as well as her children to get to school. Maybe the dad dropping his kids off looking grumpy has a stressful job.
“Kindness and understanding go a long way. Just smile and be gentle. If they still don’t like you, well that’s their problem. But they won’t have a reason besides their own jealousy to deal with, to be rude. You have to get along with the other parents, because at the end of the day, it’s the children that suffer if you don’t.” – Desii R
#5. Allow Time for Friendships
You don’t always click with people the first time you meet them. Sometimes it takes a while to get to know people.
You might find these useful: 20 Tips for your Child Starting School and Tips for a Successful Transition to Secondary School
#6. Time Your Arrival
If school gate politics are really bugging you then time your arrival so you don’t have to hang about, just whisk your child in and whisk yourself out.
#7. Leave Any Bad Feelings Behind
If people do try to make you feel bad, just walk away from school and leave the bad feelings behind at the school gate. Remember you came to meet your kids and they were so pleased to see you, so just focus on that.
#8. Ignore, Ignore, Ignore
Remind yourself that you don’t need to involve yourself in politics, you don’t have to be mean to other people to fit in and you don’t need other people’s approval either. Just ignore it all, keep your smile on and concentrate on your child.
“I ignore them, I have friends and colleagues, I don’t need their approval for my life.” – Rachel M
#9. Be Yourself
What more can we say. Just be yourself, hold your head up high and ignore the politics. Life is too short!
Have you any tips for parents on surviving school gate politics? Share them with us in the comments below.