You want your child’s school to be perfect. It’s understandable. That’s your child going there, spending hours a day away from you in that institution, their future being shaped there day by day. And you’re a good parent; you want to do all you can do to make certain the school is as good as it can be. But lest you become one of those monster parents teachers loath (and laugh at), here are a few guidelines.

  • No school will be perfect. Because every school being held accountable in thousands of different directions, many of them in direct contradiction to each other. Half the parents want uniforms, half don’t, and the student council opposes dress codes altogether. Choose your battles. Don’t inflict a conflict with your child’s school or teachers upon your child.
  • Don’t be a helicopter parent. The school is experienced in keeping your kid safe and in their seat, they don’t need your regular presence to ‘help,’ When they want volunteers, they’ll ask.
  • That said, when they ask for volunteers, volunteer. Teachers can’t do things like field trips or classroom plays without parent involvement, and always leaving it to the other parents will not go unnoticed. Either by the teacher, or by your child.
  • Do not ask the school to police who your child is friends with. This shouldn’t have to be said, but… it has to be said.

Now, here is the vital thing where you should put your foot down and make certain the school does its part, where you should not use the gentle hand recommended above:

Bullying must not be tolerated. If your kid comes home and tells you another student has been picking on them, you can and absolutely should expect the school to step up about preventing a recurrence. Believe your child and stand up for them until something is done. If the accused bully is a teacher, meet with them to make your own impressions, but still give your kid the benefit of the doubt. Insist that the teacher’s classes be monitored, and if necessary, volunteer to do so yourself.