Kids decide when you’re too uncool for school
Recently I discovered I am the most embarrassing person in the world. This realisation came as somewhat of a shock as I was living under the delusion I was a "cool" mum. Thankfully, my nine-year-old daughter set me straight. After some serious self-reflection, I have seen the error of my ways.
In the spirit of helping others, especially parents still new to big school, I will share some of my rookie mistakes:
1. I showed an interest in my child’s schooling. At the beginning of each school year I have blatantly approached the teacher, introduced myself and pointed out which child is mine. Sometimes I have offered to help in class. After the early years, this sort of outrageous behaviour may not be appreciated by your child.
Tip: Volunteer when your child is in kindy and s/he welcomes your involvement. After that, you may need to be more discreet.
2. I cheered enthusiastically at sports carnivals. Calling out "go (insert child’s name)" will eventually be on par with a minor criminal offence.
Tip: If you attend school events, discreetly let your child see you showed up. After that, make sure you are practically invisible. Perhaps wear a disguise.
3. I kissed my child within school grounds. Once, I was allowed to kiss my daughter goodbye at the class line. Then, an exclusion zone was imposed that started at the school gates. This was extended to a tree 10 metres before the school gate. Now, if I’m lucky, I get a reluctant "bye" as she runs away as fast as possible.
Tip: Get your affection at home. Act cool on school grounds. Casually say "see ya" and "hi", like you don’t know that kid.
I try hard to not be an embarrassing parent, but occasionally I indulge in daydreams in which I show my daughter what embarrassing really is. In them, I arrive at school in mismatched pyjamas, give her a big cuddle goodbye, high-five her friends and finish with a dab.
I can’t pinpoint when it was in our school journey that the scales of embarrassment tipped. I find myself longing for the good old days, when my kids embarrassed me more than I did them.
- Meena Evers is a Sydney mother.