The ultimate guide to school gate etiquette for parents.
Sit up straight, no pushing, biting or name calling. And that’s just for starters. Miss Manners has a thing or two to get off her ample chest as you swing though the school gates this term. Whether you’re a seasoned parent on quadruple school runs or a novice dropping off your first born, here are Miss Manners top 5 skool rules you need to know.
Skool Rules #1: Your school wardrobe
Tempting though it might be to rock up on the first week with oversized sunglasses, bouncy tresses, manicured nails and six inch heels; don’t bother unless you can keep up with that level of maintenance every day. By the same token, if you wear lycra, make sure you can back it up with a gym membership or actual real-life sweat (pushing the trolley around Waitrose at 9am after drop off does not qualify as exercise). And absolutely under no circumstances arrive to school in Uggs, slippers, PJ’s or onsie’s – even behind your tinted SUV doing kiss-and-drop – we will know!
Skool Rules #2: Making friends
Be cautious about sidling up with the first person who is nice to you and don’t jump into bed with anyone too quickly (we mean this figuratively speaking of course but good to stick to that literally too). Don’t get too excited friending everyone on FB in your first week. Give yourself a while to work out your tribe. However, if you are of the shy disposition then standing alone at pick up flicking through your phone will only make you look rude and aloof. Just make a bit of effort and you’ll find your kin.
Skool Rules #3: Parking your wheels
Blood already boiling on parking etiquette. Unless you are on your third pick up and have no time to go home, it’s downright ridiculous to arrive at the school 40 mins early to nab your ‘favourite’ spot. Just don’t. And be considerate whilst parking; make sure you leave enough room to maximise spaces. There’s always one parent who spreads their muffin top car bumper over two useable spots leaving the frantic late parent forced onto the double yellow lines. Giving the bird, shouting obscenities, wild horn honking in your first week (although infinitely satisfying) is never going to make friends and influence people. Obviously.
Skool Rules #4: To brag or not to brag
Your child might be a Mensa genius, school hockey captain or have nailed the lead role in the school nativity play but we honestly don’t care. If you are an uber pushy hot house mom (or dad) then great but don’t expect to be trending on our hot list for playdate invites. However if you child managed the whole week without a toilet mishap or did their first ever cartwheel then we are all over it. Get the wine out.
Skool Rules #5: Volunteering
If you attend the start of year PTA meeting, do not ever ever (we mean never) suggest an idea for a fundraising event , financial management of their accounts or anything at all. In fact do not even sneeze at that meeting. You will be a class rep or on the PTA in a nano second and will stay there until your child goes to uni. Speaking of volunteering by all means help at the Christmas fete or donate to the cake sale but don’t bother with Nigella homemade creations. Just buy them from the shop and bash them with a rolling pin. Totally homemade.