Dear Snarky – Did I over complain at my kids school?


Dear Snarky,

My twins have just started the first grade. I love their school but I do have a couple of issues with things like school pick up and drop off, homework assignments and the cafeteria. I have shared my areas of concerns via email and in person to both of my kids teachers and the principal. All three of them were very receptive to my complaints and seemed like they were glad that I brought the problems to their attention BUT now I get the feeling they are all avoiding me. Did I make a mistake?

Signed, Evelyn

Dear Evelyn,

You didn’t actually make a mistake. I would call it more of a misstep in prioritizing. It’s never wrong for a parent to express their thoughts over problems they see at school, but I’m afraid your zeal in pointing out your many “areas of concern” less than 22 days into the new school year might have you tagged as just the tiniest  bit of a high maintenance whiner.

Here’s the deal, the school year is nine months long and like in parenting and marriage you’re going to have to pick your battles. If you’re complaining about everything you’ll get nothing. Prune your grievance list down to the issues that most impact your kids and pace yourself. There are only three times you can really just let it rip about everything that’s bugging you – I’m talking waving that mom freak flag with wild abandon and that’s when your youngest child is in their last year of elementary school, middle school and high school. Those three years you are good to go in sharing your opinion about everything because you’ll never have a child at any of those schools again and that means you’ve got nothing to lose. Who cares if the entire school staff hates you – you’re outta there!

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11 thoughts on “Dear Snarky – Did I over complain at my kids school?

  1. Roxie Miller says:

    I disagree. I think as your child’s advocate you should alert teachers and the school staff to whatever you think is wrong. Too bad if they don’t like it!

  2. Andrea says:

    Hm I agree with both of you. Like the poster, we also had issues with pick up and drop off- it was crazy unsafe and no communication about where to pick them up after extracurricular activities, and there were a million papers that came home during first grade- I had no idea what was homework and what wasn’t. The teacher said not to worry about it. It was first grade after all. But then some said Homework at the top of the page written in green- so confusing! We chose to switch schools. Luckily there are several free alternatives to the local school around here.

  3. Irene says:

    Give them a couple of weeks off from Your correspondence and then make sure to send at least as many e-mails over time(!) to compliment the teacher and Principal on the stuff you really like about the School 🙂 You’ll be fine 🙂

  4. Pam says:

    These all sound like the type of complaints that schools/teachers hear most of the time, and have spent hours trying to figure out solutions that will satisfy all. Ask me how I know this :/
    If you are concerned enough about these things and have the time to put into that many e-mails, then I would suggest seeing if the school would appreciate you rounding up other parents to help or maybe heading up a committee on the PTA. I would have LOVED IT if parents had been reliable and consistent enough to help with pick-up line so that I could spend those extra 25-30 min a day helping a student after school or grading or planning or meeting with a parent.
    If you become known as a problem solver then your label of “complainer” gets changed to HERO in the school’s book.

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