School gate culture
Do you find the school gate a daunting place? Perhaps you feel like an outsider, left out by all the other parents who seem to know each other very well.
Often, one of the hardest parts of doing a school run - besides having to get up and organised early in the morning - is the politics of the school gate culture. Many parents who have contacted Family Lives have talked about how isolating it can be at the school gate when there are cliques of parents who can sometimes make others feel uncomfortable, knowingly or unknowingly. Parents have described bullying at the school gate and when they have approached the school, there is little they can do to help. One parent said:
“I wait in the car till the last possible moment so I don’t have to be communicate with these parents. They will gossip about other children and parents loudly and don’t have no shame – what are they teaching their children?”
It is important not to lose sight of the reason for the school run, which is to take your child to and from school. Some may use it as a social situation, whereas, for others it is simply a school run! If you are looking to make friends with other parents, you might find it helpful to chat with the parents of your children’s friends as you share something in common already or look outside of the cliques.
Watch this video on school gate culture