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The most annoying back-to-school things parents do

Sometimes it’s not the students who need a friendly reminder to be good citizens and play well with others — it’s the parents.

Back-to-school week is hard on everyone. Kids can’t stay out past midnight, smoking and drinking in alleys anymore, and parents have to figure out what to make for lunch before they’ve even had a cuppa joe. Yet all the children posing for pics in my Facebook feed this week have looked downright angelic and horribly happy. It’s the parents I’m concerned about.

More: Why we always remember a good teacher

We are generally a good bunch of people. Jovial and helpful, even. Yet put us in a school parking lot or gymnasium, and sometimes we get prickly. Annoying, actually. This writer asked her friends on Facebook to comment on annoying back-to-school parenting behaviour this week (in her defence, it was a failed attempt to distract herself from missing her kids as they returned to the classroom). Here’s what they said:

1. “People line up more than a half hour before school ends to pick up their kids, and just sit in their idling cars. What are we teaching kids when that’s how parents behave? Turn off your cars, people.” — Alex D.

2. “Definitely the hovering… I get it in Pre-K, K, I get it at a new school. I GET IT. But, damn, your kid is in 6th grade now, if he can’t walk down a hallway and through a door without you, you’ve got some bigger issues to deal with.” — Beth H.

3. “The school drop off in the morning has prepared me for what life will be like in a post-apocalyptic world.” — Aron H.

4. “Every year, I hear parents opposing the peanut butter ban, drives me crazy!!” — Marci O.

More: If peanut-free schools bother you, you’re probably are a jerk

5. “I saw a mom yelling instructions (“help the teacher”, “share that toy”) at her child across two fences and a distance of about 10m when the teacher was right there and perfectly capable of redirecting or instructing the child as needed. In the end the teacher came over to the fence and explained that she’d asked the kids not to help with that particular task (getting tricycles out of the shed) and that she’d asked the kids to stay out of the way. So the poor confused kid was getting different instructions from the mom than from the teacher.” — Annie

6. “Also, people that pass school buses with lights flashing and stop sign out!!! Ok so maybe they aren’t all parents but it’s a residential area, chances are high…” — Andrea M.

7. “The parent that gets their children on the bus, then proceeds to follow behind it the entire way to school. Just drive them to school already.” — Julia G.

8. “Complain about a teacher they know nothing about!” — Kat A.

9. “My kids would say forcing kids to smile for pictures and then sharing on Facebook and pissing them off on the first day of hell.” — Randi C.

More: The 10 stages of going back to school… for moms

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