Wednesday, 17 July 2013

School Show Boating

It is that time of year people. The end of another school year - no more school runs, alarm clocks, book bags, newsletters, sports days, multicultural days, assemblies or discos - school's nearly out for summer! Yeeeharrrr! Alas it is not all good news, it is also the time for the end of year show boating. What's that I hear you say? You know, the "I'm so proud of X, Y & Z because...blah blah blah " status updates.  In particular, school report showboating.  Taking it to a different level this is.

Recently I came across someone who had decided to upload a picture of their child's school report. I kid you not. Not content with this we got snip bits verbatim and an in depth analysis of their specific achievements. Firstly can we take a moment to STOP and think about these actions. Someone has taken a picture, uploaded it and then re-typed pieces of their child's school report.

Why would anyone feel the need to do this? Do they honestly think anyone cares about how well their child has done at school? Do they care how well my child has done? No, of course not and I wouldn't expect them too. I would put them in the same category as the mother that opens the book bag within the school grounds and in a loud voice proclaims "oh you've got the gold certificate - well done another one to the collection" whilst surveying the playground to see if anyone is looking. No one gives a shit! Isn't this more about the mother saying "look at me, I'm a great mother please congratulate me"?

 Should we bring back these along with the workhouse?!  Picture google pics

Now, before you say well you must be a bitter and twisted old cow who has thick idiots as children otherwise you, too, would be proud of their achievements.  No not at all. I could easily show boat should I so desire as naturally (the reckon intelligence is from the mother's side to which my husband doubles over when I tell him this) my eldest is at high school level whilst still being in year 4.  My daughter is bringing up the brains rear with above average in some subjects and average (shock horror!) in others. My youngest is also similar to my son but then I did eat a lot of fish whilst pregnant - not to mention cheese balls (hence the weight loss blog) so he could actually be at the bottom of the class. Who knows?  Who cares?!

The difference being I don't measure my own self-worth on my children's achievements nor am I self-absorbed (although I do have a blog so the jury may be out on that one).  I have never commented to the other mums in my son's year group about where he is in the league tables.  I think its a bit crass and I wouldn't want anyone to think I was show boating nor would I want to make another mum feel uncomfortable. There are children who have learning difficulties, who do struggle and mother's shoving it in their faces is just bloody ignorant. Its a shame reports couldn't be done on these types of mother's.  I think it could go something like this:-

"Is totally insensitive to other people around them. They appear to be self-absorbed and have no shame .  It is evident to me and to others that they feel they underachieved during their own childhood. As a consequence of this, they are living out their unfilled dreams via their children" Moving forward I would suggest they didn't put their child in every club going, turn off the pressure cooker to achieve, achieve, achieve and perhaps take a course in good manners (why teach your children these when clearly you are lacking some?), modesty and decorum. Failure to do so WILL have severe consequences in the teenage years"

I'd also like to point out that I really don't think teachers write bad primary school reports. Even if a child was disruptive etc I'm pretty confident it would have a positive spin.  Not only that, have people ever heard of standard paragraphs and 'cut and paste'?! I'm pretty confident teachers have standard patter to put into reports based on abilities. I did chuckle one year when one mum said the head had put how they would miss chatting to their daughter during school. I had the exact same patter on my daughter's report. It was just worded in such a way you thought it only applied to your child! Bit like my grandad would say to me "you're my favorite granddaughter" it was only after he passed away that my cousin said "oh he used to say that to me!"

So be proud - yes but maybe not so loud. Wouldn't it be great if all mum's got an A + in good manners, social skills, humbleness, decorum and modesty?! 


  1. Personally I don't mind the parental bragging (I draw the line at the 'first poo in the potty' or '3 nights without nappy/dummy/whatever' updates)
    I don't agree that showboaters as you call them are living their probably unfulfilled ambitions through their children. I admit to showboating on Facebook on a couple of occasions (not about anything to do with bodily fluids and definetly not because I didn't achieve because I did) but because I was genuinely proud and wanted to share with my family who live up and down the country and some live abroad. I am aware that 95% of my 'friends' will not care but there are a handful of my connections who do.
    So I make no apologies for showboating certain things but agree there should be a bit more restraint as to what to post about. (No more poo updates please!) And also agree the photo of the school report is a bit much!

    1. Hello there - this is an interesting one isn't it. You see I would cringe at the gold book, top 15 in spellings, reports, writing awards, school council etc etc but I am certain I've put on facebook "yay finally got more than 3 hours kip" or something along those lines! I understand the sharing with friends/family as everyone is all over the place and I have show boated about chess I do believe in that I've put a pic of where he was in the competition along with the atmosphere is insane with pushy parents in here (fight! winner! post last year). So we've established that everyone does it but to what degree? I mean blogging must be the ultimate in shoe boating said she who is a blogger! In fact if you really think about the notion of facebook and status updates is seriously deranged. Maybe there should be a shoe boating (my made up term)league. A level as we're all guilty as charged ma lord. Thanks for commenting x

  2. Another entertaining and well written post. Facebook was made for "showboating" - that's what it's all about really, but most proud parent posts are exactly that, not showing off - just sharing their good news and how proud they feel of their kids with their family and friends (who do care - however few that may be). Posting a photo of school report is definitely a step too far though - what a nutter! It's as if she thought the world would need proof. Maybe should couldn't believe it herself! So glad it's end of term, now let the FB show boating holiday fun begin! xx

    1. Thank you my dear. Yes absolutely that is what facebook is all about like me posting a pic of your daughter holding the school talent competition trophy!! I think there should be levels - we could have shoe boating grades! xx

  3. I love the topics on here.
    Yes, to some extent Twitter or fb is showboating of a person's life or experience, with some comments of absolutely no interest to many, but maybe to some.
    Perhaps that's some criticism of social media, but after all, how do you start a conversation without mentioning the weather? You've got to throw something out there and see if it strikes a cord.
    There is though, that line you cross. Ignoring social media, I reckon if you wouldn't pull out your kids' reports at the dinner party and pass it around to guests, then perhaps it's not the thing to do with people you've never met.
    That's just me, but, cultures and social norms adapt. I never could understand why people now video funerals, but it's becoming very common.

    1. Hi Dan - thank you am flattered. I reckon some people might just pull out a school report the way things are going!! I CANNOT believe people film funerals - this is new to me - have you seen them on fb?! I think all this frivolity will soon come to an end and we will revert back to a totalitarian society. Check out tumblr - the teenagers favorite way to blog - its scary and the 'selfies' they post of themselves. Every aspect of life has to be documented but us adults are also guilty as charged too! x