What say the peas: is this helicoptering, or am I a slacker? Difference of opinion with dh

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Posted 10/3/2012 by gryroagain in NSBR Board
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gryroagain
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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:05:57 AM
So, Monday is a federal holiday, and dh is off. I have plans to go spend some blissful alone time with me, myself and I. But- the high school called, and they have delayed start that day and something called touch base (or something close to that) where parents come in for short conferences with teachers.

My plan was to not go. In my mind, these kids (including oldest DD, who is a freshman) are in high school. They ought not need me managing their grades after 5 paltry weeks and talking to the teacher, unless there is some reason to. She should be handling that stuff on her own.it's been 5 stink in weeks, we have the online grade thingy, this is overkill and coddling, IMO.

Dh says parents should be involved, we should both go. He said if it was for college, he'd go. Involved parents are a necessity.

What say the peas?

MikeWozowski
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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:07:32 AM
thumbs down on parent teacher conferences in high school, unless it is for a specific reason.

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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:15:46 AM
Sorry, I vote slacker. It is a parents job to oversee the kids until they are of legal age.

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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:18:50 AM
looking back, I could have been more involved in HS.

I guess it depends on what direction your child is going - do they plan on going to college and if they are aware of the path to get there, etc. If they are clueless and your are too, I'd go. If you both have a clear picture of their HS goals then it's covered.


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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:20:20 AM
Why not just send DH? Surely if he thinks its a good idea both of you don't need to go unless you have some sort of trouble child who needs to be double teamed.


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gryroagain
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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:24:53 AM
I am generally the one in charge of educational stuff, so dh assumed since he was off we would just both go, because of course I would go. I had no plans to go ( no reason) so it surprised me. So we got into a big conversation about high school, kids learning to navigate life themselves, slacker parents, etc. Thats why I came to ask you all- it isn't really about the logistics of this.


gryroagain
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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:25:56 AM
I am generally the one in charge of educational stuff, so dh assumed since he was off we would just both go, because of course I would go. I had no plans to go ( no reason) so it surprised me. So we got into a big conversation about high school, kids learning to navigate life themselves, slacker parents, etc. Thats why I came to ask you all- it isn't really about the logistics of this.


freecharlie
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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:26:50 AM
Either DH or I would go if one of us could not.

I don't have kids that age yet, but I assume that I will be involved.


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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:33:59 AM
I'd still just send him and enjoy my me time and have him report back.

I'm the youngest of 7 and my parents were VERY hands off. I managed to navigate the system, graduate from HS in 3 years, schedule all my college testing, submit applications, choose my classes, drop and change classes, get accepted to university, leave home at 17, navigate college life and then graduate from Uni in 3 years all with my parents just writing the checks and signing the forms when i was a minor. Their philosophy was to not do anything for your kids that they could do for themselves. Now if I had needed them, they would have been there in a heartbeat. But I've always been independent, so I just handled everything on my own and they tried not to get in my way.


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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:40:03 AM
grades are good, no problems, do your thing, email everyone later, appease your inner guilt.


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Posted: 10/3/2012 12:43:06 AM
I agree with you.

Even at the middle school here they only have parent-teacher conferences for those students that have low grades or are struggling. If your DD grades are good and she's adjusting fine to HS then what is the parent-teacher conference about? What are they going to tell you? Pretty much what you already know.


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Posted: 10/3/2012 1:03:11 AM
If the school is requesting a parent to attend, I think one or the other of you should go, but not both.

DH and I would both go, because we're obsessive hoverparents and we do all that stuff and I expect that will continue into high school.

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Posted: 10/3/2012 1:07:43 AM
I'd go.

If my dh and I were both able to go then we would both go.



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Posted: 10/3/2012 5:39:47 AM
What does your daughter think? Would she like you to go?


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Posted: 10/3/2012 5:44:56 AM
One of us would absolutely go. If only to show our child we are still involved with and concerned about her schoolwork. And to touch base with the teacher. You're not managing her grades if you go - IMO, you're parenting if you go.

Now, I get that you were taking a much needed "me day." So dh would totally be going.



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Posted: 10/3/2012 5:48:16 AM
My DS is a junior and I still go to P/T conferences, especially the first one of the year. (They schedule one in the fall and one in the late winter/early spring). I can see his grades and any teacher remarks online. But I like to meet the teacher face to face. I'm usually the one to go, but in this instance, I would make your DH go and you enjoy your day. I think since this is the first one for high school is why your DH is making a big deal out of it. I know all too well the importance of having alone time. I go nuts if I don't carve out time for me, myself and I. But do you think that you could compromise and go to the conferences together, then maybe go out for breakfast? Then you could have the rest of your day to do as you please. Just a suggestion.


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Christine58
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Posted: 10/3/2012 5:50:25 AM
Our HS that I teach at does not do parent/teacher conferences after 8th grade. We do have an Open House and if I need to see a parent, I schedule a meeting.

I say...send DH



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Posted: 10/3/2012 5:58:37 AM
One parent should go. If he's available, send him, it's fine. If he's not, you should go.

High school freshmen are not adults. They are still kids and they still need input and guidance from their parents. Going to the conference shows that you are involved, and it gives the teacher a chance to give you an impression of your child in a transition year. But unless your child is struggling, I don't think both parents need to go.

So, one of you should go, but I think if you want a day to yourself and he is willing to go, that's a more than adequate arrangement.

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Posted: 10/3/2012 6:05:36 AM
Since I am a teacher, my opinion is probably biased but I think someone should go. The message attending says to your child is that school is important. That is a message I think worth sending.


Michele

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Posted: 10/3/2012 6:09:39 AM
For freshmen, I'd go. Sophomore, only if there appeared to be an issue. After that? It's on the kid.

I can totally understand the need for a me time, but seriously, it will take what? Thirty minutes at most? Surely you can take 30 minutes out of your me time to go to a parent-teacher conference.

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Posted: 10/3/2012 6:12:22 AM
I think going sends a message to your child that their education is important, a priority, that just telling them so doesn't. All talk and no action...kwim?

I would go. How long can it take?



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Posted: 10/3/2012 6:23:58 AM

I can totally understand the need for a me time, but seriously, it will take what? Thirty minutes at most? Surely you can take 30 minutes out of your me time to go to a parent-teacher conference.


I agree with this. How much time could it take? (and it shows your kid that they are important to you)

ETA - I would call it being responsible by going. Helicoptering would be making an appt on a random day to check in on her or just showing up unannounced to check in on her. Since the school asked, it is doing your job as a parent.

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Posted: 10/3/2012 6:25:08 AM
I was the slacker parent. I wouldn't go unless a teacher had informed me there was in issue we needed to discuss. I firmly felt then, and still do, that by that age school issues belong primarily to the student and it is time for mom and dad to slack off on oversight.

If a teacher said "there is a problem" I was willing to drop whatever and be there at their convenience. But a cattle call for all parents in......no.


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Posted: 10/3/2012 6:27:12 AM
Our district does parent teacher conferences for all students in the fall...and students having trouble in the spring...in Elementary school.

My oldest is a college freshman and my youngest is in 8th grade. Other than Open House and Curriculum Night, I haven't had a parent teacher conference in almost 3 yrs.

(oh wait...I take that back...DS has an IEP meeting every year and most years at least one or two of his teachers sit in on that)



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Posted: 10/3/2012 6:29:13 AM

It takes more than 30 minutes out of relaxing time. There is the getting presentable time, travel time. And if it isn't the first appointment out of the day then it means you can't go do anything that might take you several hours. Gotta watch the clock and be back on time.

Then with high school there are 6 or more teachers to chat with. Waiting for other parents to finish so you can meet with that teacher... takes way longer than 30 minutes. It ends up being a half a day goat rope.


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Posted: 10/3/2012 6:35:34 AM
Full disclosure--my ds is a sophomore with straight As, taking all pre AP or AP classes. And I attended all of his elementary and MS conferences. So take this for what it's worth.

We have the touch base program at our HS. I don't use it. It's like speed dating.

You get 10 minutes with a teacher and you are moving like crazy through the halls to get to the next teacher. Times aren't scheduled, so you just stand in line and wait your turn. The art teacher may only have a few parents in line, but I've seen a line of 15 parents for the math teachers. That's over a 2 hour wait to see that one teacher.

If my child were struggling, I would make an appt with the teacher. You would have more than 10 min and the teacher would be prepared to talk about only your child. I also email teachers to clarify assignments or to ask about a poor grade on an assignment.

We do have a back to school night and I do attend that. You meet each teacher, hear the homework and grading policy and get a general feel for the teacher. For us, that is a better use of my time.

I use the 3 hour delay to sleep in and then take DS out to breakfast. It's relaxed and we chat and catch up after that busy first month of school. It works for us.



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gryroagain
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Posted: 10/3/2012 6:42:50 AM
More info! They had a back to school/orientation night the week school started, we met all her teachers then. As far as I know, this touch base thing is not just for freshman, it's everyone, it is short parent teacher conferences with all the kids teachers, you go from room to room. I am just really surprised this takes place at the high school level! It seems to me that by now, a student should be handling these things on their own. If there is a problem, sure, contact the parents, but a parent teacher conference for a high school student seems way micromanaging to me. I haven't had a kid in high school before, so I don't know how common this is.

Dh thinks it's great and wants us both to go. Since it is a federal holiday and many people work for the federal govt in some capacity here (nova), I assume that is why they are doing it during the day- people are off.

Personal background: of course it won't take long, I am not really balking at that. It will be extra short for me, since DD takes only 2 classes as she is home schooled and only partially enrolled.I think she has figured out I value education and care about her, since I've been personally educating her for the last 9 years. but that's another reason I need a day off, dammit! this is more a general "what do you think of this" type question than about our specific situation though, so I left that stuff out.

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Posted: 10/3/2012 6:44:57 AM
I go to make it known that I am involved and watching.



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Posted: 10/3/2012 7:15:18 AM

Personal background: of course it won't take long, I am not really balking at that. It will be extra short for me, since DD takes only 2 classes as she is home schooled and only partially enrolled


Then it will be short and sweet. I'd still go (or send my dh) to make sure that my kid, who's only partially enrolled, isn't falling between any cracks.



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Posted: 10/3/2012 7:17:12 AM

DH wants to go because he wants to be more involved. He should go.
You already have a handle on it. You don't need to go.

If this was a college planning session, I'd say both of you should go, but we all know this is just a review of the plans for the year to come and the teachers assessment of DD's ability to handle it. You already know everything you need to know. DH should go, for his own sake, not because this conference is important for DD's sake.



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Posted: 10/3/2012 7:27:47 AM
I wouldn't go to something like that where I don't have a personal appointment already set up. The waiting around would bug me. Plus once you see the teacher it would be very rushed.

If you have issues, make a specific appointment and go then.

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Posted: 10/3/2012 7:28:38 AM

I was the slacker parent. I wouldn't go unless a teacher had informed me there was in issue we needed to discuss. I firmly felt then, and still do, that by that age school issues belong primarily to the student and it is time for mom and dad to slack off on oversight.

If a teacher said "there is a problem" I was willing to drop whatever and be there at their convenience. But a cattle call for all parents in......no.


This is what I did too when my kids were in school. If your DH feels the need to go then by all means he should go. I wouldn't let him guilt me into going though.


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ostrich girl
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Posted: 10/3/2012 7:31:12 AM
I don't think you're a slacker. You are very hands on with the homeschooling. If I thought there was a problem with my child or one of the teacher's I would schedule a seperate conference.


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Posted: 10/3/2012 7:36:29 AM
Two ds's have graduated from hs (one barely), and dd is a senior. You know what is best for your family. Alone time is precious, so I would lean that way if there are no issues. As a side note, I work for two high school teachers (as a nanny) and the term used here for parents of high schoolers is "smother mothers".


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Posted: 10/3/2012 7:40:22 AM
You're about as involved as you can be- being her teacher(s). Since you obviously care about her education and she's not having any problems in the 2 classes she's taking at the HS then I wouldn't go. I'd tell DH that since he may not feel as involved as you are then he should go. I think it's not necessary at all for you both to go.

My DDs HS does not do parent/teacher conferences. I'd go if she was having any problems or bad grades but I wouldn't go if those things weren't happening. She knows I'm concerned and interested in shcool because I talk to her about school, classwork, and homework everyday. I know all of her grades because they're online and I check them very frequently. To me I think it would completely unnecessary to go to the HS and have the teacher tell me "she's doing great" and I had no questions for him/her. What's the point in that?!




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Posted: 10/3/2012 7:49:23 AM
DH has been to a few conferences on his own, though we mostly attend together. Believe me, I know how important it is to be an involved parent, I'm a teacher too. I think that your husband is capable of handling ONE conference on his own.

Sounds like he is a bit jealous of your alone time...

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Posted: 10/3/2012 7:58:34 AM
Unless there is a problem with your child's grades I would skip it. I think there are plenty of ways to show your child you care about their education other than chatting with 6 of their teachers in passing for a quick 10 minutes each. They will have to rush through each visit to get through the next person because there are 5 more parents standing at their door.

Again, IF your child were struggling or having a problem then meeting with her teachers should be a priority. But it doesn't sound like that is the case here.

This is coming from the mom of a 17 yr. old senior and a 13 year old 8th grader. The only time I have met with their teachers in middle/high school is when there was a problem. This year my 13 yr. old ds is struggling with his advanced math so I met with his teacher to set up a game plan and make sure we were on the same path for helping my son get back on track. The only high school parent teacher conference I have had for dd that is a senior is when she had mono and missed several days of school. I wanted to make sure her teachers knew how sick she was and make sure she didn't fall through the cracks due to the large amount of classroom lesson time she was missing out on.

I give you a free pass to skip it.


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Posted: 10/3/2012 8:14:28 AM
Why do you have to sacrificed your plans because the school adjusted theirs at the last minute?

Stick with your plans. Schedule a discussion with the teacher - if necessary - at a later date.



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Posted: 10/3/2012 8:17:07 AM

Personal background: of course it won't take long, I am not really balking at that. It will be extra short for me, since DD takes only 2 classes as she is home schooled and only partially enrolled


I'd be telling your DH that he can meet those 2 teachers, as you already have a conference scheduled with the the teacher who covers the rest of her subjects. Seriously. It's high school, not kindergarten. Sending both parents to cover two classes is total overkill-especially for a student who is doing well in school, and isn't even a full time student there! I'd be more inclined to think he wants to horn in on your personal day First it's the conference, then he'll want to grab lunch, and maybe swing over to Target or something on the way home (not like this has happened to me at all before)!

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Posted: 10/3/2012 8:40:46 AM
My parents have not been to a P/T conference since 5th grade. I was a straight A student and my mom basically said that she doesn't need to go to these conferences just to hear teachers praising me. She worked long hours and made dinner, it was just really exhausting for her and my dad to do (my dad worked until really late too). And education was the MOST valued thing in my house. It was a number 1 priority, in fact. So IMO feel free to not go. You homeschool your child and have the computer thingy, so you'd know if there were issues, if no issues then there is no point.




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Posted: 10/3/2012 8:59:45 AM
I am shocked a HS even has regular parent teacher conferences! I have never heard of that.

Here you have P/TC K-5 and in 6 through 8 they are child led conferences and they cease in HS. When you come to meet a teacher in HS, it is for corrective action, not to shoot the breeze on progress.

No way would I attend.



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Posted: 10/3/2012 9:09:21 AM
I'm with you on this one. If hubby wants to go, he can have at it. After 5th grade, I never attended a single teacher conference with my daughter. It simply wasn't needed. She did just fine, the way it should be. She knew we were there to help if she needed it.

My son? Whole other story


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Posted: 10/3/2012 9:35:37 AM
I'm right down the middle here. OTOH, you have a freshman who may or mayn't be getting HS yet and this would be a good opportunity to find out or you may have a child who is stumbling, but OTOH, if everything was goind smoothly, I'd stay home!

(QUite frankly I would have praised the HS for something like this for my oldest child. Trying to speak to any teacher on that campus was near impossible).


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Posted: 10/3/2012 9:42:31 AM
I'm split on this too. I think this "touch base" isn't all that bad of an idea for freshman. The first few months of high school can be overwhelming. For higher grade levels? Nope. Even if they had them, I wouldn't go unless there was a big-time issue at hand.

Your daughter isn't a full-time student there, so I would want to make sure she wasn't slipping through the cracks. You are in an unusual situation.

All that said, if in your shoes and I didn't really want to go but my husband did, he'd go on his own. But one of us would be there for the freshman year only.



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Posted: 10/3/2012 9:49:33 AM
Your DH can go and tell you about it later. You had PRIOR PLANS and are therefor unable to attend.

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Posted: 10/3/2012 10:11:06 AM
DH is the slacker. Slacker husband, that is. He should be encouraging you to have a day to yourself since he can take care of the school thing. He should go and report the details back to you.

I think that while kids should be doing it on their own, many parents might find it especially necessary to take advantage of what opportunities the school offers to be involved since this is the time that most kids are pushing parents away.

However, if my kid was doing well, and I would know because I'm involved at home, then I would skip the "short conference" and do my own thing. I hated traipsing up to the school, fighting for parking (city school with no parking lot), trudging in and being told "she's doing fine" and then trudging back out, trying to get out of the parking space and trying to get out of the traffic - all for a few minutes of being told what I already know.

My kid knows I'm involved and she doesn't need me to go to her school to somehow prove it to her or anyone else.



_______________________________________________

...that's why they make blue cars and red cars.


Patti

scrap4maddie
Sometimes you harm the cause more than you help.

PeaNut 175,985
November 2004
Posts: 12,900
Layouts: 33
Loc: Buffalo NY

Posted: 10/3/2012 10:15:31 AM
He is a big boy. Let him go talk to the teacher. Being mom doesn't mean you are the only one that can talk to the teacher.


~Erica~







melanell
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 26,836
January 2002
Posts: 19,090
Layouts: 86

Posted: 10/3/2012 10:42:21 AM
One or both of us would go. Both to show our son that we are interested in his education and to show the teacher(s) that we support them as well.



valincal
True North Strong and Free

PeaNut 227,939
October 2005
Posts: 14,480
Layouts: 5
Loc: Southern Alberta

Posted: 10/3/2012 11:25:10 AM
I'm going to my DS's parent/teacher conferences tomorrow, and he's in grade 11. I like to meet and touch base with the teachers, and my kids enjoy hearing the positive feedback I get directly from the horse's mouth.

DS #1 is almost 4000 km. away at university. I promise I don't sit beside him in the lecture hall.





batya
Making the WWW better, one post at a time.

PeaNut 59,094
December 2002
Posts: 32,845
Layouts: 24
Loc: up on my high horse

Posted: 10/3/2012 11:45:19 AM
It's neither helicoptering (overused term, IMO) nor slacker.

Only one parent has to go. DH is available. Like Peabay says someone should go, it won't take long. Make sure he's not falling through the cracks and that you're showing an interest. Let DH go. He's obviously interested and qualified to report back to you.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.



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