If you know someone who places unreasonable demands on teachers, you know a monster parent. See to what lengths some parents will go!
We love our children and want the best for them. And we expect the best from the people we entrust our children with.
However at times we place high demands on our children’s care givers – sometimes to the extent that they view us as "monster parents", a term made popular in Japan and Hong Kong. Monster parents are super-aggressive, continually find fault with the way teachers treat their children and make unreasonable demands on teaching staff.
In short, they're a teacher’s worst nightmare. So, are you a monster parent? Below is a checklist of actual demands some teachers have reported:
1. Expecting that your child’s teacher give your child a 5-minute grace period for coming late to class because waking up earlier affects the quality of her sleep.
2. Demanding your child’s school to change the school lunch provider because they didn't include pizza on the menu.
3. Pressuring your child’s teacher to give him good grades after your kid has repeatedly not submitted required homework assignments, because you do not want the missing assignments to affect your child’s grades.
4. Leaving 20-minute messages on the teacher’s voicemail every day and showing up unannounced at your child’s school to talk to the teacher.
5. Not bothering to show up for a teacher-parent conference day.
6. Demand that your under-performing child be taken out of the remedial class to a class with better achieving students because you are more concerned with grades than the knowledge and skill of your child.
7. Phoning your child’s teacher requesting for an extension of your daughter’s art project because you think she has other priorities. When the teacher refuses, you disrespect him by scoffing: “This is art, not brain surgery.”
8. After your child’s school trip, phoning to complain that the teacher should guarantee that the weather will not turn out to be unfavourable again next time. And remember to make a noise when a delay is caused by public transport on the return trip of the journey.
9. Expressing serious concern that there are too many girls in your son’s class of 14 boys and 16 girls.
10. Insisting that your child uses transparent rulers only.
11. Insisting that your child’s school changes sporting event results so that these reflect better on your child’s performance.
12. Asking a school teacher to prepare your child’s lunch.
13. Asking that the teacher collects your child from home.
14. Writing a letter to the teacher asking why your child’s fingernails are not clipped.
15. Phoning the teacher on her mobile phone several times after school and requesting that she walks around the school building to see if your child is still there waiting for you.
16. Telling your child’s teacher, “He can’t come to revision, he has to go to the gym because he’s fat.”
17. Excusing your child’s lack of respect by telling the teacher, “He does not respect you because you’re shorter than him.”
18. Tired of hearing reports of your child’s misdemeanours, informing the teacher, “Please do not contact me about my child’s behaviour.”
19. Visiting your child’s university campus with a worker to help tidy up your child’s room.
20. Insisting that your child should not be separated from her friends when they have been placed in different classes.
These may be amusing but it’s far from funny for the teachers on the receiving end of these unreasonable demands. Japanese government statics indicated that teachers’ mental stress had tripled in the last 10 years and caused more than 60% of all sick leave taken by teachers in a particular year.
Monster parents create spoilt brats and stressed-out teachers – creating an environment not conducive for the children’s education.
What is the worst story you've heard of parents making ridiculous demands on teachers? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.