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I got home about an hour ago from my kids’ dance festival, a great annual school event where every single class gathers in the schoolyard and every kid performs. It’s a fantastic idea. But there seemed to be an unusually high number of people today who decided that it was OK to simply stand in front of everyone else – sitting kids, mostly – to get video while their child was performing.
One class did a dance where the kids stood in two lines and each pair danced down the middle. Well, one parent parked herself directly in front of the line. I wish I were kidding. She was about two feet in front of the kids, just waiting for hers to come dancing down. And of course, hers was one of the last, so she was basically right there for the entire dance. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it.
The obliviousness was epic.
The rest of the time, the view was something like this:
We were watching a wall of butts.
I finally asked the wonderful principal to make an announcement about it, and things did seem to get better. I wish I’d said something sooner. I wish more that I didn’t have to.
I came home seething at the incredible insensitivity. This is how our kids learn to behave in a crowd, and what they learned today was that nothing is as important as getting a good view of your kid, and it doesn’t matter if you have to block hundreds of people to do it.
And I’ve been sitting here rewriting and rewriting this post, because my goal is not to throw my kids’ school under the bus. I could complain about the behavior of the parents for pages and pages, but to be fair I’d also have to write thousands of words about what a wonderful place it is. And I’m sure it’s not the only school with parents who behave like this.
So instead, I’ll just leave it at this: Ask yourself if you’re that person, the one saying a big old “f-you” to the group because seeing your kid perform is more important than me seeing mine. And if you’re in charge of a performance, ask yourself if there’s something you can do to prevent this kind of situation. I think next year I’m going to suggest a “paparazzi section,” an area where parents can stand and video without blocking anybody else.
Because apparently I can’t expect the parents to behave on their own.
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