8 Types of Parents That Teachers Dread the Most

8 Types of Parents That Teachers Dread the Most

Teaching isn’t just about shaping the minds of our nation’s youth all the time. For every child that walks into our classroom, there are parents that come with them. Now most parents are great and very supportive, but the rest? Well, the rest can be a real headache to handle. Here’s my list of the top ten parent types that all teachers have to deal with (but we’d rather not).

1. The “OMG, my kid is totally my bestie!” parent

Most parents agree raising children means setting up barriers for them. You can’t be their friend, you need to be the adult in charge. Unfortunately not everyone sees it that way and sometimes it can be pretty hard to figure out who is the adult and who is the kid when you meet a family.

If you’ve ever met a parent willing to take their child out of school so they can go on a shopping spree together… then you have met The Buddy. This is the parent that thinks those little pranks and comments their child makes are hilarious! You know the old saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”? This is more like two equally soft and squishy apples.

2. The “You’ve got my child all wrong!” parent

Every parent knows deep down inside that their child isn’t perfect. OK, well MOST of them know that anyway. An enabler sees those issues as more of a personality quirk than anything else, and in a parent-teacher meeting, you can bet they’ll side with their child every time.

“They’re not being disruptive you see, they just really like to express every thought that comes into their head every second of every day.

It’s not that they don’t want to do the work you assign, they just feel that it’s a little beneath their level of intelligence so it’s not challenging enough to bother doing. That’s how smart they are.

3. The “cover my child in bubble wrap” parent

These are the parents that do everything short of bubble-wrapping their kids before sending them to school. And if there’s an assignment they think is too difficult for their little schmoopsie-whoopsie, you can bet they’ll be blowing up your phone or email demanding that you relent.

4. The parent who’s done parenting

While Permissive Parents may see the problem, they don’t want to step in to do anything about it. A parent/teacher conference might sound like this:

Teacher: Johnny is falling asleep a lot in class

Parent: Yes, it’s because he doesn’t stop playing video games until 4 A.M.

Teacher: So… can we do something about that?

Parent: He really loves video games.

You’ll air your list of grievances to the parent and they’ll just nod their head and say “Yup, that sounds about right.” This blank stare is soul-crushing.

5. The “Wait, do you mean my child isn’t perfect?” parent

Most parent types have at least some idea of who their children are. Then there are those who act like they’ve never even met them. These are parents who are shocked to learn their child is anything less than a perfect bundle of joy. Starting fights? That couldn’t possibly be MY child! Disrupting class? How could this be?

Oh, and just wait for report cards to come out, because you’re going to get an extra dose of shock and awe when their darling brings home a 17% because they didn’t turn in any work.

6. The parent that hovers over you so much you can feel their presence at all times

Do you ever get the feeling you’re being watched? Then maybe you’ve fallen under the gaze of the Helicopter Parent, one of the most infamous parent types. Always present, always watching and usually super annoying. Sort of like the boogeyman but with a much more active email account.

The Helicopter Parent loves flooding your inbox with “helpful” suggestions about how you should run your classroom, despite having no experience.

“Are you sure those snacks you’re bringing in are gluten free?”

“Maybe you should be more hands on with the class to get them more involved.”

“You know, my child learns better when they’re sitting far away from any distractions, so you should rearrange your seating chart so he has a beneficial learning environment.”

So…I should sit him on the roof?

7. The Rage Monster parent

Teachers are held to a pretty high standard. There are things we just can’t do (even though we want to sometimes), like fly into an insane rage when your class is driving you bonkers. Parents aren’t held to that same standard and sometimes the wrong button gets pushed during a parent-teacher conference and BOOM! It’s volcanic eruption time.

Once the Rage Monster is activated there’s no telling who they will unleash their anger on. Sometimes it’s the child that gets caught in their wake of destruction when the parent learns about their less-than-stellar behavior. Other times it’s the teacher who has to sit there and get screamed at because it’s somehow all their fault.

And what to teachers do while they’re getting screamed at?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Because we’re not allowed to. And that sucks…a lot.

8. The “What are you doing wrong?” parent

Have you ever taught a student that refused to take responsibility for any of their actions? Have you ever wondered where they learned it from? It’s very likely they live with a Finger Pointer, the parent that blames everyone under the sun for their child’s behavior. Well, everyone except their child of course.

Why is their child misbehaving? The other students are picking on them, or maybe they’re being too friendly and causing a distraction. Maybe the class is too boring, or too challenging? The school is certainly failing somewhere.

No matter what the problem is, the Finger Pointer knows it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with their child. The child is just an innocent victim, who also happens to be missing fourteen assignments and has spent the last three days in in-school suspension.

We get it – all parents love their children and are trying to help them in their own way. Unfortunately, some parent types make it harder for teachers to do their job of educating their children. We’ll always keep trying, though!

Come connect with other educators in the #teacherlife community!


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David Rode

Dave is a middle school math teacher. He's also a musician, a community theater, dad to two amazing children, and he doesn't get a lot of sleep.

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