Almost all of us have a chat on WhatsApp or social networks – a working group with colleagues, chatting with friends or former classmates, family correspondence. And if you have a child of kindergarten or school age, then there are probably several such chats.
Parental chats have been legendary for a long time – they quarrel, reconcile, arrange hours of debate and even harassment. But now the hottest time has come for the parents of kindergarteners and schoolchildren of graduation classes – in chats they argue where exactly the holiday will take place, what gifts the teachers or educators will receive, what color folders with photographs will be, and, finally, to whom and how much money must be handed over to graduation. did take place. The daughter of our colleague Alexandra Trofimenko goes to kindergarten, and despite the fact that there is only one child in the family, there are six parental chats. How are such disputes resolved and what problems parents face when they correspond with each other in messengers – read in the author’s column of the NGS correspondent.
I entered my first parental chat when my daughter went to the municipal kindergarten. Then another immediately appeared, exactly the same, but without educators. A year later, when a dance circle happened in our life, we had to join two more according to a similar scheme: one with a coach, the other without. There is also a chess chat and a separate one – preparation at school. A total of six pieces.
And that’s okay. These are the realities of the modern world. To keep abreast of what is happening with the child, at what time additional classes take place, when the teacher canceled the lesson, whether there will be a pool and how much money should be donated for flowers to the educators by March 8, you must be a member of all these chats. All parenting discussions smoothly moved to the virtual space and became the new norm.
Now it is difficult for us, people of the smartphone-Internet generation, to imagine how it was before. And it used to be like this. To discuss day-to-day schoolwork or more pressing issues for upcoming graduations, our parents gathered in meetings and sat there until all points were discussed and those responsible were appointed. Was it difficult? Definitely yes.
A friend once told me that at one such meeting before the graduation from the 11th grade, two women had a fight because they could not come to a consensus on some issue (either they were discussing the venue, or the cost of the event). Therefore, on the one hand, now everything is much simpler.
At any time and from anywhere in space, you can discuss any problem simply by writing about it in the chat. You don’t need to go somewhere to do this. However, this story has a downside. In my humble experience, the main catch is that thirty successful adult people can never agree on something that concerns their children. And if any such discussion is transferred to a virtual space, where there are no restrictions on time and the number of characters, then all this ultimately turns into demagoguery.
Let me give you an example. On the first New Year in our kindergarten, parents were asked to buy gifts for the children. It would seem, what is difficult? Choose, chip, order. But that was hell! The first day, the five most active mothers bombarded the chat with various options. Then one of the parents said that it was too cheap for her boy, so it’s better to throw off not 300 rubles, but a thousand. When she was finally calmed down, it turned out that something sweet needed to be added. But! One is allergic to chocolate, the other parents do not give candy on the principle, therefore “either without sweets, or we will not go to the holiday.” As a result, this discussion stretched over several weeks and hundreds of messages. We nevertheless came to one option. But already without strength and with a clear loss of nerve cells.
Another problem is chat etiquette, which is generally absent. Despite the warnings, some especially active parents write at midnight simply because they think that their important opinion will not wait until morning.
Or, let’s say, recently we discussed for a very long time and painfully what children from the graduating group of the kindergarten need – a photobook or a folder. It was so painful that the teachers had to organize a real meeting, but there everyone quarreled even more. So, after that, one of the mothers sent a 10-minute (I’m not kidding) voice message to the chat about where to go to be photographed, because “it is inconvenient to write to her.” Yes, and listening to all other parents is a pleasure!
I just want to say that parental chats are actually a great problem-solving tool. However, due to the lack of basic respect for those present in it, they often turn into a platform for debates on issues that can be resolved in 10 minutes. And we are wasting weeks. Is there a solution? Unfortunately no. Until we all learn to speak to the point, listen and respect other people, everything will be the way it is. Therefore, the only thing that can be done is to accept.