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Frustration!


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We had a committee meeting today to elect new parents for this year. None of the parent showed they simply can't be bothered. We have asked for parents to help with outings and welly walks - again no one is interested because they do not like having to give up their time to support their child at pre school. Which means we can't go on any outings until we have parents helping. I hand out learning journals for parents to read and write comments. They hand them back, pretend to read them and never bother writing in them. Does anyone have any good ideas of motivating parents for contributing to journals or generally helping out? I've just had enough really!

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We have had this problem in the past and it really feels like you are banging your head against a brick wall. I have now found that if I ask parents for help on an outing, do it face to face as they find it hard to say no then!! We have been doing wow slips this term and displaying them on the wow wall in the entrance, think we may have some competitive parents as we seem to have a lot on the wall!

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No great ideas, Im afraid jennac as we find our parents equally unenthusiastic just sympathising really. And its not as if we dont try.......actually got an outstanding for Partnership with Parents!! ha ha. Please dont anyone suggest (as an advisor once did ) to have a 'Parents Evening'. ..............as a) I dont have the energy anymore and B) I might end up eating all the chees and certainly drinking all the wine! : /

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Oh - I couldn't just 'read and run' - how awful for you......wish i had something more useful to say.......

 

When I send my LJ folders home I write on them 'Records home (date) Parents comments:' - it is quite unusual for us not to get any comments - I always make sure that I then write in 'Daily contact books' - thank you so much for your comments.......

 

I'm not Committee run - I am owner/manager so i have no experience there.....

 

I'm really sorry that I can't be of more help :(

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thanks for all your comments:) I put in the back of our learning journals a parent page with a date and small comment box. We are considerate of the parents who may not be as literate as others and often scribe for them. But for the others they really don't care. They spend more of their time moaning about the pre school in the playground rather than voicing concerns. We have a book complaints and suggestions for parents to write in they don't bother. I'm thinking of starting a parent forum once a term where parents can voice any issues. However I know im setting myself up for the same situation as last time when I had two parents back me into a corner and started yelling at me.Whether or not they turn up is another story.... I'm just fed up of introducing so many good things to the setting but they just don't seem to get it! I have also started up a WOW page not that it's taken it off at all.... I have invested so much time out of hours to make the pre school a good place for their children and for what exactly??

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it's hard and frustrating, isn't it? it's the same for me......i do same as zigzag, and collar parents. we do sometimes get volunteers but one or two cause problems as they can't control their child who then plays up with mum there. so it's easier to ask who i want!! we do wows and it does create competition for some parents too. in learning journeys we have a parents page and record chats we have had as parents just don't want to add to it themselves, e.g. mummy liked sam's dinosaur picture on the wall and told us he plays with them in the bath etc. and we give them a post-it to fill in there and then at parents meetings!! and they can fill in one after our xmas show - you were a lovely bell etc. and if they send in toys we write thanks on the page too. so the page if full but we've done it!! hope they might contribute eventually, but not rushing out for the champagne yet............. x

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I am watching this page with interest as we have the same proble Jennac. We have introduced home diaries which a couple of parents wrote in a few times and then stopped. We have wow slips which have never been used! and last week I invited parents in to look at learning journeys and take them home and they all came back with the parents comment box empty!

 

I have recently sent a questionnaire out to parents and am pleased that they all say they are happy with their child's progress and how they are kept informed of their child's learning (they just never actually tell us!!)

 

I really sympathise with you Jennac :(

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Guest terrydoo73

I sympathise with you too. Have just returned from a Parents Meeting - we have one every month and last month only 4 parents turned up. We sent out a questionnaire the day after personally handing it into their hands asking when would be suitable night and if interested in helping with fundraising. Half of them were returned and were enthusiastic on all counts. Tonights meeting - only 3 turned up and of those 3, 2 complained they hadn't received our newsletter stating the date for the Parents Meeting nor their sponsorship cards for the Toddle we are doing as our first fundraiser next Friday during Playgroup!!

 

We are planning a coffee evening on the first Friday night in December and are planning to produce a tea towel as a fundraiser putting all the childrens handprints on it. This will require lost of support from parents - baking cakes etc to sell on the night, selling admission tickets, supplying items for the raffle and providing items for the raffle as well as being on hand to help with serving tea, selling cakes and towels etc Now how do I approach the parents who didn't attend to do all this? Apparently we are to pinhole them!

 

I really don't know whether to just pull the plug now before I do anything or just barge on with my ideas. I really depend on these parents to publicise our Playgroup but if they don't attend the meeting and hear and emphasise these things then how can I be sure of my numbers for next September?

 

It is so frustrating and you have to just struggle on hoping that at least one parent will sing your praises!

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We had a committee meeting today to elect new parents for this year. None of the parent showed they simply can't be bothered. We have asked for parents to help with outings and welly walks - again no one is interested because they do not like having to give up their time to support their child at pre school. Which means we can't go on any outings until we have parents helping. I hand out learning journals for parents to read and write comments. They hand them back, pretend to read them and never bother writing in them. Does anyone have any good ideas of motivating parents for contributing to journals or generally helping out? I've just had enough really!

firstly you have my sympathy it can be really draining can't it! (have run with a committee for 14 years...but now have trustees instead!)

secondly be enthusiastic ...even when you dont feel like it or it all becomes very negative. The parents pay for a service, they probably have no idea what finance you run on or how hard you work, they can just see you as a childcarer....which of course is essentially what we are! If you want more from them i think you have to find a way to present it that makes it worth their while too...do they know you need help to go on outings, do they know what their children get out of these trips.

Learning stories can be so full of info that parents get a bit overwhelmed and they don't know what you want them to write....maybe try a different feedback on them giving them 2 possitives and one thing to work on (like two stars and a wish). I do think that maybe we expect too much from our parents now...when my children went to pre-school i was only interested in the fact they were happy i didn;t really want to know if they could count or do their alphabet!

Good luck!

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I sympathise with you, I really do. I know there are Early Years Advisors about, pressuring you to get parents involved, but in defence of parents..... when my children went off to playgroup (that I really couldn't afford) I used that time to restore my own sanity or spend a little bit of one-to-one time with the baby. I was so exhausted with small boys and a forty-odd-year-old one that I needed all that time to get a shovel to three years' accumulated mire and have a shower. I loved and wanted my boys like you have no idea, but those two and a half hours twice a week were MY lifeline. I couldn't get out in the evening for a swim, a meeting at tea/dinner/bed time would have been right out of the question.

 

Just because parents aren't in playgroup/nursery does not mean they're not involved with, or care about, their children. Get them where they are. Facebook them. Text them. Ask them directly about what children are doing at home - one child a day, five mins at the end of the session. Ask them to come in five mins early if you don't want to use your time. Just don't mess with the routine.

 

Hope you can come to some sort of happy medium.

 

Honey

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Guest sn0wdr0p

I really do sympathise and empathise with you. So many of us have this problem. I agree that many parents just want to know their children are happy and can see that when they come to collect them. Do you not think that most of this is just to prove to Ofsted that we are engaging with parents. I don't need a formal parents evening to let parents know how their child is getting on-if there are problems we speak to them when they come in and always chat in the shops at the school gates or wherever else we bump into each other. I still do parents evenings, open nights, messy play days etc. and get the same few parents attending every time. However I know how difficult it is for parents to find the time to come in speaking as one who has worked over 80 hours since last Friday.

 

I would love it if parents returned Wows and I hope that the excitement of parents about Tapestry continues to have them more involved.

 

You are not on your own. Have you seen the walls outside nurseries with the dents in - that's all of us banging our heads against them.

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As others have said you have my sympathy - we have had that sitiuation for a while but seem to have a new wonderful set of parents this term. We had a parents evening last week and one parents said 'where is everyone' we pointed out to him that it was infact a good turn out - for once the parents did outnumber the staff!! - You can only do so much - as long as you know you have tried there has to be a point when you can do no more - some people just don't want to know and are happy to just moan!! - When I am at a low I just remember one of those 'magic' moments the children give you - that reminds me of why I do the job - it's certainly not for the parents Lol

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I've read all these posts with slumped shoulder's and a feeling of deja vu, I get so very fed up with trying year after year. But its also made me think about how we offer activities to the children.

To us, the jigsaws we've had for zillions of years are boring and the same music CDs and books are uninspiring and flat, but to the children its all new. They're not sure what to do, who to listen to, who to play with and they're probably worried they wont do it right.

We've tried everything to get parents on board, to join the committee, to take part in events and show an interest in what we do, but for them its the first time and even if they're with us for two years, they can never get to such a jaded position we're in.

We need to remember to keep it fresh, make it like its the first time we've ever said 'please join us' or the first time we've put on an activity session and invited them in, the first time we've told them we value your input.

We need to stop telling ourselves, 'that wont work, we tried it before'. Well yes we did try it before but that was with a different set of parents, these will be different.

 

Come on ladies and gents, this is the Early Years we don't give up, we can make anything out of anything.

 

 

:1b :1b :1b :1b

Edited by Rea
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I've read all these posts with slumped shoulder's and a feeling of deja vu, I get so very fed up with trying year after year. But its also made me think about how we offer activities to the children.

To us, the jigsaws we've had for zillions of years are boring and the same music CDs and books are uninspiring and flat, but to the children its all new. They're not sure what to do, who to listen to, who to play with and they're probably worried they wont do it right.

We've tried everything to get parents on board, to join the committee, to take part in events and show an interest in what we do, but for them its the first time and even if they're with us for two years, they can never get to such a jaded position we're in.

We need to remember to keep it fresh, make it like its the first time we've ever said 'please join us' or the first time we've put on an activity session and invited them in, the first time we've told them we value your input.

We need to stop telling ourselves, 'that wont work, we tried it before'. Well yes we did try it before but that was with a different set of parents, these will be different.

 

Come on ladies and gents, this is the Early Years we don't give up, we can make anything out of anything.

 

 

:1b :1b :1b :1b

 

Do you know that is so true. Thanks for putting it like that.

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I've read all these posts with slumped shoulder's and a feeling of deja vu, I get so very fed up with trying year after year. But its also made me think about how we offer activities to the children.

To us, the jigsaws we've had for zillions of years are boring and the same music CDs and books are uninspiring and flat, but to the children its all new. They're not sure what to do, who to listen to, who to play with and

they're probably worried they wont do it right.

We've tried everything to get parents on board, to join the committee, to

take part in events and show an interest in what we do, but for them its the

first time and even if they're with us for two years, they can never get to

such a jaded position we're in.

We need to remember to keep it fresh, make it like its the first time we've ever said 'please join us' or the first time we've put on an activity session and invited them in, the first time we've told them we value your input.

We need to stop telling ourselves, 'that wont work, we tried it before'. Well

yes we did try it before but that was with a different set of parents, these

will be different.

Come on ladies and gents, this is the Early Years we don't give up, we can

make anything out of anything.

:1b :1b :1b :1b

 

Oh please come to ni and sort us all out! Love it what an inspiration you must be!!!

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I've read all these posts with slumped shoulder's and a feeling of deja vu, I get so very fed up with trying year after year. But its also made me think about how we offer activities to the children.

To us, the jigsaws we've had for zillions of years are boring and the same music CDs and books are uninspiring and flat, but to the children its all new. They're not sure what to do, who to listen to, who to play with and they're probably worried they wont do it right.

We've tried everything to get parents on board, to join the committee, to take part in events and show an interest in what we do, but for them its the first time and even if they're with us for two years, they can never get to such a jaded position we're in.

We need to remember to keep it fresh, make it like its the first time we've ever said 'please join us' or the first time we've put on an activity session and invited them in, the first time we've told them we value your input.

We need to stop telling ourselves, 'that wont work, we tried it before'. Well yes we did try it before but that was with a different set of parents, these will be different.

 

Come on ladies and gents, this is the Early Years we don't give up, we can make anything out of anything.

 

 

:1b :1b :1b :1b

 

Rea, you are the voice of hope, reason and common sense.....can't you change your career and enter the government, as I would finally have someone to believe in!!!!

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Well, when I think back 20 years to when my eldest son started playgroup I was quiet, lacked self confidence and wouldn't approach anyone to chat. Now, I don't recognise that person. But I remember what it felt like, I went to playgroup because I knew my son needed to play, I met other mom's in the same position, all of us scared of each other, with maybe one or two who were on their second child and who would tell us newbies what to do and I was always scared of upsetting someone, always wondering which little clique I should be in. I had a health visitor who told me my youngest son was 'satisfactory' at his 3 year check and another was less than impressed when I told her my eldest couldnt ride a trike at 3 years old. I felt I was doing it wrong so we went out the next day and bought him a bike. The youngest was normal as it turned out, she wasnt!

When I was asked to stay and help out at playgroup I was really anxious I'd get it wrong, the staff were always lovely and if I did make mistakes, no-one ever laughed or made out I was an idiot, but the feeling they might was always there.

We're old hacks at this, but they're new and its all fresh and exciting and scarey. We need to try harder :rolleyes: :1b

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I doubt there's anyone that doesn't question what the point is sometimes (ok most of the time) where trying to get input from parents is concerned ..... But having recently set up a Facebook page I,ve been surprised at some of the private messages I've received from parents (especially younger ones) saying things like 'I,m a bit concerned about ....', 'have you noticed', 'just wanted to let you know'.....it seems to open the door to them and they'll then come in for a face to face chat where as no matter how many stay and plays we have they wouldn't have come in, or if did wouldn't admit to any concerns and worries.

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Rea,we have two Facebook pages, one that's secure, and parents have to ask to join, and one that's 'out there' that is like a daily blog, and it has pictures on - but just pictures of artwork and stuff, no children. I have it fairly 'open' so that prospective patents can look, and nan's and grandad can find out what we've been up to. There's nothing on there I would consider to be questionable. I never say if we're going out and about before the event, for example.

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How did you set the secure one up and how ....how, how everything? :wacko:

Maybe its too late to be doing this, maybe I should go to bed and wait till the morning when all will be well with the world. :rolleyes:

I think that's what I'll do, night folks

-_-

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