Parents make me angry.
I have organised two outings for the girls in the Kid’s Group that I run. One as a treat in two weeks and a themed party on Saturday.
I began posting information about these events a full month ago, feeling as though by giving the parents such a thorough level of information that far in advance, I was giving them enough time to make up their minds, check their diaries and get back to me.
I was wrong. I heard nothing.
Instead I carried on posting information on the Private Facebook page, at least once a week. Repeating the dates, times, and events over and over. Two out of the twenty replied.
Then a week ago I decided it was getting desperate. Instead I printed out twenty letters about each trip. One even had a named confirmation slip attached. All I needed was a signature. Not only this, but listed on both letters were five ways in which the parents could get back to me. Nothing.
I have to book these trips, select the venues, buy the food, prepare the crafts and other activities. But now I have to do it without any concrete numbers. So I’ve paid it all out, and as everybody knows, everything costs.
So now three days before, feeling a bit more desperate I put a slight threat up on the page, saying that if we don’t hear back and don’t have at least ten then the entire day will be cancelled. Literally within an hour I had nine replies. Was it that difficult??
I understand that non-school related trips and activities often get pushed to the bottom of the pile, that they lose rank in terms of importance. I also understand that these parents and their daughters have other commitments, that they go to other clubs and groups. That they may be taking part in a School Street Parade, be part of a Church Group or have a Dance show – however as a parent you would know about these events at least a week in advance. That would be all I needed. A single week.
So now I’m angry.
I’ve given all these parents equal opportunity to get back to me in a number of different ways, and yet I hear nothing. It seems only when threats of cancellation come out that I suddenly get replies. However, now it seems for the Saturday Party, it will be too little too late.
Now I may have to cancel it and upset the girls who wanted to come. This will be viewed by those parents as my own fault. It is not. It is the parents who don’t get back to me until the last possible second. It is their lack of confirmation that causes the other girls to be upset.
It makes me angry.
I think to myself, imagine if you are throwing your daughter a birthday party, and the other parents weren’t confirming whether or not they could come until the day before.
Imagine how frustrated you’d be. Imagine how angry you’d get.