Are you a Prada Parent or a Helicopter Mum?
I love to people watch. It is one of my all-time favorite hobbies. In an airport, at a wedding… but the best place of all, and by FAR the most entertaining… School Sports Day! Sports Day is either just around the corner for you, or it’s already been and gone for another year. Even for those who don’t have kids, you will remember being a kid with one of these parents coming to your sports day. Take a look at our list of the 5 Parents you will find at Sports Day. Can you spot which category you – or even your parents – might have fitted into?
1: Prada Parents
There is always at least one couple that fit into this category. That is of course unless your child is at a private school, then expect most of the parents to fit into this one. The Prada Parents turn up to Sports Day dripping in the latest designer gear and weighed down by gold or silver. High heels (yes even on the grass… and let me tell you that is hilarious to watch) and brogues polished to within an inch of their lives. Most of the time this is due to the fact that Sports Day is not about the kids, no, for this group it is all about showing off to the other parents. The mother in me often feels like screaming “Hey, your child has just won a gold medal… how about watching rather than fussing with your pearls or showing off your latest Rolex.”
2: Pushy Parents
You will generally find this type camped out at the finish line of each and every race. They are the ones with the loudest voices shouting at their child to run faster. If anyone is going to contest a judge’s decision, it will be the Pushy Parents. I kid you not, at my daughter’s most recent sports day, there were parents arguing that their son had won second place, despite the fact that the ‘judge’ (the PE teacher, because let’s face it, the kids were just 6 and 7 years old…!) had ruled he had indeed come third. Still a medal. In fact, because the kids were so young, each of the medals for first, second and third place were ALL gold… but no, not good enough. Photographic evidence was examined and the Head Teacher had to get involved.
Come on now parents. At six years old, is this really the example we want to be setting for our young children?
3: Helicopter Parents
These parents are harmless, and generally really sweet. They are the ones who fuss over their kids… make sure they have sufficient sun cream on, that pigtails are tied properly and caps are on straight. They are super proud, and not afraid to show it. They shower the kids with kisses and wave enthusiastically from the sidelines. They may ‘helicopter’ around the kids and you will normally find then standing no more than 5 feet away from the child at all times, but they mean no harm.
4: The Reluctant Office Types
This group are not normally in high attendance, but when they are there, they are usually the ones who wish they were not. They will generally be smartly dressed in office attire with a look on their face that says “I have no time for this”. You will generally see them walking away from the crowd on a phone call, or tapping away an incredibly important email. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this… all parents need to work, we get that and most remember to look up from their phone to watch their child race. But something inside me wants to scream, “You’re missing it… you won’t get this time back. Take five minutes out of your day to appreciate this.”
5: The “Professional” Amateur Photographer
Yep… you guessed it. These parents are the ones that get in everyone’s way with their massive zoom lenses and push to the front to get a better picture. You will find more than a few loitering around. My advice, become friends with these parents! Their pictures of your kids will be ten times better than the ones on your smart phone, and the bonus… you get to put your phone down and really enjoy the day.
These are the parents who turn up to Sports Day totally prepared. For battle that is! These parents know each year there will be a parent’s race, and this year they intend to win. They will arrive with a spare pair of trainers, or in extreme cases, already wearing a full on tracksuit. Sometimes, they are just the parents who are eager to show off to their kids and win a smile of pride rather than a trophy. However, you also have the ones who you can tell were just as competitive at school and now they intend to show off their sporting prowess to the ‘bigger’ kids. For example the mum at Sports Day who turns up in a dress, cheers on her daughter, then the moment the parent’s race is announced stands up and strips off to reveal a full on yoga outfit underneath. That is dedication to the cause!