STFU Parents: It’s Back To School Time On Facebook

It’s that time of year again! Everywhere you look, there’s a back-to-school sale or promotion, and my inbox overfloweth with school-related submissions. Because of the nature of STFU, Parents, I usually get a cross-section of submission topics that I use as a barometer to fully understand the current climate of parenting as it relates to education (and Facebook, of course). And let me tell you, we as people – and as adults raising young ones – have some work to do. If we’re not complaining about a teacher or our child not getting into a gifted program, then our kid is getting sent home for wearing improper clothing. It’s tough to be a parent these days, and even tougher to be a parent whose child excels in school. (And not just any school, mind you — the right school.) So today I thought I’d dedicate the column to some submissions I’ve received pertaining to all things scholastic, because it’s important to remember that there are many different kinds of parents out there, and not all of them are just like you.

Here are some examples:

1. The “Cool” Mom

The “Cool” Mom thinks the most important thing in life is to look awesome, and I use the definition of awesome loosely. Whether it’s dressing her daughter like a “hoochie mama” or dressing her son like a pants-around-his-knees thug, this mom’s main concern is not knowing whether her kids can name all the state capitals, but rather making sure everyone in school knows who looks fly.

2. The Complainer

This is a common type of submission lately due to the new school restrictions, and I find it sad to read. Without sounding too preachy, it’s a shame that there are parents whose kids consider wheat bread to be “inedible.” And it’s even more of a shame that those kids parents’ don’t invest as much time in helping their kids eat right and study as they do complaining about a sudden lack of midday cookies.

3. The Clueless Relative

Oh, Clueless Relative, why did you not learn how to spell in school? Why do you open your mouth and let the words spill out about something you know nothing about? Thanks for the laughs, but you might want to read up on certain topics before commenting on them.

4. The MommyJacker

There’s a mommyjacker for every subject (we already know that), and back-to-school is no exception. Who cares if Ally spilled her coffee all over her desk before diving into the work week? Elaine had to send her baby off to kindergarten!

5. Story Hour

Well, at least Dani is looking out for Landon’s interests. His Daddy is too proud to know when to stop telling stories about Landon’s experiences pooping in school. You just can’t stop a boastful dad from giving his kid props on Facebook for wiping his own ass.

6. The Mompetition

This is from April, but it’s still entirely relevant to today. Actually it’s pretty relevant for nearly any time of any year, because mompetitions have been going on for decades. Only now, moms like K. use the excuse that their daughters are “spoiled rotten” as a way to avoid putting them into academic programs that will challenge them. Er, they just take longer to “adjust”, that’s all! Thank goodness little Bella is still going to “the best” school and not that crummy other elementary school, amirite? Our babies deserve only the best.

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    • foley

      Tbf, I would NOT be drinking 1% milk. That stuff tastes like dirty water. Semi-skimmed is fine, but anything less than that is neither milk nor water but ALL disgusting.

      Otherwise, that woman is a bit mad.

    • Alexis

      Why am I suddenly hearing about so many children with the name “Landon”? Is it a spin-off of the name “London” but misspelt so that it sounds as if it is spoken by a native, or was it created in some other Mordor?

      • Cass

        I know adults named Landon, it’s not a new name but it wasn’t ever as popular as it has been in the past few years.

      • Brittany

        No, it’s not a spin-off of London. It’s pronounced like LAN dun. Not Lahn dun… which is how I think you’re trying to pronounce it…

      • Rebekah

        It might be from Landon Donovan?

      • Janet

        I hadn’t heard it as a first name until I met my father-in-law (from VA). Now we also have a nephew named after him. It’s an old name, but I have definitely seen it a lot more lately too!

    • angela

      Purple line in #6: Boston is her kid’s name?!? Sorry, couldn’t get beyond that to read the rest of the blah blah school blah blah.

    • Cass

      In Lorraine’s case – I would be going hungry just like her kids. I’m an adult but I’d rather go hungry for a few hours than eat wheat bread or 1% milk! Her post is still obnoxious thought. OF COURSE you pack your kids lunch every day if they don’t like the offerings at school. Cafeteria lunches are an option. My poor mother had to make me lunches every day for years but she never complained or implied that the school is at fault for not catering to my picky tastes.

      • Taylor

        You’d rather go hungry than eat wheat bread??? WHEAT BREAD? Sorry but that’s pathetic.

      • Pix

        Umm… I don’t think she means she’d DIE before eating wheat bread. She’s just talking about a few hours. And if she’d rather wait because she doesn’t really like wheat bread, then that’s just her taste. There’s nothing “pathetic” about it.

      • anon

        “I’d rather go hungry for a few hours” — she didn’t say she’d rather starve than eat wheat bread! Some people just don’t like it, no big deal.

      • Mel

        Really, cass? Are you still eating wonderbread and whole milk? I’m not trying to be snarky…I just don’t really know any adults anymore that drink anything but skim. I, for one am absolutely applauding that schools are trying to cut down and fat and introduce some healthy foods, because it’s clear from the poster up above that a lot of kids aren’t getting anything that resembles healthy food at home. We only have wheat bread in our house, so that’s what my son is going to eat, and I’m sure he’ll learn to like it just fine.

      • JBee

        Mel, I recently switched from skim to whole milk after I saw some recent articles saying adults should drink whole milk instead of 1%, because 1% is more processed and has yucky additives to thin it down. Plus, they say the fat content in whole milk makes you feel more full and satisfied, so you may end up eating less.

        Here’s an article http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/is-skim-milk-making-you-fat-2479492

        My point is that I try not to be cocky that my personal food choices are the best, because there’s always new evidence saying what’s better. Yeah, I try to eat wheat bread, but then there’s people who argue that all breads are bad because they’re processed, and that most wheat breads aren’t whole grainy enough, and so on. I try not to engage in food one-upmanship. To each their own.

      • Cass

        I eat rye bread, for the record, and yes, I drink whole milk when I drink milk at all. Skim is disgusting to me, I can’t drink it. I eat healthy in general. I don’t see how drinking skim milk is a sign of maturity. I always saw it as a sign of being on a low-fat diet.

        I am glad, too, that schools are serving healthy food. My comment was that it’s crazy for a mom to think that the school has a responsibility to serve food that picky children (like me) like. My mom packed me healthy lunches – I got fruit, not candy or cookies – but it was healthy food that I liked rather than the stuff they served in the cafeteria.

      • Leigha

        Really, Mel? Who CARES what kind of bread or milk other people like? The majority of people I know drink 2%. The only options we had when I was in school were whole or 2%. The only one that has any taste to it whatsoever is whole (and I can attest to that on account of how I hate milk and have little issue with 2%, due to the lack of taste). Recent studies have indicated (as previously stated) that whole milk is the healthiest, but even before that, I have to say, I get incredibly sick of the “OMG it has fat in it, fat is bad!” attitude so many people have. Fat is not only NOT bad, it’s essential (to an extent), especially certain types (of which, admittedly, milk fat is not).

        As for bread, are you eating only whole grain bread? Because if not, that wheat bread is just colorful white bread. All they do is add caramel coloring.

    • Sabrina

      Alexis – My son is named Landon. It’s actually an older name, it’s been used going back 5 generations in my husband’s family. But for the life of me I’m not sure why it’s everywhere all of a sudden.

      • CK

        Everything old is new again!

    • Cady

      No. 3 reminds me of some graffiti I read in a bathroom stall once. Someone had written something about how lesbians are only lesbians because they are “to ugly” to get a man (which is both not true and totally rude), and someone else replied “You are an illerate idiot! Learn to spell before forming an opinion!” She was right, but it was hilarious, because, you know, illerate. Not a word.

    • Natalie

      Please, please tell me that one of the kids being discussed in the last pic is NOT named Boston.

    • TheSquirrel

      Nothing is more mortifying than when your mom tries to show how much she’s attuned to what the kids are into these days. You should only be playing dress up with your children when they’re unable to physically stop you from putting stupid outfits on them.

      • Pix

        Are we talking about the first one? With the backpack? That girl is definitely old enough to chose her own bag. I’d place a bet that she picked that out herself.

    • Ally

      I grew up on a dairy farm drinking fresh milk. Later my parents switched us to 1% and I got used to the taste within a few days. I prefer it now.

      • Denyse

        There comes a time when all children need to be weaned, for goodness sake.

      • n

        First, I must say that I always find it interesting when I meet someone else who grew up on a dairy farm. Yay!

        Second, agreed. Back when I could drink milk, my mother gradually switched us from the straight-from-the-cow to 2% to 1% to skim. You get used to it, and you move on with life.

      • Cass

        I am really confused by all these comments that basically say “grown-ups drink skim milk.” My mom took us down to 2% when I was in middle school but I never really liked it so once I got out on my own I switched back to whole milk. How is taste a sign of immaturity?

      • Pix

        I dunno. If that’s the case I guess I’m super immature, because I don’t like milk at all. Period. :)

      • Naideen

        I work in the dairy department at a grocery store and I am blown away by the amount of adults who still drink whole milk. It’s their own decision, of course, but the amount of saturated fat in just a glass of whole milk is incredible. I’m sure it tastes better (I cannot drink milk, so I have no idea), but it has so much sugar, fat, etc that most adults are advised to stay away from it.

      • Leigha

        Naideen–Actually, as was mentioned lower down, recent studies have shown you might be far better off drinking whole milk.

    • B (but not the B of STFU Parents)

      Lorraine, yes, that means you send a lunch every day, just like moms who wanted their kids to eat healthy had to do for years and years. Good thing Lunchables, Snack Packs, and other HFCS and trans-fat laden non-foods are abundant!

      • STFU Parents

        Haha, thanks for making the distinction :)

    • JB

      I thought the backpack would be of Bratz or something when she said ‘hoot chie mama, but….stripes? Huh? I guess I’m not as “with it” as this MOM is…..

    • n

      I got totally lost in that last picture. It was somewhere around “I didn’t want Boston there, he’ll be in Springfield” that my brain just shut down and went “What? What did I just bloody read?”

    • Raquel

      Sorry, but did one woman name her kid Boston?

    • Natalie

      K is an absolute twat. And any mother who finds making school lunches difficult and complains that their child is not getting enough sweets and cookies needs to figure her life out.

    • Kim

      In addition to her other problems, our girl K. in the last submission also needs to cool it with the exclamation points.

    • Jane

      I am a teacher, and our school has a healthy foods program. One of the other reasons for it is that kids need to eat well to do well. those who have pudding for snack and Mr. Noodles for lunch are wired and then crash hard in the afternoon. Anyone who thinks chocolate and sugar doesn’t affect a kid hasn’t spent an afternoon Halloween party with 30 of them. Swinging from the rafters, then tears and irritability. There’s something to be said for healthy eating leading to a more successful day of learning. Parents argued that they have the right to decide what their kid eats at school, but hey, the teachers have to deal with the consequences all day long!

      That said, I always thought it was too bad exceptions couldn’t be made for special events. apple slices just aren’t as festive as cupcakes. But I digress.

      • Leigha

        My lunch in elementary school normally consisted of a Lunchable, Gushers, and a can of soda. I never once had any issues with crashing or losing focus in any way. When I bought lunch, I was mostly just annoyed that they made me buy milk (I have always disliked milk, even as a toddler, probably due to mild lactose intolerance) and that the food was disgusting and barely edible (not that Lunchables are much better, but at least they aren’t half-undercooked half-burnt like the school’s pizza, with 5 gallons of grease per slice).

        Trust me, my lunch never led to a single unsuccessful day of learning.

      • Leigha

        Although I would like to add to that, it was always un-caffeinated soda. I wasn’t allowed caffeine at all until I was about 12. I didn’t always bring soda, but I’m incredibly picky about beverages and don’t like ANY of the typical “kid drinks” like Carpi-Sun and Hi-C, and only ever liked a couple flavors of Kool-Aid, so it was always juice, soda, or lemonade. I actually probably had juice (or Kool-Aid Bursts) more frequently, but the point I was trying to make was it never had much effect on me either way.

    • Emily

      Is ‘wheat bread’ the same as ‘whole wheat bread’? As a non-wheat eater, I at first I thought this was a mother of a child with gluten intolerance, but I guess it’s just a mother with whole grain intolerance. For the record, when my students were finally given a snack of broccoli and carrots after a year of pre-packaged snacks one of them actually turned to me with a huge smile and said, “teacher! all our dreams came true!”

      Nutrition education works.

    • Katie

      My mom served me skim milk and whole wheat bread my whole childhood. The schools served 2% and white bread. So I guess my mom should have complained to the schools about not catering to MY eating choices.

    • Teacher4Life

      *sigh* Allow me a small rant, if you please.

      I often have children get up from their seats to do a little quick cardio to boost up their brains again after a long time sitting. Guess which kids either don’t move at all or barely pick up their feet? Yeah. The chunky ones. Every time. It makes me so sad. They are not unhealthy because of a medical condition, family history, or anything other than the fact that their parents have taught and allowed them to have unhealthy lifestyles, including what they eat and when and how (if at all) they exercise.

      I’d give anything to get some of these kids off the computer and out in the sunshine to experience real life. I don’t know what our future holds with children being allowed to live such a sedentary life at such a young age.

      • Person

        Maybe they don’t participate because they’re self conscious about their weight, not because they’re just fat and lazy as you’ve implied.

      • Anon

        I have to agree with the previous responder, they’re probably not participating because they’re self-conscious.Other kids can be brutal and may be picking on those kids when you aren’t paying attention. Kids pick up on your derision and pity, I’m sure they’re well aware of how you feel towards them and it doesn’t help.

      • Teacher4Life

        If they were the least bit self-conscious, my guess is that they wouldn’t be trying very hard to be the center of attention by doing weird slow-motion running instead of just jogging in place like the other kids. They would stand at the back of the room instead of towards the front (and that is always an option). So no, they are not self-conscious. They simply have unhealthy habits and are choosing them probably because of their parents not encouraging them to be more active. I have been teaching long enough to be able to tell the difference between a child uncomfortable with themselves and a child who is choosing to make a spectacle of themselves. Furthermore, I don’t have “derision” for any child. I do have sadness for children who are being allowed to live sedentary lives.

      • Leigha

        Did it occur to you that maybe they just don’t want to do it?

        See, if I were little and in your class, I would probably be extraordinarily annoyed at the interruption and desperately want you to stop being silly and get back to the important learning stuff. I would most likely have cooperated, reluctantly, solely out of fear of drawing attention or getting in trouble, but I would have done it very disdainfully and as disinterestedly as possible.

        I was also very, very tiny as a kid, borderline underweight (runs in my family, on one side, nothing to be done about it). I just firmly believed that school was for learning and that should be interrupted as little as possible. If I could’ve been confident enough to not participate, I certainly would not have. I would have sat there and read.

        (And I know that’s how I would’ve reacted because I have, at some point, had teachers who did that once or twice, and I thoroughly despised it and felt utterly ridiculous and foolish the whole time.)

      • AnOtherTeacher

        You cannot pinpoint a particular group of people — children, in this case — for condemnation and scorn, then turn around and claim your statements are not based on derision. Let there be no play of semantics: you’re judging those children, their families, and their lifestyles.

        You assert that they are not ‘chunky’ (my, what polite terminology you invoke to curl your lip up at fat people) due to medical conditions, or family history. Have you taken into account the healthy food options and living conditions for people near or below poverty level? Research has shown, overwhelmingly, that poverty leads to increased obesity due to limitations on healthy and affordable food, or circumstances in which family structure can influence the intake of such. Not to mention the social impact of ‘non-traditional’ families.

        Have you considered the ways that our youth is subjected to over 3,000 advertisements a DAY, many of them for fast food conglomerates that place profit above health? These conglomerates are known for purchasing political influence in order to ensure the regulations that might negatively impact their profits are discarded and ignored.

        The children you claim to care about — while sneering under your sheath — are being commoditized before they have any sort of reasoning or freewill to exert on their own behalf.

        We have sold the health and well-being of our children to the highest bidder. Before you retch and rant about the sedentary sloths who are undeserving of filling your classroom chairs, perhaps you ought to consider what society has done to them, and not for them. It has a heck of a lot to do with ‘history.’

    • Kate

      I love that so many commenters equate being an adult with skim milk…that makes no sense. I’d rather my kid drink whole regular milk than 1% any day… it’s healthier for you! And if you don’t like what they’re serving at the school, why not teach them to drink water? Why are people so focused on the milk anyway, when it’s the overly processed crap that most parents (and schools) are feeding kids? I’ve never known a kid to get fat off of whole milk, but I know a ton who get fat off of being fed foods with ingredients that even with my science background find hard to pronounce.

      As for that last one…WTF? Who brags about their child being so “spoiled rotten” that it seems to classify them as special needs?

    • Wolfmother

      Small wonder that children today are whiny, self centered, obnoxious little pricks. Look at their parents.

    • Lisap

      Oh dear Lord, I have gone all through school with “Bella.” She is either going to completely rebel against the helicopter Mommy or she is going to be one of those kids who makes it to University but can’t take care of herself, scholastically or socially, who calls home in a panic by the end of the first day. Have fun K….., you have a long life of parenting a head of you and it is going to be all your own fault.

    • Jo

      My problem with the last one: It seems from her comment that J named her child “Boston.” Ugh.

    • Toki

      The name Boston is bad enough, but naming your kid after the girl from Twilight…ugh

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    • TD

      Boston, Holden, Landon…who the fuck names their kid Boston?

    • Yupyupyup

      Did anyone else notice that Bella’s mom ended every sentence with an exclamation mark! It made me feel oddly excited for no reason! It also made me read it in a shouty voice in my head! People who overuse exclamation points annoy me! It’s so frusturating!

    • Jess

      To be fair school lunches ARE pretty inedible. It’s not really whole grain bread.

    • Sarah

      ugh #3 is my school…

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