Parental (lack of) thank yous

>>  Monday, July 16, 2012

I have been a Guider now for 26 years and I love the different aspects of Guiding, so don't get me wrong: when I spend 55 hours in one weekend producing 150 meals, 300 drinks and 100 snacks on about 5 hours sleep I actually enjoy (most) of it!

I don't mind rushing out of work on Brownie night to quick change and out again on no food.

I am happy to dive into Rainbows at a drop of a hat when they are a leader down or mummy helper didn't turn up.

I don't even worry about giving up days of my limited holiday to go shopping for craft items or give up my dining room table to 24 growing beans and drying art work.

But what amazes me is that the parents of the children who share the fun rarely say "Hey, thanks" or "We appreciate it"

Of the last 3 Pack Holidays I have done I have had 2 thank you - yes 2 out of a possible 54! (I am in the kitchen not Guider in charge who will get more I am sure!) I think I have had 200 girls pass through my care, I distinctly recall about 5 parents:

My best friend (who knew the effort made)
A wonderful father who cleaned the cooker for me at the end of one pack holiday
A father who shuttered up (the cabin)
A mother who bought me a Christmas present
A genuine and loving thank you from a mother at the end of a brownie's 4 year run.

And a number of bad ones:

"you were responsible for her when she lost her jumper, I am going to complain to your manager!" - ha, please do!!!
"her friend's pack does more exciting things than you, and you are both paid the same" - that would be absolutely nothing then!
the silent leavers, no phone call, no contact and a brush off when I ring to see if all is ok and check whether their girl is coming back!

As I said, I love Guiding and if it was all for thank yous and accolade, I would have finished years ago but ALL leaders: stay up late planning, gluing, folding, typing, delivering, worrying. Go to trainings and meetings. Turn up week after week come rain and shine through personal difficulties and tiredness and give the girls so much fun, learning and experience.

So when you see Rainbow Rabbit/Brown Owl/Captain for the last time this term it would be lovely for them to hear "thank you so much, I appreciate it"

And if you happen to be a Ranger reading this: I never ever see your parents, you hide them round a corner - so you can pass the thank you on yourself...

I invest so much energy into making the girls feel great about themselves, I think today I need someone to do the same thing for me.

Thank you.


Stephanie 4:31 pm  

This AMAZES me! My girls thank swimming instructors, gym coaches and even the Doctor as we leave the office. Good thing for people like you who volunteer their time to make the world a better place for our little ones.

Jen 5:29 pm  

I know just how you feel - it's an experience that has made me determined to always thank volunteers who work with my own children, hence the meringues after camp last week!

It really doesn't take much - I remember we took some girls to Hautbois for a weekend 2 years ago and I dropped two at home - the first one plied me with two bottles of wine (one for me, one for the other Guider) and the second didn't even say thank you, just looked upset because we had arrived home 20 mins early and spoiled a surprise party!

I definitely remember the thank yous - the scribbled notes, the odd bottle of wine. And just a verbal thank you is all I hope for, I don't need a pressie. Shame I get it so rarely - and it is always the same parents who remember and the same parents who forget!

PippaD 11:10 pm  

Note to self, make sure that when Top Ender joins Rainbows to make sure that everyone knows how much I appreciate what they do and try to help out as much as possible!

Working Mum 7:26 pm  

If it's any consolation, I used to take pupils on a school holiday in August (so that parents wouldn't have to entertain them for a week of the Summer holidays, I gave up a week of mine) and I used to get maybe two thank yous from 30 sets of parents. Some parents are incredibly selfish and self centred and have no manners.

btw I phoned my daughter's Rainbow leader this summer to say thank you for last term and how much my daughter is enjoying it and is there anything I can help with - there are some nice parents out there.

AGuidingLife 11:05 pm  

WM: a phone call thank you for a term!! wow - that is lovely, and will really spur the leader on, thank you.

My daughters teachers did a residential trip last year and are again this year - and I think they are nuts (and I very much appreciate it). To do it in your own holidays is just crazy - but lovely.

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