While the children usually resolve their disputes by the end of the day, we parents look at one another with murder in our eyesTwo and a half months ago, when my kids started school, I imagined the biggest challenge would be socialisation. At nursery they’d had “friends” in the way it might be imagined slow-moving animals in a field have friends – which is to say animals doing the same thing as them but several feet over there. At school, by contrast, they have to choose whom to sit with. And so the rigmarole of popularity begins. What I hadn’t realised was how much this process was going to involve me. The socialisation – or rather resocialisation of parents who experienced classroom politics approximately 300 years ago, and have to rapidly dust off the machinery – has been shocking. I am 42, and, like everyone else of that age, screen my calls, ignore my voicemail, use my children to get out of doing things I don’t want to do, and am extremely agile at avoiding those I dislike. Well, those days are over. In the interests of protecting my children’s social life, all of a sudden I have to play nice.
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