Parenting Shaming Is At an All-Time High Over Kids Going Back to School

“It’s made our relationship stressful,” one parent says

by Isabella Bridie DeLeo

There’s almost never a situation where one parent should outright tell other parents how to take care of their kids. And yet, of all the varieties of public shaming, parent shaming tends to be the most pervasive and rowdy. Now, thanks to controversy about kids going back to school, get ready for a parent shaming supernova.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created tons of challenges for parents, from navigating remote learning to teaching kids how to live socially distanced lives, and many parents are facing a big decision as the fall quickly approaches about whether or not to send their children back to school. People shouldn’t have to add parent shaming to their list of worries right now, but unfortunately, the complicated situation around the upcoming semester means that some parents have experienced it.

There’s increasing pressure from Trump to reopen schools, as Betsy DeVos also made clear in an interview over the weekend, but that doesn’t mean that all parents are on board. As families search for answers and make their own decisions on a potential return to school, a Romper article takes a look at how parent shaming is on the rise, from social media groups, extended family, friends and even colleagues chiming in on, and often berating, parents’ decisions. Here are some key takeaways from that article:

Some parents experience constant teasing even from work colleagues

Parent shaming can extend beyond the school community. Linda from Washington, D.C. says that her wife has had some uncomfortable Zoom calls with colleagues making fun of her decision to not send her kids back to school—and her wife has been seeking a new job because of these comments. Linda says, “She’s been so upset about it that she’s started looking for another job since the teasing hasn’t stopped.”

The decision-making process can add a strain to your relationship with your family

It can be stressful if not everyone in your family agrees about how to proceed. Jessica from Los Angeles, California said, “My parents are not happy with our choice to send our kids back to school in the fall.” She feels that her kids need the structure of in-person school and adds that her decision has “caused some tension between us, and while I wouldn’t call it shaming, it’s made our relationship stressful.”

Friends can be lost in the process

Elizabeth from New York, a parent, and current middle school tutor, said that she doesn’t want to send her child back to school until a vaccine becomes available. She said, “People came out of the woodwork and accused me of being crazy, extremist, anti-school, you name it” and added that a now “former friend,” told her that her child would not receive a good education if Elizabeth is the one teaching her.

With all of the contingencies surrounding a possible return to school in the fall, should parent shaming really be yet another complication?