Parent get-togethers and digital forums are damaging, rules stress panel

Two social functions a year is more than enough and perhaps handwritten notes should make a comeback

“Quick, get your coat on, we’ve got another parents’ meeting. You know: to discuss the camping trip, the cake competition and the half-term picnic.”

“But that’s the third this week! Arsenal are playing Chelsea and I’ve just come off a 12-hour shift. Do I really have to be there? You know what I’m like about speaking Danish in public.”

“Look, these parents have been working really hard. Camilla’s gone on stress leave so she can dedicate herself full-time, and we now need to replace Jan … you know … the feel-good campfire singer, so we can close our eyes and imagine it’s 1981 again.”

“Oh bloody hell!”

Ceiling for parent events
Many of us have been there. What started as a perfectly ordinary-looking class for our six-year-old children has spawned an extra-curricular life that we never bargained for – a neverending schedule of activities, parties and away breaks, which only despicable parents deprive their kids of taking part in.

But now the government’s stress panel has had enough, reports Politiken. It wants to close down parent forums and set a ceiling for the number of parent arrangements – just two has been suggested.

Highlighted as the first of 12 recommendations – so presumably a high priority – the panel is concerned about the effect that Forældreintra is having on many of the country’s parents.

Overwhelming volume
“Forældreintra stresses parents, teachers and students due to the overwhelming volume of the messages. We therefore recommend closing it and also cancelling Aula, its upcoming replacement,” explained Anette Prehn, the chair of the panel, which was set up last summer and consists of 11 experts.

Instead, the panel suggests an old-school system that allows parents and teachers to deliver handwritten messages to each other.

Should the panel’s suggestion be turned down, it recommends parents check the Forældreintra a maximum of twice a week to alleviate potential stress.

Is it really that bad?
While Danmarks Lærerforening, the teachers’ association, supports the recommendation, some experts have expressed their amazement that this suggestion has topped the panel’s list.

“I never thought it was a problem during my research into the matter,” author Thomas Milsted told Politiken.

“So you could say the recommendation is a surprise. It’s a thorny issue, but it won’t make a big dent on the national stress level.”

The remaining 11 recommendations have not yet been revealed.