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Parent Vs. Kid Status
When parents have a choice between making they or their kids look good, they pick themselves:
The often-dreaded parent-teacher conference … seems to be an evaluation of student performance, [but] is more often than not an evaluation of the parent and the teacher, by each other. …
Instead of defending their children, parents are consistently critical about their children when talking with teachers, often delivering unsolicited, negative information about them. “Parents … [are] showing that they already know about their children’s potential or actual troubles, displaying that they are fair appraisers of their own children, willing and able to detect and articulate their flaws, and reporting on their own efforts to improve or remedy their children’s faults, shortcomings or problems,” …
Teachers regularly work to encourage parents to be first to articulate critical assessments of the student, such as by asking for the parent’s perspective, observations, questions, and/or concerns about the student’s progress. … Teachers … [then provide] face-saving accounts on students’ behalf (e.g. “That’s not atypical of kids”; “For a 12-year-old boy, normal is pretty flaky.”) … “It is the teacher who consistently works to end the parent-teacher conference interaction on a positive note, delivering future-oriented, favorable or optimistic comments about the student.” (more; HT Eric Barker)
Yet another example of parents caring for kids less than they claim.