I'm starting to believe it's due to the past year's issue that we had in my child's class. A kid bullied him, but it was never caught, so the teachers and this parent volunteer (that helped out in the class all year) started believing that my son was lying all the time and doing it for attention. This incident caused a lot of issues with my son not wanting to attend school to the point where he'd cry in the mornings because he always got in trouble for telling 'lies' as well as continuously got picked on by the bully.

But this year has been going well in the class for him since the bully is no longer in the same class. We've had no problems with him coming to school and being pumped for a new day.

BUT- a new issue has arisen.

These past two weeks I've been dropping my son off at the cafeteria for breakfast. The same parent volunteer from last year now monitors the cafeteria in the mornings.

I thought at first it was just this person's personality but I'm starting to notice that they never respond to my greetings and that they act differently towards my son. Very short towards him and isn't 'happy-go-lucky' with him like they are towards the other kids that come in. This morning, after they happily greeted the other parents coming in, their demeanor changed when I looked at them and smiled. They shot a glance at me then looked away. I simply brushed this aside as it isn't much of an issue for me personally. But the fact that they're acting unresponsive or that their emotions are dull towards my child kind of irks me a bit and is heartbreaking that my son is so excited to say hi to them in the morning, only to be brushed aside...

So, how do you respond to an unfriendly parent volunteer? What would be the best way of dealing with this? Continue acting friendly and not think much about it?

1 Answer 1


There are two approaches I believe you can take in this situation.

Approach 1

Kill them with kindness. Continue being kind just as you have mentioned. Give your morning greetings. Respond if they interact with you. Be cheerful towards everyone and just realize that this moment in time is temporary. Your child will eventually be away from this person and will move on to bigger and better things, subtracted from this immature behavior by a supposed adult.

Approach 2

A favorite of mine. Ask. Confront the person. Be nice about it and while confronting them don't be "confrontational". Approach with something like "Good morning. I was wondering if we are at odds with each other because it feels like sometimes you treat me differently than all the other parents when doing your morning greetings? Have I offended you in some way and if so, I apologize."

I have found in the past that directly approaching people who you think may dislike you are often disarmed immediately when you confront them about it. Again, don't make your voice snarky. Be genuine but honestly, if it bothers you and it's obvious, ask. It can't hurt.

If they admit they have problem with you, tell them you are sorry they feel that way and after that, keep your distance or better, try to resolve the difference.

If they don't have a problem with you or they say that they don't, now that you have called them out on how you perceive them acting towards you, they will potentially correct it in the future.

  • Would you consider going to the principal with the issue is an option if #1 and #2 don't work? Sep 7, 2017 at 4:17
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    @anongoodnurse mmmm...at the point of option 2, if the parent admits she has a problem but doesn't wish to change it then I would probably leave it alone at that point. The parent is a volunteer and they spend very limited time together in the morning. I wouldn't need her to be my friend, I would just need her to do her job when the time came, regardless of the child. I don't know the requirements of the volunteering position but I imagine it is just adult supervision before the bell rings. I would only involve the principal if it was a paid employee. Sep 7, 2017 at 4:27
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    @anongoodnurse, I would consider complaining to the principal even about a volunteer if the volunteer is harming or denying the child something. In this case, its a cold shoulder, and would not escalate it after the two options given here. Also, the kid needs to learn slowly how to deal with such people….
    – user61034
    Jul 17, 2018 at 15:01
  • @user61034 - I agree. Jul 17, 2018 at 22:54

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