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Teachers Break Down What 'Clicked' About A Student After Meeting Their Parents

Teachers Break Down What 'Clicked' About A Student After Meeting Their Parents
Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash

You see a kid screaming in public. You think, "ugh, this is annoying." But then the parent shows up, also yelling. Just yelling and yelling and yelling at the child. Suddenly you know why the kid is screaming.


Teachers get to see this on a much deeper and more psychologically complex level. Family personalities are inherited and forced upon children. They act out based on how they are treated at home.

So when u/LightQueen1600 asked:

"Teachers of Reddit, what 'Clicked' about a student after you met his/her parents?"

The Worst Thing To Learn About A Kid

"I was in my first semester of student teaching and this student was crushing it: straight A's, class role model, and then his grades dropped off, and I reached out to the step dad to discuss."

"Turns out the step father was doing all his work (virtually) and went on vacation. Next thing I see the next day is his son with a black eye."

"He told me it was from football, but then told three other teachers three other things. I became this student's tutor after school so he could be in a safe place if only for a moment."-Ice9Vonneguy

Why Nobody Should Have Food Insecurity

"Many kids who are unable to focus and have challenging behaviours are just hungry. I work at a low socioeconomic school, many kids arrive with no breakfast and no lunch. (no such thing as cafeterias in this country. Packed lunches from home or buy some dim sums from the canteen)"

"The school has a club 3 times a week where kids learn to cook basic breakfast meals and eat together. It's advertised as a cooking club but it's purpose is really to ensure the poorest kids get a nutritious free meal."

"Getting food into them changes their behaviour in a very perceptible way."-LilPeaHen

A Scary Home Life

"10th grade student who had zero self-esteem, passive body language, shy, hesitant, fearful, slouching."

"Over the first month of school, he opened up with us, as none of the other kids were d*cks and the environment was pretty fun. He was very smart, very funny, and witty to boot. He had self-confidence, he just kept it very well hidden."

"I didn't understand why he still maintained that shy, quiet, reticent presence when he was in the hallways and with other teachers. Why he still always looked like he wished he was invisible."

"Met his parents and understood everything about his home life immediately: his dad was a domineering bully. I could feel it in my bones the minute they walked in."

"The way he sat down, the way he talked to me, the way his wife acted...everything. He was like a ticking bomb."

"I'm not putting it into words well, but I could tell my student lived in two very different households. When dad wasn't home his life was filled with fun and laughter. When he was, he was full of fear."-GingerMau

It's a good challenge to people who say they don't like kids. Who is it they really don't like?

The Things Parents Can Really Do

"I used to work at a school for violent and troubled kids. It was basically the last step before juvey. There was one kid who was an absolute bully and a shocking, and I mean shocking, misogynist."

"But only when he was around peers. We found that this same kid was incredible when working with the one lower functioning class we had, as long as none of his peers saw him."

"We had to suspend him one day for fighting with another kid, and I drove him home early. His dad was on the porch waiting, as the school had called."

"I've never seen a kid crawl into his shell faster than this kid when he saw his dad. This bully who was just an hour ago wailing on some other kid, just completely cowered when he saw his dad."

"He walked onto the porch and barely met his dad's eyes. His dad looked at him with a rage behind his eyes and said, 'Get inside.' I was pretty far away, but it really looked he was holding back tears. He disappeared inside and the dad told me, 'Sorry for what he did. Don't worry. I'll take care of it.'"

"I said something about how we were still getting to the bottom of it and how he was a good kid, and the dad just scoffed and went inside."

"I got back to the school and spoke with one of the counselors (I was just out of high school and basically just a glorified security guard they called a 'teacher's aide') and said I was uncomfortable with what I saw."

"The counselor was like, 'Ya, we're pretty sure there's abuse in that household, but we can't prove it.' still think about that kid. Heart of gold when no one was watching, and incredibly smart too."-karlverkade

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Narcissism Is Inherited

"I had a student accuse me of picking on her. If I called on her to read (everyone reads in my room unless they come to me at the beginning of class and ask me not to call on them because they're having an off day) then she'd text her mom that I only called on her."

"If I gave her a B and her friends an A, she'd text her mom and say I graded her paper unfairly. When I caught her cheating on a test and took her cheat sheet (I didn't fail her. I just took her means of cheating.... this is more kind than any other teacher I know.)"

"She went to the principal and complained I was being unfair and didn't give her her makeup work and therefore she HAD to use a cheat sheet. Then she texted her mom that I wouldn't let her finish her test, which wasn't true."

"Her mom turned out to be a teacher's aide at our elementary campus. We met for a parent/teacher conference when it got to the point that she was pulling her phone out every few minutes to text her mom one complaint or another. "

"I was always on edge and wanted to discuss the behavior with her mom, especially considering students aren't allowed to have their phones out and she was the only student breaking the rules. "

"During the meeting, she refused to even look at her daughter's work to see why her daughter received a B when her friends received an A. She refused to listen to my aid when he told her that her daughter was one of about 15 students called to read that day. "

"And she LITERALLY closed her eyes and turned her head away when I tried to show her the emails between her daughter and me regarding her missing work before the upcoming test. "

"She closed her eyes and said, 'I'm not looking at anything you have to show me because my kid does not lie and I refuse to let you sit here and show me something telling me she does!' Like mother, like daughter. "

"The grandmother was in charge of the lunchroom too and mistreated her staff and was rude to students. The whole family was just awful, terrible narcissistic people."-MycologistPutrid7494

Wandering Eyes

"Kid could never focus on anything. His eyes were always traveling around the room and rarely on his work."

"Dad came in for a meeting and did much the same. I don't know if I've ever had a one on one conversation with someone where they were looking all over the place like he did. Nice family though."-mrotto7

Getting Treatment

"I taught a kid in Japan who was textbook ADHD. Taisei. He just made class impossible. Sweet kid, but a complete distraction who made no attempt to learn English."

"When I went to introduce myself to his mom when she dropped him off one day she just ran away from me. Bolted to her bike and took off."

"Over there, mental disorders are still seen as kind of a source of shame, especially out in the country where I was. So the mom literally running away from the problem rather than acknowledging anything about me as a teacher was all I needed to know about Taisei's unchecked ADHD."-tmptsitwm

When it comes to kids, some things really just don't change from parents. Parents often dictate their child's behavior.

Bullies Beget Bullies

"I was giving summer school cooking classes, was just about to end college. We were on recess, my group of kids (4 kids between 10-14 yo) were playing with the kids (one of which was a college teacher's daughter) of a friend of mine on the ping pong table."

"Suddenly, this girl older than them, came to the area, and without any reason, crushed the only ball they had and went back to sit down. I went to her to ask nicely who was responsible for her, and that her bullying wasn't nice."

"Her teacher was another friend of mine, we talked after and she told me this girl didn't want to get into trouble and was sorry, asked my friend not to tell her mom so she wouldn't worry. I was ok with that."

"Suddenly, after the kids left, my friend and I get called by our boss (the person in charge of the summer classes) and told us the girl's mom was on the phone going crazy because I screamed at her daughter."

"This mom starting berating my boss and telling her she was useless and she wanted to talk to someone with actual authority. We could hear her through the phone screaming like a maniac, I just gave the look to my friend and boss and said 'well, we see where the girl gets her bullying from.'"

"Turns out she asked my friend not to say anything so she could control the narrative, I didn't get in trouble because there where multiple witnesses, my boss's boss told the mom that we could check the cafeteria cameras if she wanted, her attitude went 180 and didn't even continue making a fuss about it."

"The teacher's daughter told me that the 4 years she's gone to the summer school, that girl had been bullying everyone."-RPAVONM

Kids Always Deserve Better

"I worked as a tutor with a kid who was bright and worked hard, but who always had her guard up. It was months into our work together before she finally cracked a smile - that was a big day!"

"You could just sense this coolness and distance behind her eyes. I gave her her space, and it was really one of the nicest compliments a student has paid me when she started to relax around me. I was glad she realized she could trust me."

"One day I was at her house when her mom and I think step-dad needed to talk to her about some really minor teen infraction - if I remember correctly, something that hadn't even happened yet, but some scheduling thing she hadn't realized would be a problem."

"Holy. Cow. They turned it into a 5-act full stage production with me sitting right there, just relentlessly laying into her over and over despite her immediately saying she'd sort it. I felt for her - and yep, totally saw why she was the way she was."

"I think of her sometimes. I hope she got out into the world and found good people. She deserved it."-Terpsichorean_Wombat

It's a hard realization when you finally see that a kid usually isn't the problem. It's somebody else; usually in their household.

Kids learn how to either thrive or survive based on their home lives. School can either be an extension of that or a relief from that. The best teachers really invest their lives in these kids.

Small Upgrades That Actually Made A Huge Difference In People's Homes

Reddit user Super_dupa2 asked: 'What small upgrade made a huge difference at your house?'

Smartphone showing a lighting switch app
Moritz Kindler/Unsplash

Making yourself feel at home takes work but not as much as you think.

Homeowners, for example, are apprehensive about renovations because of how much costs.

Even tenants renting a home can feel like they're stuck in a situation where they don't feel comfortable because of minor inconveniences they think requires major solutions to fix.

Cut to this Reddit thread, where the ideas for affordable home improvement options were shared that may make you wonder, "Why didn't I think of that?"

Curious to hear some tips from strangers online, Redditor Super_dupa2 asked:

"What small upgrade made a huge difference at your house?"

We tend to overcomplicate things when solutions can be simplified.

Taking Charge

"Methodically buying phone chargers with long enough cables to not have to ever move one again."

– ihadtowalkhere

"I am a pretty mellow dad (benign neglect parenting style for 5 kids) but I have two rules. Nobody messes with my bedside charger and nobody steals my two pillows."

"So, as such, I make many, long chargers available for everybody. It costs me a fortune:)"

– nicktam2010

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

"Blackout curtains for sleeping. Such a game changer."

– blehbleh1122

"And they keeps my bedroom cooler."

– BunjaminFrnklin

"Insulated blackout curtains make a 10f difference in my living room on hot days."

– TryUsingScience

A Cool Idea

"Attic heat exhaust fan. Our attic used to get up to 140F on the hottest days, and on those days our ceilings were hot to the touch. The whole house was consequently uncomfortable. Now the attic fan is thermostatically controlled to 90 degrees, and the whole house is cooler."

– jermleeds

"I added a passive whirly bird that does the same thing. Heat rises and escapes before it can accumulate to those extreme levels. It also happens to be clear acrylic so now there's always light up there too which helps keep away any vermin.

– cantwejustplaynice

No major bathroom renovations are required to make tenants happy.

No More Slamming

"Soft close cabinets and toilet seats."

– AreWeCowabunga

"We have a soft close toilet seat at our home and every time I'm at a hotel, I completely forget that they aren't usually soft close and the slam startles me 😂"

– PinkHamster08

Nozzle Upgrades Can Do The Trick

"A better shower. If you can't redo the whole bathroom, just replace the head. This also works if you rent, just keep the old one in a box, so you can bring the nice one to your next house."

– maartenvanheek

"I'm a renter and I finally installed a better shower head this year, after just using the default head in all my apartments for almost 20 years. 10/10, highly recommend."

– Am_I_a_Guinea_Pig

Perfect Welcoming Gesture

"My wife and I own a smallish apartment complex . One of the things we do every time a new tenant arrives is replace the toilet seat. I learned that trick from my parents who had about a dozen single-family rentals. It's amazing the goodwill you receive from a tenant simplify giving them a new toilet seat. We actually put the box behind the toilet so they know it's new."

– YouInternational2152

It's electrifying!

Think Smart

"Smart outlets for Christmas lights, both inside and outside. I have them scheduled to turn on at sunset and turn off at midnight."

– Revolutionary-Try746

"Smart outlets are one of my favorite purchases. During Halloween and Christmas, we’re using multiple outlets for inflatables, house lights, and tree lights. The smart outlets allow you to have everything synced so they all turn in at the same time."

– cppadam

Things Are Looking Bright

"Replaced dated lighting fixtures - fixtures are now properly grounded, the interior looks more updated, and there is more/better light."

– SnooCauliflowers9981

Energy Conservation Option

"Motion activated light switch for the laundry room. Never have to worry about turning off the light when leaving with an arm full of clothing."

– AmazingAsian

Creating an environment can make a huge difference.

Source Lighting For The Win

"Lighting can absolutely make a huge difference in the way you feel in your room. Get some shoulder height (when you are sitting) lamps for your living room. You will notice a shift in how much more relaxed you feel when you use those instead of the overheads."

– ShoesAreTheWorst

Home Art Gallery

"Spending a day mounting my artwork. It felt so much more like my home after that."

– GinGimlet

"Every time I've moved, I put that off for way too long, then finally break down and do it and the house feels so much better to be in."

– Triolion

One major upgrade was our VE hybrid tech water boiler and warmer we got from Japan.

The Zojirushi kitchen appliance uses VE, or vacuum electric, technology for very minimal electricity to maintain the water temperature at a constant 195° so we always have hot water at the touch of a button.

There's no more time wasted boiling hot water over the stove every time we want tea or the occasional instant cup noodles.

Game changer.

man with girl on his shoulders

Brittani Burns on Unsplash

"Daddy's Girl, Daddy's Girl, I'm the center of Daddy's world..." ~ "Daddy's Girl" by Red Sovine

A lot has been written about the bond between fathers and daughters.

But there's always room for improvement, right?

And who better to offer constructive criticism than daughters?

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woman making the shushing gesture

Bjorn Pierre on Unsplash

Full disclosure at all times with your significant other, right?

Yeah, good luck with that.

Let's get real—there are things we don't tell our partners for a lot of reasons.

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We all have that moment where someone we know says something so completely absurd, the only response we think of is 'WTF is wrong with you?'

Sometimes, it's something woefully inaccurate that you can't wrap your head around the fact that someone believes that.

Othertimes, it's something completely offensive and you regret your association with that person.

My college roommate was a girl I knew from my high school. I didn't know her too well, but we had some big things in common, so I figured it'd be fun to live with her.

This girl was half-Korean and talked a lot about racist people. At first, I let her rant, figuring maybe she or someone in her family faced some racism. I faced some myself, and I agreed with most of the things she said about racists. Eventually, however, I realized she was equating the word 'racist' with the word 'white.'

I spoke to her once, telling her she can't use 'racist' and 'white' interchangeably. She agreed to stop doing that, but within a few days, she started doing it again. She was a very bright girl, so I was a little concerned about this, especially since her own dad was white and was possibly the nicest man in the world. Not to mention, this made her and her siblings half-white too. Did that mean they were all half-racist?

I stuck by her for a while, but when she started saying things about what she wanted to do to racist people (once again using the word 'white' instead of 'racist'), I realized I couldn't be around her anymore. She couldn't talk about anything else after a while, and every time she spoke, I wanted to say, 'WTF is wrong with you?'

We did not room together the next year.

Redditors have stories similar to mine (and some even crazier), and they are eager to share.

It all started when a Redditorasked:

"What did the person do/say that made you go "what the f**k is wrong with you?"

How To End A Friendship

"In college I used to kill time between classes hanging out with a guy who was from the same redneck county as myself. We didn’t really have much else in common, but he was nice enough and seemed eager to socialize so I figured why not. I wasn’t overly social myself and didn’t know a whole lot of people."

"One day we decided to go somewhere off-campus, and he drove us. While driving, on an interstate mind you, he proceeds to show me his handgun that he kept in his truck - not in a menacing way, but in a “Ain’t that cool?” way."

"I was not immediately frightened, but I respect firearms enough to recognize we are going like 60-70mph on an interstate in daylight, and nothing good can happen in this scenario. I calmly asked him to put it away because I was not comfortable in this situation at all. He then tells me “Oh it’s not loaded” and presses the gun to his head before pulling the trigger."

"Thank f**k he was right, but still it was a wild and frightening display of reckless disregard for his own life and mine for that matter in the event that he’d accidentally killed himself while driving us. I didn’t hang out with him much after that, certainly didn’t get in a car with him."

– omjf23

"“It’s not loaded” famous last words of many an idiot."

– GloInTheDarkUnicorn

The Worst Kind Of People

"When my dad was in the nursing home, they weren't running certain expenses, like ambulance rides, through his insurance. When I took over his financials, he was tens of thousands in medical debt that shouldn't have ever been charged to him in the first place. He was in numerous collections, and his credit score was tanked."

"When I complained to the nursing home director, he said, "Well, it's not like he's going to be buying a house or a car!" Then he laughed."

"My dad was paralyzed from the waist down and needed lifelong care, so he was never going to leave the nursing home. Even though he was technically correct, I gave him the "WTF is wrong with you look." Then I complained to HIS boss and he got canned a couple a weeks later. My dad's insurance was fixed pretty quick, too."

– MNWNM

"“Sorry, what was funny about that? Could you please explain.”"

– v3n0mat3

...Seriously?

"MIL told my wife she should divorce me bc I googled whether a lasagna should be covered with foil while cooking."

– Struggle-Silent

"This is my first laugh of the thread lmao wtf."

– koreantrvp

"It actually ruined this entire trip. It was at my BIL’s wedding, which was only close family (siblings + parents) and they had the caterer make a lasagna for an evening dinner."

"Father of the bride was gonna pop it in the oven and asked if it should be covered. I googled lasagna cooking instructions and said yes it should be covered and cooked at this temp. MIL said absolutely not!"

"Me and the father of the bride kinda gave each other a look and he covered it. MIL was furious and texted my wife that I was an a hole and she should divorce me before we had kids."

– Struggle-Silent

Hostile Work Environment

"Boss at old job told the team we needed to ‘get used to a healthy level of conflict, fear and anxiety in the workplace.’ I dipped so fast after that."

– Prestigious-Energy69

"Similarly, a boss told me that I owed him my loyalty because he was paying me."

– Kylearean

How To End A Relationship

"A girl I was with while we were still together just looked at me while I was driving to her house and said.” You know I would get over you faster than you’d get over me” I was like …… Tf did you just say?"

– omega91301

"Huh. And just like that I'm over you."

– Pineapple_Spenstar

"Honestly, that would absolutely do it for me. When I was younger, I would be stupid and hurt and argue. I'm past 50 and I got no time for that nonsense."

– Terpsichorean_Wombat

There Are Other Ways To Stave Off Boredom

"I was DD for some buddies who wanted to go to a particular dance club in Baltimore. They're all hammered, it's too loud and we've been there for several hours. Casually an older woman next to me chats me up and notices my eyes are nearly crossing from boredom. I explained what I was doing there and casually (stupidly) mentioned I'm a bit bored. This psycho BITES ME on the chest! Afterward says "Well ya ain't bored now, are ya??""

– Mike7676

"Well, were you bored after that?"

– DontWannaSayMyName

"I must say, I was not!"

– Mike7676

That Goes Both Ways!

"I'm a man who works with kids, and when I started this job, I was talking to one of my old coworkers about how every once in a while I'll get weird looks for being a man working with kids and my coworker said I deserved it because some men can't be trusted with kids. I was shocked and she went on to say that I did it to myself and deserve to be questioned about it. I immediately stopped talking to her."

– Dolhedew

"What? What in the actual f**k? Doesn’t she know there are women who can’t be trusted with kids?"

– Anonymoosehead123

That Escalated Quickly

"The lady that accused my kids of cutting the line. (They hadn't, I was watching). When I went to ask her what was wrong, she told me to go back to my own country with that sh*t. (I was born in Massachusetts.)"

"The line was to pet dogs at a Renaissance Fair."

– pasafa

Everything All At Once

"While alone with a coworker, he told me that "women in the work place will lead to the decay of the fabric of society" to me. A woman. He also asked me out, got an attitude when I didn't say yes and continues to walk around with huge incel energy. He always complains that he has no one to go home to yet refuses to look at himself as a possible reason."

– Nopeferatu31

"Sounds like they should learn something from the phrase, "if you meet one a**hole, they're the a**hole. If everyone you meet is an a**hole, you're the a**hole.""

– tmpope123

Ouch!

"I told a coworker my wife had died."

"Her response: "You're one of those bald middle aged guys with a dead wife.""

"Me: "Yeah.""

– WalrusCello

"I want to think this was a wholesome thought that came out wrong. An awkward attempt at dark humor."

– ThisUsernameIsTook

*Cringing*

"Had an otherwise normal co-worker who was completely convinced windmills will cause the earth to stop spinning."

– Shadowmant

"WINDMILLS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY! GOOD NIGHT!"

– Torvaun

These are all crazy 'WTF is wrong with you' stories, but that last one blew my mind in 'how is it possible people think that could be true' sort of way!