It\u2019s the new year, new expectations, a new page in your life. Perhaps this year is the year you are starting a new job, moving into a new house, even getting married. As for parents, going back to school can be stressful for the whole family \u2014 because of Whatsapp groups. Parent\u2019s Whatsapp groups are meant to ensure better communication for class activities, assignments and student updates. But some parents get it all wrong and abuse it. I\u2019d be shaking in anticipation on how this Whatsapp group would turn out to be: A much-needed source of support, or just another nightmare? Coming to my 8th year, I can basically figure out the 9 types of parents that exist and we meet in the class Whatsapp groups. Trust me, it\u2019s for real! #1 The Over-Enthusiastic Parents There\u2019s nothing wrong about being passionate about your child\u2019s education. What\u2019s wrong is when parents want to have control of the conversation, and \u2018hijack\u2019 the Whatsapp group despite the class teacher being the group admin. In a group of 30 strangers and more, there is always that one parent who wants to be the first to break all school-related news to everyone... even though it has already been emailed to us. They love to make announcements and reminders, and take pride in this self-appointed role. You can smell the over-enthusiasm when you read messages such as \u201cDon\u2019t forget to remind your kids that \u2026\u201d If you are wearing the shoes of this kind of parents, just remind yourself, if the teachers has announced it, there\u2019s no need to repeat it. We can read, and we know how to manage our lives. If we need help, we will ask. #2 The Oversharing Parents This type loves social media so much and treats the group like their personal social media platform. \u201cThank you Ms Yap for the hug you gave my son. He was so upset this morning until you hugged him and told him to cheer up.\u201d \u201cWill is so excited for the art class tomorrow, he prepared all the stuff by himself.\u201d Pic: I doubt you know all the participants in the group. Imagine reading that in your car, stuck in traffic coming back from work while praying you could make it on time to fetch your child at school. Is it really necessary to share with the group? We understand that sometimes you would want to share your worries and happiness just so you could get advice for any parents who had had a similar experience. But you don\u2019t have to show off your homemade vegetarian muffins you\u2019ve made for your kid\u2019s lunchbox\u2026 you\u2019ll only make the working parent who doesn\u2019t have time to cook resent you. #3 The Hyperactive PTA-member Parents Most parents find excuses not to attend the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) meetings, but there are those who simply can\u2019t wait for the PTA meetings to start. It seems like they are campaigning to be nominated for the \u2018Super Parent\u2019 award as early as the start of the school year! \u201cPick me! Pick me!\u201d I salute their energy. And yet when it comes towards the second quarter of the year, these parents show their true colours. They start bragging about all the effort they made (all alone, of course) with no help from others \u2014 only in exchange for a \u201cwow! you are so kind, thank you for your great commitment!\u201d They are there to indirectly let you know how horrible a parent you are for not volunteering and participating in the PTA events. #4 The Very Very \u2018Low-Profile\u2019 Parents Another type is the \u2018Very low-profile parent\u2019 \u2014 those who prefer not to respond to anything in the group. Well, it\u2019s okay not to be too opinionated and just be a great \u2018listener\u2019. But that doesn\u2019t mean your participation is not required at all. In fact, these type of parents can really get on some people nerves especially to those type #3 parents. Type #4 parents, your input is very much needed, especially when it comes to volunteering, helping out the class teacher, driving the class fund, and contributing for the potluck. Know when to participate. Trust me, it\u2019s for your own child\u2019s benefit too! #5 The Just-Ask-The-Group Parents Type #5 parents love type #1 parents and they definitely make good BFFs in the group. They\u2019re the type who never bothers to read the messages and asks the same question right after the info has been shared. Sometimes, it\u2019s not even related to the school! They treat the class Whatsapp group like Google or their personal planner, \u2018simply\u2019 posting questions like, \u201cIs tomorrow a school day?\u201d, \u201cWhen do we need the stuff?\u201d, \u201cAnyone know the best restaurant nearby?\u201d and the list goes on. Sadly, some of them don\u2019t even know that they are getting on other people\u2019s nerves. To them, if you don\u2019t know, just ask. Fact is, it\u2019s not that they don\u2019t know, they just don\u2019t bother to find out for themselves! #6 The Blame-Everyone-But-Me Parents Oh my! I always sympathize with the children who are from this type of parents. Having a parent who thinks that \u2018it\u2019s everyone's fault but me\u2019 would mean their child has no other choice but to be super good and make no mistake at all \u2014 or just have to deal with killer looks from everyone who has to shoulder the blame. To the parents, nothing is good enough for their child\u2019s education, not even the weather! They would blame the teachers, the school, homework and even the person who discovered algebra! Nothing is above them and no one is good enough except for their child. I guess, to overcome this type of parents, we just have to pray for them and wish them luck! #7 The Sharing-is-Caring Parents Unlike type #2 (the oversharing parents), these parents would just forward anything and everything to the group. They don\u2019t care who their audiences are, they don\u2019t care if it\u2019s sensitive issues such as political views and religious beliefs, they don\u2019t bother to check the sources, as long as it\u2019s viral, they will share it. Trust me, these parents just forward anything under the sun, even before reading the whole content of what they are forwarding. To them, sharing-is-caring, and in order to share, you just have to forward everything! Of course, there\u2019s also a group of parents who would just respond to any remarks and even questions with emojis and stickers. A sad emoticon, a bunch of flowers, two thumbs up and many more. They believe that pictures speak a thousand words. That\u2019s how they justify their existence in the group: They are there to share and care. #8 The Online Seller Parents They regularly spam the group with messages such as \u201cMy son can memorize the multiplication table after taking this magic pill. PM me for details.\u201d When someone proposes a gift for the teacher who just delivered her baby, she helpfully chimes in with a \u201cthis product is good for babies and the teacher would love to have it. We just have to chip in RM50 per person. I have the stock with me now.\u201d For goodness sakes, a hamper of lotions and oils for RM50 per person in a group of 35? I rest my case! This parent would also add everyone in the WhatsApp group as a friend on Facebook. And as a result, your newsfeed is now dominated by bogus claims about weight loss pills and photos about the rewards they earned for their hard work. #9 The No-Way-Out Parents Of course, there are a few other parents who wish they could do more and set up the group in the right way. They have been typing out the messages, wanting to update the wrongly informed details shared by type #1, correct the grammar of type #2, confront type #3 by telling them that they wish they have more time to volunteer, poke type #4 to wake up and be responsive, teach type #5 to use the search bar, shut type #6 off, and kick both type #7 and type #8 off the group. Most of the time, they won\u2019t succeed posting anything beneficial to the group. The \u2018typing..\u2019 mode remains as it is. They wish they could just leave the group, but that would mean they would miss out the announcement and updates from the class teacher. Hence, they would resort to just a print screen of the class group conversation and share it among their friends and laugh (ehem!) at the ridiculousness. I must admit, I am this type of parent! Guilty as charged. Honestly? Courtesy is the best policy. It is important for us to learn the basic etiquettes within the group. Here are some tips to ponder upon: \tAvoid discussing sensitive issues involving races, religions, languages and\/or politics. Respect each other\u2019s opinion and save yours for yourself. \tWhen in Rome, do as the Romans do. Learn to adapt. \tNever criticize others, whether students, parents, or the teachers. If there\u2019s a personal issue, message them privately. \tThe group is not your personal psychiatrist for you to dump all your issues. Personal issues are meant for private conversations. Keep it within yourself. \tCourtesy is the best policy. Be courteous. For a healthy start of school years and for the peace of everyone\u2019s mind, let\u2019s try to be more civilized. Do you know any of these parents, or are you one of them? Tell us in the comments! For more articles on going back to school, read: What\u2019s the difference between SJK(C) and SK Schools? and 4 Ways Technology has Replaced Malaysia\u2019s Teachers.