Homework Howlers: Our Children's Embarrassing And Exaggerated Home Life Revelations

24/02/2014 14:29 | Updated 22 May 2015

Dad struggling with homeworkRex

It's years since my daughter wrote in a school essay that she hates it when I smack her, but the memory still haunts me. I'd lashed out once in desperation and panic when Melissa had stepped into a busy road, not my proudest parenting moment and one I have never repeated since.

Coming hot on the heels of informing her teachers I used to work down a mine when I was little, I feared what this titbit of information could mean. At parents' evening, the head teacher joked he was contacting social services.

Talking to other parents I discovered Melissa's embarrassing revelation was pretty tame.


Asking for examples of faux pas committed by eager children in their schoolwork, I was met with a deluge of red-faced shame.


Blogger Amber McNaught floored me with her picture and account from her own school days of the time she informed her teacher about the time her parents watched a 'blue moovy'.

She wrote: "I have got a video and I have seen star wars four times and I have seen Bugsy malone twelve and a half times Jennifer has taped Bugsy Malone aswell one night when my mum and dad were watching a film on the video when it was finished a blue moovy came on my mum and dad did not like it and my mum was frightened to get another tape ancase there was another blue moovy on it."

The borrowed film did have some adult content, Amber was able to clarify her understanding to teachers that "everything in the film was blue" and crucially, she wasn't there.

Writer and mum-of-three Tracey Davies says: "I have many a tale to tell. When Angus was three, he announced to his nursery that Mummy had a baby in her tummy - I did not - and took the tale to the point of drawing a picture with me and a big belly.

"At five and six he liked to tell his teachers at school how he spent the whole weekend at the pub. We did not, but we did once go two days running.

"Our twins were just as bad. Nancy drew a picture of her favourite pub, The Mansion in Gipsy Hill, and and herself with a sad face by the pub because it was closed. I think the school thought we were complete alcoholics."

My friend Kim was left a little unnerved when her four-year-old Ollie repeatedly told teachers he loved Sandy Balls. She quickly explained this was the name of a lovely Dorset holiday village they'd visited recently.

Meanwhile mum of nursery age twins Anthea Barton says her girls regaled their teacher with tales on the merits of different sizes of manhood and my friend Kathryn's then five-year-old son Adam, when not fibbing to teachers about exotic holidays, told them he'd had sex the night before. And before anyone panics, he meant a cuddle.

Other stories include "Mummy and Daddy's favourite place is bed," (from Jessica, daughter of a vicar and chair of governors',) "This weekend Mummy kissed another soldier" (untrue).


One of my favourites is "My mummy puts her make up on and walks the streets at night to earn money," from the son of an Avon lady.


Dads don't escape the embarrassment either. One little boy wrote about a 'secret' collection of magazines found under his bed, while another waxed lyrical about a "special lady friend Mummy has never met." Ouch.

If I was a teacher I'd be laughing my head off at some of these revelations - and possibly a little saddened by others.

Blogger NotSupermum is a teacher in the NorthWest and she says that children can be relied upon to keep on with the funny stuff. She has a regular feature called Despatches from the Chalkface and in the latest instalment shares the following:

"Looking at pictures of animals with reception class, the teacher holds up a picture of a walrus and asks 'what's this?' Harry puts his hand up. 'Miss, it's a vulva.'

NotSuperMum says children often shed light on their home lives. "Usually, when the children are sharing their 'news' from the weekend or holidays they might let slip a detail about a parent that will be amusing, or reveal something about their home life that might raise eyebrows," she says.

"The sort of thing that is most common is hearing about their parents getting drunk or the children themselves watching 18 rated films or TV programmes or playing computer games that are inappropriate for them.

"One of the perks of the job is the humour and funny things children say, they come out with the most hilarious things.

"There was one occasion where I took something out to save a little girl's embarrassment. Asked to draw a picture of her family doing something they like to do, a girl in Year Two drew a picture of her dad in his underpants. Both of his hands were on his crotch, and when I asked her to describe the picture she said that her Dad liked to scratch his willy in the morning."

Of course humorous anecdotes will be discussed in the staff room, while more sensitive issues are discussed at staff meetings or briefings.

"If it is something sensitive we have a set of guidelines on how to deal with such situations, but if it's something general, like the child says they are allowed to stay up until 11pm as happened last parents' evening, we would suggest they need more sleep and should go to bed earlier," says NotSuperMum.

"Teachers are parents too, and we're all aware how difficult it is to raise children - nobody's perfect."

What's the most exaggerated event or embarrassingly tall tale your child has ever told a teacher? Come on, share...

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