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ARTICLE Living

The Playground Mafia by Sarah Tucker Sarah Tucker is an award winning travel journalist, novelist, producer and broadcaster. She has edited, produced and presented her own radio and TV series as well as presenting reports for BBC Holiday Programme and anchored I Want That House on ITV. She devised and presented the award winning Jazz FM Travel Guide for over two years and was a travel correspondent for Classic FM. She is the author of bestselling novels The Playground Mafia, The Last Year of Being Single, and the Control Freak Chronicles. www.sarahtucker.info

Sarah Tucker is the author of a fictional novel ‘The Playground Mafia’, which hit a nerve because there was so much unspoken emotional truth in it that it has sold over half a million copies. Sarah does not claim to be a psychologist or counsellor, her tips have developed through the research and some direct experience of playground politics over the years. She receives between 50 to 100 emails each week on playground politics and has collected together here some advice from those she has interviewed over the years, from teachers, parents, mafia members and victims of playground politics as well as some words of wisdom from the children themselves. This list of ten tips might help you with playground issues and over competitive parents. Remember the only thing you have in common with the other mothers at your child’s class is that they have children the same age as yours. That is where the similarities end. They are not your friends or confidents. Don’t treat them that way. Or feel you need to treat them that way. This causes unnecessary pressure. Always keep your own counsel. Confide in your friends out of school, never those in the playground no matter how sympathetic they may be. You are going to meet them every day for the next nine years. Do not mention any marriage or financial or emotional difficulties.

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Furthermore, do not act as ear to any gossip mongers either. Just because your son/daughter picks a best friend, you do not need to make best friends with the parents. Parents often feel obliged to do just that. Don’t. It is not necessary. 4. The teachers are extremely aware of the playground mafia and I got many anecdotes for the book from this source. If you need advice, always speak to the head teacher or the form teacher about your child. You don’t need to network with other mothers who – if they are mafia – will treat information as power. 5. Never arrive early for pick up. More opportunity for you to be pounced on. 6. Always polite but opaque, as in quite dull. If they cannot grab onto anything about you, good or bad, they will neither be threatened by you, interested to cultivate you as one of their members. Most mafia were bullies as children and haven’t kicked the habit. As children you could have had a fight in the playground, as an adult you are likely to get a GBH assault charge. So no matter how much they snipe, ignore them. Focus on your child. 7. Be aware that there is no mafia ‘type’ – they do not look like bullies, they come in

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Christmas 2011 The Face of Chelmsford Magazine  

The latest issue of our magazine includes stories, features, recipes and much more. Chelmsford’s local online and published community magazi...

Christmas 2011 The Face of Chelmsford Magazine  

The latest issue of our magazine includes stories, features, recipes and much more. Chelmsford’s local online and published community magazi...

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