By STEPHANIE OSFIELD
It’s that time of year, parents. Prefects pandemonium is about to descend in primary schools across the nation.
This diehard year five school ritual sees kiddie candidates facing off in true Hunger Games fashion. So what’s the inside running on the ones who make it to the finish line?
If your child is planning to put their hand up this year, get swatting. I’ve asked around and here are the top ten tips from parents who’ve been there:
Tip 1: If you’ve got a girl, she should get hair extensions. And spanx shapewear – comes in tweens sizes now doesn’t it? Feminism? Just imagine it never happened.
Doesn’t matter what wonderful words escape your child’s lips – pretty and skinny rule and that’s all the girls in the lower years who don’t really know your girl, will care about. Remember, they are voting for a Princess not a prefect.
Use girls in Barbie or My Pony ads as your style guide. Go the sheer lip gloss. And short hair? No way. Not versatile enough to offer multiple hairstyles at assemblies. Think long hair worn with alpha attitude (and just the right selection of frilly hairbands). A girl captain with a pixie cut like Michelle Williams or Carey Mulligan? Never gonna happen mon ami.
Tip 2: Teach your child this phrase “I am a leader”. Encourage them to name-drop it throughout their speech. If they get elected they are gonna need those leadership skills. To do important awe-inspiring jobs like… raising and lowering the flag at school. Passing around sandwich platters when someone of note visits.
Stacking chairs. Oh and most importantly, holding a microphone to ask teachers, “Are there any other announcements?” And carrying the microphone and putting the microphone away and… um… You know other… stuff… that they will look back on later and think – that was a turning point – you know, when I realized what an honour and mighty life affirming deed it was to, you know, be the boss of that microphone – by showing it I was the leader.
Tip 3: Stock up on supplies for the elimination rounds. Your child will need energy boosting snacks for the endurance edge when their rivals are lined up for the interviews in the pre-speech eliminations. Warn your kiddie they will need to steel themselves. Because half of year five (predominantly girls) will also be there. Y’ know going for the coveted microphone wrangling jobs.
Next must have? A bottomless supply of tissues. For anyone who doesn’t make it to the speeches round – they will soon be dropping like flies and sporting bloodshot eyes from all that sobbing. If your child gets through and their besties don’t, remind them this is good for their mates – it toughens them up to deal with life. Because at the ripe age of about 11 you need to know if you don’t got the stuff. Enter the raincoat. To protect against the storm of snot.
Tip 4: Keep the speech shallow. Bullying in the playground, helping out the community – no, no no – whaddya thinking? They have absolutely no place in a prefect’s speech. Nobody wants to hear about stuff that matters. Get your child to grab the attention of their peers with stunts – use stuffed toys and balloons or some well timed acrobatics – think Lady Gaga meets Cirque du Soleil.