My experience with parents at the elementary school level indicated that this kind of behavior isn't so obvious until the children are at the fourth grade level and beyond. Maybe because there isn't so much competition and/or attempts to be "the fustest with the mostest" before puberty sits in.
Yep. fourth through sixth sounds right.
For a K-6 school, here, the Sixth Grade Parent committee is a "big deal" for some. It's only annoying because the communication on what they're planning has been weak this year.
At my old school, there were a couple of mothers who had daughters in the 6th grade. There was rivalry between the mothers as to clothes, cars, houses, income, who could spend the most money on her daughter's attire, etc. The rivalry spilled over to the girls' interaction, which was more like a cat fight almost everyday, and the 6th grade teachers had a rough time of it for awhile.
The deal here was on who controlled how the Sixth Grade activities would be coordinated and where the funds would be spent.
There are two dances. And in one email, one of the "in parents" emailed everyone with a reminder to the dance organizer that the chaperon duties normally went to the parents who did the "most" all year.
No one really said much in response, but when I talked to some privately, they asked, "What was that crap all about?"
Before anyone knew it, there were "damage control" emails going around, spouting the virtues of the Sixth Grade activities parents.
When I was a Girl Scout leader, it was sixth grade when kids AND parents went over the edge. Unbelievable what happened when kids turned eleven and parents became so totally involved in wanting to run everything in their lives. It was as though they wanted to BE their own kids.
Is this the norm?
It's like politics. You have the motivated with some sort of personal agenda who take these "leadership" roles. Some do it to make sure things go smoothly. Others do it for the "power".
Most parents only care the stuff gets taken care of and all the BS is minimal.