5 Ways to Make 'Parent Friends'
Posted on May 30 2018
As many of us enter different stages in our [parent] life, we sometimes yearn for new connections. Whether a new parent or one of newly school-aged children, we want to connect with other parents that we share common interests with. Not only is it nice to develop new friendships with people who have kids the same age as ours, but when we get together, the kids play and have fun, so really, it's a win-win!
If you're feeling a little shy - or like a nervous high school student trying to make friends - here are a few tips on meeting new 'parent friends':
1. You're not alone. There are so many parents that are feeling the same way as you. We want to feel heard, we want to vent about our kids, we need to bounce parenting advice off of like-minded parents, we want to laugh at the things our kids put up their noses and we are sometimes too nervous to approach someone new. So many of us are in the same boat. Really, what's the worst thing that could happen? If you approach a parent, chat once, and then bump into them here and there and exchange polite 'hello's' that's about the worst it will be. Nothing scary! It can still be nerve-wracking to put yourself out there but it could be so worth it if you make a great new relationship. So put yourself out there, go for walks, hang out at the playground or join a mom/parent group.
2. Take a deep breath and make a move. You may want to wait around for that super cool mom at the park to come talk to you, but chances are, she's feeling nervous to approach you too! Make the first move and talk to her. Pay her a compliment or find something you like about her kid and tell her. Be sure to be sincere so it doesn't come off like a pickup line (haha).
You can also try to engage with the children. Bring some extra toys and they will all gravitate to you and your child. This is an even easier icebreaker! Then you can strike up a conversation with the other parents! You can get to know them by asking questions about how old their children are and which part of the community they are from. Try and find some commonalities which may then be the building blocks of a new friendship.
3. Get contact information. If you feel like your playground talk went well, and the children are enjoying each others company, (or you bonded over your love of your Tula Baby Carriers...) you can suggest a playdate! If you are still feeling a bit funny asking for their phone number or email, offer yours! Leave it in their hands - but don't be upset if they don't get a hold of you. You can continue your friendship search :)
4. Solidify a playdate. You've exchanged and confirmed phone numbers, now pick a date that works for you both and pencil it into your schedule. Pick a time that works best for both kids schedules too - if they are happiest in the morning, plan it for then. If you have babies, you could always plan a stroller date over naptime! This gives uninterrupted time to get to know your new parent friend, the babies get a nap and you both get exercise!
5. Keep a positive attitude. Realistically, you may not bond as much as you'd hoped with some parents. That is okay!! Spending one or two hours with them won't be bad if you like and respect each other - and especially if the kids get along well! Plus, you never know who you might meet through a new friendship. There are plenty of parent friends out there that you can find and connect with!
Now is really the best time to make summer friends! We've all been hibernating through the winter, so it's time for us to get out there and enjoy the short warm summer while we can! And who knows, maybe we'll find a new friend that will hang out with us during hibernation next winter ;)
Happy Friend Making!