Connecting with Working Parents

October 23, 2009

As a working parent, it can be difficult to connect with other parents let alone become friends with them, but it isn't an impossible task. Perhaps you have colleagues with same-aged children, but how do you get to know the other parents in your child's school, your neighborhood, and beyond?

Take a day off and volunteer. If your job allows it and your child's school invites volunteerism, block off a day in your work schedule to spend some time in their classroom or chaperone a field trip.  Field trips are fabulous ways to connect home and school while also meeting fellow parents.

Go on a neighborhood walk. Those after dinner walks are magical times for meeting other families. Have your kids pedal through the neighborhood or pull them along in a wagon and chat it up with the neighbors you see along the way. You never know who may have kids of the same age who may be dying for a playdate!

Frequent the park on the weekends. Parks are quite busy on the weekends. Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with a parent whose child appears to be about the same age as yours. Make a plan to meet at the park the following weekend, and it could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Weekend playdates. Pick a morning or afternoon on the weekend to host a playdate. Invite parents to stay, and have munchies for both kids and adults. Playdates will soon become adult social hours and will serve as a nice way to connect with other parents from outside the workplace. 

Family dinner date. Everyone needs to eat and it is often more fun for the kids to go out with another family. Having friends along for dinner occupies the kids longer than crayons and a coloring sheet and leaves time for the adults to talk. Call another family who you haven't seen in awhile and choose a date mid-week where dining specials are more plentiful with kids-eat-free offers to maximize the household budget. Or invite a couple of families over for a weekend potluck so no one person shoulders the entire burden of cooking, and then suggest a rotating potluck dinner date.

Become part of an online community. These days there are many online communities that are designed especially for parents who need to connect virtually. Savvy Source recently launched My Savvy Source where you can join groups based on your where you live and your interests. It is a great place where you can bounce parenting questions off other like-minded individuals and connect with parents in your area for a playdate.

Just as kids need their friends, adults do too! Don't be shy about asking another parent if they are free to get together. Chances are they would love to get together with you!

From the Parents

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