Connecting with Other Parents
Being a parent in our society is not easy, and it’s harder if you’re trying to parent by yourself.
Even if you’re married or you have a parenting partner, you need a bigger net of support than just one other person. Sometimes you may feel that a dozen isn’t enough.
Although parenting is wonderful and amazing at times, there are periods when it’s downright discouraging. Kids go through phases when you’re sure that they’re going to turn into serial killers, bank robbers, vandals, or a combination of all three. In reading about child development, I’ve learned that these phases our normal, but what’s not normal is trying to cope with this by yourself.
The trick, however, is that parents are busy and trying to form a network of support often seems like an impossibility. However, I’ve learned that you can create this supportive web by doing a couple of easy things:
- Get to know your kids’ friends. Invite these friends over and then make sure you talk to the parent who drops them off—and picks them up. Learn these parents’ names. When you see them around, go out of your way to say hello.
- Invite families over. If you don’t cook, have them over for ice cream. While the kids play or run off, get to know the parents.
- Connect with parents in easy ways. I’ve heard of parents connecting on the playground or park with young children. Others talk as their kids play soccer or basketball games. Now that I have teenagers, I often email other parents to touch base.
What’s important is to reach out and get to know other parents. By doing this, I have found not only great support, but also some great, long-lasting friends.
Written by Jolene Roehlkepartain.