Life no longer remains the same post having a child. Your priorities change and have to be aligned with the needs of the child. This means you may not be able to hang out with your colleagues post work for coffee anymore. Nor can you get out to meet your college buddies for a quick bite in the middle of the day. Especially when you’re the only parent in the group.
The parenting guides from We Positive Parenting, Ahmedabad’s top counselling centre for parents and children, suggest that instead of sitting out and being a loner, parents must get out, make newer connections with other parents and build friendships with them.
Parenting will get challenging with every passing year, but when you have a strong friendship with other parents, it gets easier with the exchange of knowledge, ideas and support from fellow parents. Here’s our ultimate guide to building great parent friendships and how they can benefit you.
New activities for new friends
Now that you have a child, it doesn’t mean you have to get cut out from your old group of friends. Instead, it gives you the opportunity to welcome new and interesting people into your lives, in the form of other parent friends. All you have to do is be open, accepting and active.
The first place where you can find like-minded parents to be friends is the school. Since many schools involve the parents to participate in various activities with their children too, there are chances of you meeting many new people and click with them. Volunteer yourself to participate in various parent-child activities where you get to interact and bond with other parents.
Another great suggestion for a parent bonding cum friendship building activity is to host homework or study sessions for their kids together. This way, not only do you get to exchange ideas on teaching your kid, but you can get their school work done on time too.
You can then take this relationship further by inviting the parents over for fun potluck dinner on weekends, where your kids get to play with each other outside the school environment, while you get to chat with the other parents. Initiate conversation with them without expecting anything. Maybe the other parent is also feeling as nervous as you are. And maybe he/she will be later grateful to you for taking the lead. Be proactive and introduce yourself to other parents at such events.
Find and join parent groups online
Go online and search for local parenting groups with similar interests. Join any of the reputable online forums on Facebook or on similar platforms and connect with other parents. Bond with them over similar interests.
And because everyone is online nowadays, it will be a tad easy for you to connect with them. It may take some time for people to respond, but the key is to remain active in these social forums and contribute regularly.
Yes, we understand it is difficult for parents who are either introverts or ambiverts to become outgoing in a setting where most people are unknown. This is where you can seek help from one of the best parenting counsellors from Ahmedabad at We Positive Parenting, who can help you overcome your fear and shyness from initiating conversations.
But, do maintain old friendships
Though your life has changed with the addition to your family, your old friends are still an important part of it. They are the ones who know your inside out, have seen you overcome the challenges and celebrate the wins. These friends bring calm to the chaos in your life by being understanding, supportive and encouraging you, while giving you a different perspective on things.
Take some time out on a regular basis to stay in touch with them, if not in person, at least by phone calls or through messages. And at regular intervals, swing by their home or invite them over for a movie night or games night.
Another great idea would be to pick an activity that you and your friends would love to do, like play some sport together, volunteer at some NGO, etc. Your friends who are already parents will understand what you are going through, and the ones who are yet to become one, would always be a good sounding board to you. Who knows, they might get delighted with the pros of parenting and sympathise with you on its cons.
Sometimes making friends might take a little more effort than it usually does. But always remember, that these efforts will help you find supportive & lasting friendships which will make you stress a little less and laugh a little louder in your parenting journey.