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Making friends with other parents is hard! We know we need them — we really want them, too — but learning how to make friends with kids around can be a challenging task to accomplish. Just because your kids get along doesn’t mean you’ll click, and the crazed playdate environment doesn’t help. If you’re having trouble finding a new mom or dad BFF, it might help to use some of the same moves that made you a dating success. Like dating, making friends is all about chemistry and seized opportunities. Here are 3 tips on how to make friends while on playdates that I learned long before I became a mom.
1. Research Your Potential Match
To make friends on playdates, you’ll need to be well versed on who it is that you’re trying to make friends with. Remember, playdates are chaotic and not centered on your budding friendship. Think back to your pre-kids dating days when you’d ask around or Google the person you were intending to meet. Knowing the things you two have in common will help you jump into conversation before the next toddler meltdown.
2. Minimize Interruptions
You know how to make friends; it’s just a little different now. Whereas on a date you have your wingman or woman distract suitors you weren’t interested in, on a playdate its your kids who need to occupied so you and your would-be friend can chat. Come prepared with snacks, drinks, small toys, extra diapers and wipes, and anything else your child (or theirs!) might need to allow you the time required to get to know the other adults.
3. Keep It Upbeat
In dating, you don’t want to lead with the negative like past relationship flameouts. Similarly, resist the urge tell your new friend all about your child’s bad habits or your parenting nightmares. Playdates are fast paced and not suited for in-depth conversations. While you’re eager to build a forever friendship, remember that learning how to make friends takes time, and not everyone is on the same page. While you might be against co-sleeping or formula feeding, playdates aren’t the place for a heated debate. Instead, converse about the joys of parenting or latest baby gear essentials you’ve found useful.
Learning how to make friends while on playdates is not impossible. With some preparation and mindful expectations, you can find the mom village you need and deserve.