The parental network

By Suzanne Rent

When our kids enter school, we want them to succeed. We hope they like their teachers. We hope they do well in their classes. And we hope they make friends. But what parents may not realize during those early years is that they’re making contacts too, with other kids’ parents. 

I’ve connected with a few of these parents. Heather and Garlanda, whose daughters, Delisca and Brookelyn respectively, have been friends with my daughter since Grade Primary. 

My daughter will spend the occasional night at Heather and Delisca’s houses. Heather loves superheroes, as does my daughter. It’s one hobby they share and talk about when my daughter visits. 

Garlanda is a baking expert and my daughter already wants her to create all the treats for her next birthday party. My daughter is more than comfortable sharing funny stories with Garlanda such as offering that I feed her candy for dinner. You have to love when your kid throws you under the parenting bus (I don’t feed her candy for dinner, by the way).

When you befriend the parents of your kid’s young friends, you create a mini network of support. Some of the benefits are purely logistical. Our three girls often go to the same parties, so we prearrange transportation and share the rides. We exchange babysitting services during March Break or other holidays. We know what each other’s kids like and get to know their personalities. Our kids share with us stories of what’s happening at school or with their hobbies.

But what I really like about Heather and Garlanda is that I trust them to take care of my daughter. When she is at their homes for a sleepover or a birthday party with their daughters, I don’t worry about her. That is a big deal for parents who have much to think about when raising kids. 

Look for your parent connections, too. They are just as important as the connections your child will make.