Ways to Break Into Playground Squabbles

On the playground, one mother seeks help from an expert on how to break into the cliques.

However, I find the local playground enjoyable and exhausting for my two-year-old daughter. I feel like I’m in a clique with all the other mothers, and I don’t want to participate. No matter what I do to break the ice, it won’t thaw out. No, I don’t believe there is a secret handshake I need to learn to get in.

We feel your pain as a parent when your children are irritated by schoolyard drama. That’s exactly how we thought about the famous students in high school who wouldn’t even speak to us on the phone. Even though you’ve already graduated, “high school” is the term of choice. Now that you’re an adult and the mother of a young girl who benefits from outside play, it’s time for you to move on. When you’re a parent, you’re forced to put your self-doubts aside and focus on doing the best you can for your child.

Take a leap of faith and embrace who you are today, not what you were a few years ago; recognize who your genuine friends are and cherish them, and no longer care about whether or not a group of strangers wants you to be their new best buddy. This is your opportunity. Many playground bench discussions are filled with misinformation, so don’t worry about losing out on anything.

Because of this, you risk not being able to properly watch your child when out mingling with other adults and adolescents. So forget about the clique of affluent mothers. When you’re the only one at the sandbox, you may consider reaching out to another lone parent. Remember that these early years of your child’s life will go by instantly. Savor them while they last.