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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Parent’s Perspective- Part 4

We can all take some pointers from parent-writer Ideisha Bellamy when it comes to Building Your Network.

On school days at 4:30pm, the school bus unloads a large group of elementary school kids at my house. They arrive chasing each other, laughing, and racing towards our door. Usually, there are three sets of parents standing in the driveway to receive them with smiles.

These kids have developed into a tight-knit group who go to school together and are growing up together. We have built a network of supportive families, and since each school year brings new challenges, it is a good thing that we have each other.
 It is important to build a village or network to support you when you have kids in school. The school experience can be challenging, but having a network can make it easier. While there are many ways to build your network, here are few ideas to try:
  • Make an effort to connect with other parents who are open to building relationships and follow up with them
  • Exchange phone numbers early in the year at school-related activities like “Meet the Teacher Day,” PTSA meetings, orientation, open house, and at the bus stop
  • Use your school’s family directory as a resource for planning play dates with classmates
  • Enroll your child in neighborhood-based extra-curricular activities to meet other families
  • Occasionally, lend a hand to another parent through ride sharing to school or extracurricular activities, exchanging uniforms, or babysitting for an hour while another parent runs an errand
  • Share school-related information through text messaging (“…just a reminder—dress down day is tomorrow”).
Our network has allowed my children and me to form new, lasting friendships which have been an unexpected bonus. I value those friendships because they keep me encouraged and keep me connected with other parents in the community who can share their wisdom and experience with me.

Photo Source: Gigaom


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