Piggy Back from Socializing with Parents/ Did YOUR Parents Socialized with Other

Updated on May 13, 2013
C.J. asks from Fort Worth, TX
25 answers

Did YOUR parents socialized with other parents when you were in Elementary school/High school??? If they didn't did you feel bad about it???

My parents never talked to anyone in our school, it hurt me tremendously. None of the other parents knew who we were, so we didn't have much kids coming to visit us. I studied with the same people from 5th grade until I graduated high school and our parents NEVER bothered to talk to other parents in school. they hated every minute of the school functions, get togethers etc. It got so bad the last year of high school that I was the one who picked up my younger sister's report card at the parent-teacher conference, the teacher couldn't believe my parents had sent me to get the report card...

I love knowing and talking to the parents of my children's friends (except for extreme exceptions , see my previous post) I like their stories about where they come from, what type of people they are etc. I just think it helps our children so much if we make the effort to know other parents, they feel good about themselves and help them break out of their shell.

What do you think? do you talk to other parents?

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So What Happened?

**DVMOM "Whatever your parents did or did not do that you wish was different, you can always "correct" when it comes to your own kids."
Thank you so much for this comment, I always want to repeat the good things my parents did and change the things that were hurtful to me. Hopefully my kids will love me no matter what just as I love my parents with all their faults and virtues,
***ETA wildwoman I would have love to have your parents, they seem like lovely people from what you mention :o)
changed4privacy I'm not expected to be best friends with my parents kids but why not have a pleasant conversation with them or or at least try to know them. It's just my personal opinion but I see benefits for the children and the parents when they start networking with other parents. It's not about being shy is about connecting to other people, you can connect to others without them invading your privacy maybe you have met many nosey people (I have too) but polite, intelligent conversation with other parents is not that hard.
**I've read all answers so far and pretty much the consensus is that everyone else is doing pretty much the same my parents did soooo my parents were normal LOL that's good to know I just felt so inadequate when we got to school functions/parties and noone said hi to them and all the other parents were talking etc. but whatever I'm 37 years old now so I put my big girl panties a long time ago and let it go, I just started thinking about it again when I read the other post about socializing with other parents.
have a blessed night!

Bug yeah definitively not what I do! lol I'm not nosy at all but do like to make small talk and ask how their kids are doing, what subjects they prefer and things like that mostly school related you could say a deeper version of small talk.
Maybe in my case it bothered me because they never had close friends of their own and if they did I knew it would end quickly. Always finding faults in everyone else etc, maybe I give too many chances to people because of that. Oh and I think the fact tat they hated each other contributed, they divorced a month after we went to college... How cool that you are homeschooling, we did the third grade and I loved it, we might do 6th grade at home next year, I loved homeschooling.

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P.G.

answers from Dallas on

I don't remember my parents hanging out with my friends parents, or doing much of anything at school. We lived in one place from 1-5th grade and I don't even remember them hanging out with the neighbors. There was ONE family my dad was close to, but I totally didn't like to play with their kids AT ALL. Weird, huh.

We moved a bunch of times because mom kept getting married and divorced, so I made friends at school once I got to Jr. High, but I don't remember ANY socialization. I do remember my mother coming to a parent/teacher conference - a bitter/sweet memory - my teachers loved me because I was a good, well behaved student. And while riding high on that praise my mother says "don't get a big head". Yeah, parents can be screwy.

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J.G.

answers from Chicago on

My parents formed a bridge group with other PTA members. Amazingly, 38 years later, they are all still together playing bridge!

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K.A.

answers from San Diego on

My mom worked at the elementary school while my brother and I were going there. She did a short stint as Brownie leader while I was in it as well. So she talked to everyone.
When my dad came to things he would talk with people as well.

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C.F.

answers from Portland on

My parents new my friends parents names, usually.
Sometime they still would say "your friend Melissa's mom".
But that was the extent of "knowing" them.
I don't remember my parents going to any school functions, not after 6th grade.
In elementary school, sure, high school graduation, yes... But not conferences or PTA or any of that...
My parents both worked full time & rode motorcycles on the weekends.
They had their own friends, as did my friends parents.
I would not have wanted them to be close with my friends parents.
My friends houses were places to get away from my family.

Again, elementary school, completely different. I NEED to know the parents, at least a little bit.
In high school, no.
Just my opinion.

ETA
Again, I would not expect my parents to be friends with people just because I an friends with their kid... Just likemy parents would not force me to be friends with their friends kids...
We can pick our own friends...
Seems strange to me that u imply that is important.
I am pretty shy in person, & I would be uncomfortable if another kids mom was asking me personal questions...

ETA 2: You guys know that scene in the Addams Family when Morticia goes to Wednesday's school & scares everyone... That is me every time I am around average parents. They don't like my tattoos, my hair, my piercings, my clothes... Its easier online, LOL :)

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C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

My parents were active in my school. My dad was PTA President for my elementary school. This is WWWAAAYYY back in the 70's - my mom was the school nurse for my elementary school.

I'm sorry your parents weren't involved. That must suck. We were military. My father was the Senior Enlisted man on the base...so were attending functions as a family quite frequently...as well as my parents going out to functions....

I'm VERY involved in my kids school. My 13 year old has told me that I need to stop...I volunteer at the library of his school...I chaperone on field trips...

My 10 year old? He STILL loves for me to come to school - I volunteer at the LEGO club and come in and help teachers...I can't imagine not being involved.

Yes! I talk to other parents! I want to know who my kids are hanging around. I want to know what their family's are about. I don't need every last detail - but I need to know who they are if my kids are going over to their home.

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B..

answers from Dallas on

My parents did not, and it didn't bother me. They didn't refuse, or anything. They just aren't the most social people. They did go to all the school functions without seeming bothered, but they certainly didn't socialize.

I never really thought about it, but it really didn't matter to me. My son is not of school age and we homeschool. However, he is involved in a co-op school and groups. I do talk to other parents some, but I'm honestly not interested in being friends with everyone. I have friends, and I really don't want to feel obligated to make new friends every time I meet a new parent. I don't like having a ton of people I have to know and keep up with. I talk enough to make my son and self feel comfortable, but I don't feel obligated to do more. I don't really feel the need to let these people know my life story. I just don't like the people who want to be your best friend and ask all about your life, and want to know all this personal stuff. I choose who I want to be close with, so that makes me really uncomfortable. ( I'm not saying that is what you do!!)

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R.J.

answers from Seattle on

It depended.

We were military & moved every 1-2 years.

In some schools... PTA president, etc.
in some schools... Not at all.
And the entire range in between.

It made absolutely no difference in OUR social lives, however. We made friends. They came to ours, we went to theirs. From 5th grade onward, parents were rarely involved in this process. Except to check for permission.

My parents were never FRIENDS with any of my friend's parents.

Sometimes they were friends with some of my siblings friends' parents. Usually, not. My baby brother had a friend whose mom became my mothers bestie. To this day. My brother & her son haven't been friends for years, though.

That's the big risk with socializing with other parents. Inevitably

- Parents like each other = kids hate each other
- Kids like each other = parents hate each other.

So my parents tried to keep the friendships seperate from our friendships, so as not to impact them. It was a purposeful thing. Not only did we have a large family, but they each came from a large family.

Socializing with other parents is a risky thing.

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K.B.

answers from Detroit on

For the first 13 years of my life, my mom was a SAHM and my dad worked - and this was the 70's and early 80's, where most neighborhood moms stayed home and therefore it was easier for the moms to know each other and sometimes socialize with each other, while the dads pretty much worked all day and showed up at home around dinnertime. The moms seemed to know each other better because of being present at school functions, PTA meetings, etc. But mostly my dad "hung out" with the guys he had been friends with since college and my mom's closest friends were her friends from high school. I guess they could have been more social with other parents at school but it really wasn't anything that I even noticed or was aware of, to be honest - so I couldn't be bothered either way.

Whatever your parents did or did not do that you wish was different, you can always "correct" when it comes to your own kids.

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M.J.

answers from Milwaukee on

My parents were BFF's with the neighbors who were parents of my BFF. They basically hung out with each other on all free occasions. I don't remember caring because I really just wanted to hang out with my friend and her brother anyway. My parents were young and partied hard every weekend night. I remember them drunk and us kids playing in the house till all hours of the night.

In high school - my parents were divorced and my mom moved us 3 states away. She worked 3 jobs and was gone till 10:30 at night. She did not hang out with any other parents and my sister and I were basically unattended minors.

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A.S.

answers from Boca Raton on

I do the same thing you do, though I do think there is a fine line sometimes.

At one point in my life my parents ran around with a group of friends who had kids close to our age (my siblings and me). These kids were incredibly mean to us (we had moved into a sleepy southern town where people rarely left or entered). I hated EVERY second with this group and did some stupid things because of it. That was a time when I wish my parents would have disengaged a bit.

JMO.

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A.V.

answers from Washington DC on

It depends on what you call socializing. When the sks were little, we were friendly acquaintances with people in the school. I didn't necessarily go there for them. I went to functions for the kids and a byproduct of those events was often talking to other parents. Even this week, I went to a Mother's Day event at the preschool FOR DD and then ended up talking to a mom I do consider a good acquaintance/casual friend.

I feel it is important to be there when your kid is doing something. But I don't look to school functions for friends for myself. It's not the purpose and if it happens, it's a happy accident. I go to conferences because we need the information from the teacher. I help out with a fundraiser because we need volunteers. Etc. I'm also an introvert who doesn't feel the need to seek out friendships in every environment.

Further, just because my friends have kids doesn't mean the kids have to be friends, too. Many times that is not the case. It's great when everybody gets along, but when they don't, it doesn't mean I have to stop being friends. Just outside of kids.

So I guess what I would ask you is 1. are you trying really hard not to be your parents and 2. do you have realistic goals for yourself and your spouse re: school events?

Helping my child may involve getting to know parents enough that the kids can play together, but I guess I'm not seeing why I have to be friends with Johnny's parents because the kids are in the same class. I'm talking "invite them over for dinner" friendship vs "we volunteer on the same PTA project". I never needed my mom to be my friend's mom's friend. I just needed her to let me hang out with my friend and trust the other parents. My mom went to every school event she could attend and many was the time I got dragged along to support my sister.

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B..

answers from Dallas on

My parents never socialized with other parents. Things might have been easier if they did, but it never occurred to either of us. They never went to a game. They worked hard and rested when they weren't working.

I have been friends with some of my kids friend's parents but just really to sit with at football games or band things, maybe rescue a child occasionally.

Except for one special group of friends that have kids around my kids age.
We belong to Moms in Prayer and we have shared good times and really bad times. We have been friends for at least 15 yrs. there are so many times we have learned things from each other and saved ourselves from stumbling into bad situations or handled them better. Found out about homework and picture days. Worried about first loves and football coaches. Cried our way through divorces and cancer. Prayed about everything.
From K to college. This is my last year to lead the high school group but we will never stop supporting each other. But it goes way beyond just social function.

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X.O.

answers from Chicago on

My mom was the treasurer of the PTA, so she knew plenty of parents through that. She did it for about 10 years. But, she didn't go out of her way to socialize outside of responsibilities relative to her position. She didn't have time. She had a FT job, 5 kids, elderly parents, the PTA position, and was active in our church.

Sure, I wished then that she was closer to some of the other moms, but there were plenty of other moms and dads who also couldn't participate so much due to their jobs or whatever. Stay at home parents were a very rare thing in my neighborhood. Most households were double income ones, so it was always the same group of parents that knew each other.

What do I do? Well, I am an introvert, so it takes a lot of effort for me, but I do socialize with the other parents. My oldest is in Kindergarten, but we have him at a school that is a tight-knit community, which is exactly what we wanted for him. I WANT to know his classmates' families well enough to be able to feel comfortable entrusting him to their care from time to time. I WANT to be known by the other families. I want to be the house where my kids hang out with their friends.

I've become good friends with 3 of the moms in my son's class already, as well as 1 mom in another one of the kinder classes. That's pretty big for me. I graduated from college having only made 1 close friend.

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M.T.

answers from New York on

I really wouldn't remember if my mother made small talk if she was at a school event. I really don't remember school events that she'd have been at other than graduation. I lived in the city, we had no car so I was not driven to play dates, I walked to the other kid's apartment building. My mother didn't have time for socializing in that way - she was a widowed mom, working and raising 4 girls. I think there were less school events to attend back then, and if they were during the day like class parties, my mother would have been at work, not at the school events.
I do chat a lot with the other parents that I know at school concerts, shows, waiting on line on conference nights. I know a lot of people in the school district. Some are friends, others acquaintances. I don't think my kids (13 and 17) know or care who I talk to - if it's conference night, they arent there; if my son is in a concert then he's on stage and not seeing who I talk to.

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J.W.

answers from St. Louis on

Seems to me you are blaming your parents for a lot of stuff that had nothing to do with them. I don't know your age but I have to gather married 11 years you are older than my older kids. Granted I worked up at our school and parish but that had nothing to do with their friendships or who they hung out with.

If anything who they were friends with drove some of my friendships.

The proof of my assertion, I don't have the time I did with my older two with my younger two yet they have just as many social connections as their older sibs have. The funny thing is I don't like a fair few of the parents these days, they are too child centered. The friends my younger kids have, I like those parents and have made friends with them as well. So see, you don't have to be up at the school for your kids to have a social life.

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A.J.

answers from Williamsport on

Interesting. My parents didn't socialize with other parents in my school that I know of. They were very busy, both working full-time, we always took the bus. They were friendly at events and stuff, but they weren't "friends" with any of the other parents.

They did most of their socializing (not much) within the Air Force community because of my dad's job. If they went out and we had a babysitter (rare) it was to an Air Force function or maybe a church thing.

They were friendly wherever they went, but didn't socialize much outside of obligations. Again, they were busy and tired raising kids and working. It didn't bother me. I don't remember other parents really socializing either that I could tell....it was way less hovery back then (70's) most kids just took the bus and that was that. I rode my bike to soccer practice and my parents only came to games...they were "nice" to the other parents but it stayed at the field so to speak. Same with other activities or events. They were nice there bit didn't socialize beyond that.

I'm friendly at homeschool meet-ups and with other Tae Kwon Do parents in waiting room etc, but my "friends" are mainly people I've known for many years. My kids would tell you a hardly ever go out and don't really socialize but they're too young to understand I talk on the phone and interent etc...we did go out to dinner with a bunch of parents last night after a big TaeKwonDo belt test...so I guess I do socialize...

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M.E.

answers from Chicago on

It's interesting to read the wide range of responses. My parents were NEVER involved in my school things and did not socialize with other parents. Honestly, I preferred it that way. I was super independent as a kid and loved having a place to go with my friends that was completely separate from my family. I wasn't embarrassed by them or anything and I had a great childhood.

When my daughter was in a private kindergarten, I socialized with the parents in her class (only 14 kids). We all went to tons of birthday parties, class outings, etc., but the one thing in common was that we all worked full time. We were connected by our kids, but everything was scheduled around work hours and everyone was able to make the events. Since she has gone to public school, it's been the exact opposite. Almost all the moms stay home, so everything is scheduled during the day (PTO meets at 9:00 am on Wednesdays) so I am never able to attend. Now I try to make it whenever it's important to my daughter, but otherwise, I have little interaction with the parents unless it's one of her close friends.

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L.A.

answers from Austin on

My dad never went to any of my school functions.. did not know or even ask about my friends.

My mom worked full time, but did attend evening events. She was never able to attend anything during the day.. Back then, her work place would not allow such a thing.

But my mom knew all of my friends and once I was in middle school and high school, she did meet many of the parents. In High School.. all of our parents made sure we were welcome to their homes and many times, we included our parents. The ones that are still alive, still all greet each other, and ask about each other.. etc..

I have been very fortunate to be very involved in our daughters schools and socialize with lots of parents, faculty, the teachers and even their families. My husband can be shy, but enjoys meeting the other parents. Our daughters friends are always saying they think my husband is "adorable" he is like a big funny bear..

It is not easy for my husband, his parents have never been very social. Only with their own relatives and a very few coworkers.

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I grew up in a small town and my parents did socialize a lot before they were divorced. Even after the divorce, my mom was still very social.

As for us.. my husband has never missed any event, etc that our daughter has been a part of at school. We are friends with people from school and we are in a tight neighborhood. I am very involved with PTA, officer positions for cheer boosters, and volunteering for the past 12 yrs.

As for our neighborhood, we started a tradition about 5 yrs ago for a neighbors crawfish boil. It started with about 25 people close by in our homes and this year there were over 150 people which included parents and children from the school as well as teachers.

We also have a fun run the weekend before Thanksgiving and after the run, everyone has brunch. This has also gone on about 5 yrs and has grown from about 25 people to over 100 people participating.

So, yes, we do talk to other parents and neighbors and we socialize with them as well.

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C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

My mom was social and, yes, she enjoyed talking to the other parents when I was growing up. She was busy working (single mom) so she did not have tons of time to socialize, but she came to our school events, invited other kids over, was friends with some of our friend's parents, and had a get-together at our house (usually for Superbowl Sunday) once a year where some of the parents she felt closer to came. Mostly it was the people she worked with. Yes, I talk to the other parents. I volunteer some on the PTO and have made some very nice friends. I talk to other parents at my son's soccer games and have made some nice friends there too. I chat with the other parents at my daughter's preschool. We have people over for dinner occasionally (about once every other month) and it's fun to get to know them better that way. We get invited to other parent's houses for dinner occasionally...last night the parents of 2 boys our son plays with in the neighborhood had us over for cocktails so we walked over and joined them. It's nice to get to know my kid's friend's families and it's great to make new friends.

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S.G.

answers from Grand Forks on

My parents were casual acquaintances with the parents of my friends, at most. They would exchange friendly greetings, but never socialize. I talk to everyone, but the moms I socialize with from school aren't then moms of my kids friends.

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F.B.

answers from New York on

We both work full time. My parents take care of drop off and pick up. I understand that they might do a hello or a nod, but that's about it.

Curious how this will shape up for us down the line. Maybe when he gets older and we do some sports or other activities, we'll get to chatting with the other parents at the bleachers. On the other hand, maybe I'll just grab a kindle and relax.

Good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

C.M.

answers from Washington DC on

My mom was and still is a social butterfly. My mom was room mom, girl scout leader, and we always had play dates at our house. She is STILL facebook friends with MY friends from high school and college, lol!
My dad, is very anti social. Has maybe 1 friend. Just would rather be left alone and is happy that way. He would be bothered and annoyed when I had friends over and my friends just didn't like him. My parents would fight about it.

For me, I LOVE having people over, but it is exausting for me. I think I am a good mix of both my parents. I love it when my kids have friends over. I love having my friends over and having people over for dinner. But, it takes everything out of me, lol! I am an extreme introvert. I'm shy. But I love being around other people. But I'm also a bit socially akward. Sometimes I just don't know how to act around some people. I also love having some time to be a lone. For my kids though, I would do anything and I think it's important for me to get out there and make friends or get to know their friends parents. So, I do try :)

J.O.

answers from Boise on

My mom was a single mom raising two girls, she attended what she could, if she could. She knew the parents to some degree but didn't socialize with them. However, she did have a good support group that we did things with all of the time.

I don't socialize with the parents of my kids friends either. I know a lot of them in passing (small town) but that's about it. My kids have never had a lack of friends coming over and hanging out.

I think and I don't mean this in a bad way, that it's easier for you to say that because your parents didn't socialize that you felt left out, but you have to realize that some of that probably fall's on you and your own insecurities? Not that as a teen you would see that, but as an adult you should be able to.

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S.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

No my parents never socialized with parents of other classmates. My first friends were my cousins and that was pretty much where it ended as far as my mother was concerned. I hated it growing up, but don't care about it now.
For my kids, yes I set up playdates all the way back to daycare friends from when she was 3 months old. There is something beautiful about them playing so naturally together, and because they spend so much daytime together at school, they know what their likes and dislikes are. Happy Mother's day :)

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