This weekend, while my kids played with all their classmates at a team bonding event for the cross country team, I stood alone and off to the side. I didn’t talk to any other parents. I would have made conversation but all the other moms and dads were off in small groups, mingling with people they’ve likely known for years.
I could have interjected myself into a group like we’re all hanging in the lobby of a Holiday Inn Express, waiting for a conference to start in the grand ballroom adjacent to the indoor pool.
I could have explained that my kids are new to this school or just made topical conversation about the weather, the traffic, complain about the underperforming local sports team, or discussed those darn spotted lanternflies just not going away and “how many am I going to have to murder, amma right?!?”
I opted to stand alone and off to the side.
While I stood solo, mostly watching my kids play or checking my phone as to not look like a total loser, not one parent came over and said “hey, I’m Sheila/Phil. Is your son or daughter on the team?” I realize that’s a big ask of complete strangers but not a huge leap considering this is a Catholic school that teaches Christian values.
At the kid’s old school, there’s a bench dedicated to just this situation. It’s called the Buddy Bench. Kids are instructed to sit on the bench when they don’t have anyone to play with and, if they see anyone sitting on the bench, to go over and include that kid in the game.
I’ve seen the Buddy Bench in action. It works.
I’m proposing Buddy Benches for parents for these social situations. A designated area for parents who have no friends to hang out and meet other parents.
Bonus points if an open bar can somehow be included. That will get every parent over to the bench and talking.
PARENTING NOTES YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
- Parenting Note #777 – Taking Risks
- Parenting Note #776 – Random Acts of Kindness
- Parenting Note #775 – Telephone, Telegram, Tell A Father
- Parenting Note #774 – Pack It Up
- Parenting Note #773 – Road To Nowhere
OTHER STUFF I DID ON INSTAGRAM
I really only took four but that’s not as funny.
From now on, I’m parking in the last possible spot in the parking lot to avoid actually getting my car dinged and Senior moments like this one.
An Instagram follower reached out about this mailbox and said her parents had the same kind because “it’s been knocked down so many times that now kids leave it alone bc it’s too short to hit.” Damn kids.
STUFF I DID THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PARENTING
This week on “We Run This”, I sat down with Andrea Kooiman to discuss running ultra marathons, coaching young kids, and finding the best pooping bush during a race.
OTHER STUFF I WANT TO TELL YOU ABOUT
WHAT I’M READING: How We Change (And 10 Reasons We Don’t)
I’m only 50 pages in, but I like this book so far, specifically, because it doesn’t just give the science and suggestions on how to change but gives the reasons and science behind why people DON’T change.
That’s all I’ve got this week. Go do something that scares you and email me and tell me what you did.
Have a great week, and be kind to one another.
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