Playground politics are, unfortunately, a part of having children and being involved in their school and play lives. However, the mere existence of playground politics does not warrant any involvement on your part.
There are several ways to avoid playground politics if you know how to.
* Remain free of cliques. Cliques exist after high school in the form of parents. Parents who share the same interests will bond with each other over others. Keeping an open mind when talking to other parents will help to avoid the clique and prevent limitations on who you can befriend. Similarly, being friendly with everyone will show others that you have no interest in befriending someone just because of interests – it will also display your individuality.
* Let your children choose their own friends. Trying to push your children to be friends with parents who share your interest is not in the best interest of the children. Like adults, children have different interests and different choices in friends. Allow your child to express their individuality and most of all, allow them to choose their own friends, otherwise you run the risk of being a controlling parent.
* Avoid conflict wherever possible. There will be conflicts among parents over children’s questionable behaviours. If you see other parents arguing over their children, it’s best to stay out of the issue. However, if you or your child is the subject of an argument, determine if the issue is big enough that it warrants your involvement.
If another child has hurt your child and the parent simply refuses to do anything about it, by all means get involved. Some parents may not see the error in judgment until it is pointed out to them. Worst case scenario is that you avoid that parent in the future.
* Avoid participating in conversations that involve bad-mouthing other parents. We are all human and we all make mistakes and live our lives in different ways. Rather than recognizing this simple fact, many parents will bad-mouth another parent and their ways of handling situations. Avoiding such conversations will allow you to remain neutral and see all sides of the story, if there even is one.
Avoiding playground politics can be challenging, especially when your children start to make many friends. Remaining free of cliques and letting your children choose their own friends, along with avoiding conflict when possible, are great ways to avoid such politics.
Another important step is to avoid conversations geared at bad-mouthing other parents. You never know, you may end up being the topic of one such conversation and that is the reason to avoid playground politics in the first place.