When your kids are just creating their social circles, do you feel the need to bond with the parents of their new friends? Real moms share their thoughts.

Know the parents

Elizabeth Borsting, mom to two kids ages 11 and 16, says, "My goal over the years has been to at least know who my kids are socializing with and know who the parents are, but I don't feel obligated to become BFFs with my kids' BFFs' parents. If it works out that my husband and I enjoy their company, then that's a bonus."

She adds, "And, let's face it, kids can be fickle — friend today, not so much tomorrow. For the most part my experience in making friends with my kids' friends' moms/parents has been rather positive. But if I don't care for them or have anything in common, that's OK too. I also find as your kids get older, you have less interaction (school functions, scouting, etc.) and opportunities with the other parents."

Comforting friendships

Chicago blogger and mom of three kids ages 12, 7 and 4, Chrissy Jones says that her feelings on this topic have evolved over the years. She says, "With my first child, as soon as he started nursery school, I felt very strongly about becoming friends with his friends' parents. Maybe that's because I was a working mom who wished I was able to linger longer at drop off or volunteer more for field trips. But over the years, I realized that it didn't matter so much if his nursery school friends' parents were my friends, but rather that I was trying to fill a need in myself to connect with other mothers."

We both have discussed how comforting it is for us to know that we know each other, we have similar values and we can call each other if trouble arises.

As for friendships with her oldest child's friends' parents, she says, "The dynamics between friends, classmates and teammates become more complicated. I have made a very concerted effort in getting to know his friends and forging friendships with his friends' parents. Now we are able to keep each other informed, tip each other off to situations as they begin to bubble up, and not when they're boiling over. As a result, I've become close with one of his closest friends' moms and now our families can spend time together. We both have discussed how comforting it is for us to know that we know each other, we have similar values and we can call each other if trouble arises (or even just for a glass of wine)."

Strong communication is helpful

Karri-Leigh Mastrangelo, mom of two young girls, has found befriending her daughters' friends' moms to be quite beneficial. She says, "It is important for me to know how things are going both in the classroom and on the playground, but pulling information out of little ones isn't easy. And, I often worry that I am getting only one side of the story. Having strong communication with other parents has given me a lot of insight into not only my child's behavior and growth, but how others perceive those things."

She adds, "On the other hand, forcing a relationship that doesn't seem welcome or feel natural can have a negative impact, straining the friendship between the children as a result. As with everything in parenting, you've got to be careful."

Don't make "frenemies"

Leigh Shulman, mom to a 9-year-old daughter, says, "I am all for being polite, decent and friendly, but I have no need to force a friendship with people simply because our children are in the same school. If we truly get along, great. I'm always willing to give someone a chance, but life is too short to spend time cultivating 'frenemies.'"

Absolutely not!

Your child is not making friends with you in mind. They make friends with those they are comparable with. You as a mom should do the same.

Deborah L. Mills, a mom to three adult children and now grandmother, says she would have driven herself crazy trying to make friends with all the moms. She says, "It is necessary to become acquainted and familiar with the moms of your children's friends but it is not necessary to become their friends. You may become friends if your personalities and interest mesh but if they don't it's OK. Your child is not making friends with you in mind. They make friends with those they are comparable with. You as a mom should do the same."

More on mom friendships

Treat your mom friends right
Is your friendship over?
Plan a day of shopping for your friends

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