Sunday, June 25, 2006

The politics of playland

This week one of the playgroups that Peanut & I went to dissolved suddenly over some misunderstandings. A friend with two children told me how her playgroup suffered an ugly split when more mother's began having their second child and the group just got too big and unwieldy. Deciding how to form two groups descended into bickering, finger-pointing and all sorts of accusations that had no place among mothers meeting to have fun with their babies.

The other playgroup Peanut & I attend came together rather informally, but we do have a short list of guidelines and an understanding of how the playdates are organized. One person took the role of keeping an address list and meeting calendar which she updates and distributes as needed. From there, everyone has simply volunteered to host playgroups and organize group outtings. We regularly send group emails soliciting advice to sharing information and good deals we've spotted. So far, we've been fortunate to maintain a friendly, cohesive group spirit.

I know we don't like think that a wholesome activity like baby playgroup should be overly regulated and planned for fear of mommy-politics, but the truth of human nature is that when you have a group of people, there will be differences of opinion, parenting styles and expectations. Here are some suggestions from playgroups around the country on how to help avoid some issues:
The folks over at Quaker Oatmeal!

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