Can’t we all just get along? Yeah, no. Especially not us parents.
We all parent differently. Even if our general philosophies are the same, we still parent differently, because we’re different people who have unique children. There is no blueprint we all follow because there’s no blueprint period. Real parenting isn’t about planning, it’s about adapting and improvising, and handling all the nonsense your kids throw at you.
So I’m not concerned if other people have different parenting styles from me. I already know nearly everyone does. Even my own wife! But there are a handful of qualities I look for in other parents, qualities that, if you have them, make me confident we’ll get along.
Good news: we both have kids (I assume, since you’re reading this), so we already have something pretty big in common! But as anyone who’s ever been annoyed by someone else’s parenting style knows, just because we both have kids doesn’t mean we’re automatically compatible.
So I made a list of things that if we share them will make it more likely for us to be friends. And God knows all parents need some of those.
Things I Look For In Other Parents
- You have a sense of humor
- You have a sense of humor about your kids
- You have a sense of humor about parenting
- You insult your kids (not to their faces)
- You insult your kids (to their faces sometimes but real subtle-like so they can’t tell)
- You don’t freak out about too much screen time/too much junk food/too much TV
- You don’t freak out much in general
- You realize this is all a crap-shoot
- You don’t buy your kids everything they ask for because that makes me look terrible when I say no all the time
- You provide booze at your kids’ birthday parties
- You provide booze at play-dates
- You provide booze
- You understand that beer gardens are fun for parents and kids
- You swear
- You vaccinate
- You #NeverTrump
- You don’t judge
- You don’t give me parenting advice
- You understand that sometimes saying “yes” is better for everybody
- You don’t let your kids watch Caillou
- You do let your kids watch Star Wars
- You know why my car is a mess
- You know why my house is a mess
- Your car is a mess
- Your house is a mess
- You don’t care that your car and your house are a mess
It doesn’t mean I won’t get along with you if you don’t have one or some or all of these qualities. But it helps!