The Social Circle: Why Parent Networking is Important
There are many benefits for parents, and their kids, in becoming involved in a school community and establishing a network of friends and contact among their fellow parents. This is perhaps even more so when we are discussing international schools. Here, many families are new to the country and do not have an established social circle. Bonds in any walk of life are often formed through shared interests, and what interest is more important than your child’s education and wellbeing.
Most international schools provide numerous ways for parents to get involved with the school community and meet other parents. Most obviously, there is the school’s Parent-Teacher Association, although the administrative focus of this group may not be for everyone. There are also likely organizing committees for various events or activities such as story reading or helping out on field trips. Whatever the opportunity, leap at it and the chance to link up with other parents, because there is a good reason why.
Broaden your horizons
Every school, but international schools in particular, made of people from an astonishing array of cultures, backgrounds and experiences. It is a great joy to open your mind, and that of your kids, by meeting and interacting with people of different walks of life. The chance to learn, share and think about things from a new perspective is always valuable.
There are innumerable challenges that come with raising kids and guiding them through their education and formative years. Many of your fellow parents would have seen it all before, and are therefore a great resource to draw on for advice and guidance during challenging times. It might be something as complex as navigating the complexities of life in a new country, or as simple as where to buy school shoes, but every piece of knowledge makes life a little easier.
It also comes down to something as simple as having fun. Life is more enjoyable with firm friendships. It might be the mid-week lunch with the girls or a weekend barbeque with the whole family, but these experiences create memories and friendships that can last a lifetime.