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Please help a shy mom to make friends at ds's new school

(17 Posts)
hellraiser Thu 25-Sep-08 11:14:30

I have struggled at the school gates for years to get in there and chat to people and now my ds is at a new school where I don,t know any of the parents of my ds's new class mates.
I do know one person at the school gates who happens to be my neighbour her dd goes to the school but is in the year above my ds.
I have only spoken to her but would love to start talking to more people.
Its only my ds's second day at this school today and I have only pinpointed one parent of a child in my ds's class.
My problem is that I am hopeless at small talk and have no idea how to walk up to someone start a conversation and get to know them.
Can anybody offer any suggestions on how to do this what would be a conversation starter with someone you have never met and how would you approach them without them thinking who the hell is this.
This problem of mine isn;t just confined to the school gates I have always struggled in this way.
Any suggestions I don,t want to be standing at the school like a loner every day.

tonton Thu 25-Sep-08 11:23:09

I do sympathise. I work fulltime and always felt a little of an odd-one out at the gates (the few times I made it). i too only knew one person and struggled to get to know the others. They seemed to know each other so well - not working, having coffees together etc.

I focussed on the one person i did know & gradually met people though her. It toook AGES though.

Now DH is the one doing all the choldcare and as far as I know he doesn't speak to anyone!! he is very shy like you.

EustaciaVye Thu 25-Sep-08 11:24:20

Where are you? There may be an MNer near you.

notnowbernard Thu 25-Sep-08 11:27:18

If you are feeling brave, a good ice-breaker is to pay someone a compliment

You know, "that's a really nice coat, the colour suits you" or something

Is that too stressful to contemplate doing?

hellraiser Thu 25-Sep-08 11:28:19

I am in the west midlands.
God I just find it so hard I have thought about sticking with my neighbour and maybe I will get to know people through her.

hellraiser Thu 25-Sep-08 11:32:06

notnowbernard I would find that difficult would worry about looking odd but thats me and my crazy way of thinking.

notnowbernard Thu 25-Sep-08 11:34:54

Ok, can imagine it would be hard if you are a really shy person

How many dc do you have?

hellraiser Thu 25-Sep-08 11:37:37

I only have the one dc who is 7.
I am terribly shy feel such an idiot to be like this at my age.
I avoid eye contact with people at times as well its an awful way to be and an nightmare.

notnowbernard Thu 25-Sep-08 11:41:22

Don't feel an idiot. Shyness is a way of being, not a character flaw!

I think you should take it in really small steps. You say you find eye-contact difficult. Start with this. Set yourself a challenge that for today and tomorrow at school drop-off and pick-up you will look a stranger ^in the eye^ and simply say "hello". Just to see how it feels to do it, and to have someone acknowledge you back in some way

Just start with this smile

sleepycat Thu 25-Sep-08 11:41:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hellraiser Thu 25-Sep-08 11:46:20

Okay I will try, my problem is that when it comes to doing it I just freeze.
I hate myself and I know that I need to make steps soon as the longer I leave things the worse it becomes for me.

notnowbernard Thu 25-Sep-08 11:50:09

Trying is good grin

sleepycat Thu 25-Sep-08 11:51:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

notnowbernard Thu 25-Sep-08 12:08:05

Let us know how you got on!

Agree with Sleepycat, there are probably many other shy Mums in the playground with you

tonton Thu 25-Sep-08 12:18:50

Commenting (positively!) on clothes is a great idea - I've used that a few times.

Flyonthewindscreen Thu 25-Sep-08 13:00:59


I can really sympathise with your problem as my ds moved to a new school during reception last year (due to a house move) and I found it v intimidating to know no-one at the school gate (knew everyone at old school as had been though toddlers/playgroup/nursery class with same people). I found the best way to gradually get to know the other parents was to try to identify children/mums (especially the boys/girls depending on which dc you have) from my ds's class (could you ask your neighbour for help with this?) and then just introduce myself to the most approachable looking of their parents along lines of 'excuse me, is your child in class x?, as my ds is new boy and am trying to work out who is in his class'. Most people responded in a really friendly way to this direct approach.

My dd started at a new playgroup at the same time as ds started new school and I made myself talk to at least 1 parent on each school/playgroup run even if it was 'hi' or 'do you know if they need PE kit today, etc.). Often it was a question of forcing myself but it has paid off and over a year on I am never short of a gossip outside the school gates (probably a bad thing!)

Start at the next pick up time and keep at it, you have got a window now as a 'new mum at gates' where it is a normal friendly thing to start up conversations in this way.

Good luck smile

notnowbernard Fri 26-Sep-08 12:33:03

Hellraiser, how did it go?!

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