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How to break into a playgroup clique

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#1 kiwimum2b

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:22 PM

Trying to meet new ppl and make friends in a new(ish) area..we've lived here for 8 months and have been building so pretty preoccupied with that.Thought its about time to get into a playgroup. Went to the open day, 1 person talked to me. Went to playgroup today and its very cliquey..I tried to make conversation, and 2 mums talked to me but as soon as they answered my question they went back into the group(who were all in a little circle on the verandah..)Everyone just ignored me, so I left.So, any ideas on how to break into a very cliquey playgroup, or do I stand no chance??

#2 AdelTwins

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:44 PM

It would depend on how long the group has been together. A newer group would be easier to join.

Bring a yummy home made cake next time and see what happens!

Also, ask lots of questions about the other children - people love to brag about their kids.

#3 Ally'smum

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:48 PM

This is what scares me about joining a playgroup!

#4 fran123

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:52 PM

Find one mum you click with the most and invite her over for a coffee at yours. That might get the ball rolling.  

Keep going and going until they get used to you being there and they accept that you are remaining a part of the group. Might be hard at first but I suspect it will get easier.

Definitely bring something yummy for them to eat.

If that doesn't work find another group.  Don't give up, it is sooooo worth having connections in your neighbourhood.  


Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:53 PM

I'd try another playgroup, OP. They are not all like that.

#6 qak

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:54 PM

It helps to go to a playgroup some one else you know goes to. If there are a number of kids at the older age range (about to go to school) then the dynamics will change as those kids/parents go to school.  Some groups are just cliquey, or are all parents that already knew each other before the group started.

I guess my tip is - find who the co-ordinator is and ask to be introduced to others.

#7 Miss S

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:59 PM

I am in the same boat kiwimum2b, I took DD to a playgroup and the only person that really spoke to me was the lady running the group and I even had one woman look me up and down and turn her back on me ohmy.gif needless to say we never went back there.

#8 dejoey

Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:00 PM

I've just done this. I went against my normal tendancy to be shy, and just walked up to the huddle and joined in the conversation. It was hard at first. Ask if there is a FB page for the group (mine has one and it is for organising who will be doing what that week), ask if there is a roster ie cleaning, bringing the milk for coffee, doing an activity etc and say you are keen to go on the roster. When your child is interacting with the other kids, play with them (if their child thinks you are OK they will too) HTH

#9 tothebeach

Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:00 PM

I went to an established playgroup where I knew nobody.  I just kept talking to people and asking questions about their lives.  And I kept going week after week.  Eventually I became one of the 'clique' as I had been for a while and everyone knew me and knew lots about me.

#10 CocobeanLillylove

Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:09 PM

Just go and sit with all the ladies in the huddle. Just listen and chime in when you can. Just don't be afraid to pull up a chair next to everyone. I am in a Playgroup and we have been together for almost 4 years and have been through a lot together. We sometimes get new people and some have become part of the group and some have left. Our group is on a Friday - we are all tired, usually frazzled and just want to relax. We all make an effort to say hello to the new people and ask a question or two then it is up to the new person to just join in. The ones who just pull up a seat next to us all are the ones that have the most success. I know it can be daunting but just give it a few weeks.

#11 kiwimum2b

Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:14 PM

Thanks for your replies..I guess I just have to keep trying..
The kids were all older than my son, and have obviously been going awhile as they all knew each other and the 'lay of the land' so to speak..they just barged around taking whatever my son was playing with, who in turn just got more and more upset..there's not much choice in my area, so will try the only other playgroup and hope for the best..
I couldn't find someone to click with cause they all sat in a circle on the verandah..I was the only adult outside with all the kids!
Try and try again :-/

#12 ~benita~

Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:21 PM

It is networking.  One visit will not make you part of the group or have a relationship with these women.  You need to actively participate in conversations, appear interested in their children/lives.  Just like their friends are.  

I disagree with the "invite one Mum over".  I think keep attending and suss out the group dynamic.  You could alienate/offend others and you really want to make sure that the person you have invited is not universally disliked etc!!!

#13 Bel Rowley

Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:27 PM

I think in any playgroup it's hard to break in on the first day. I've lost count of how many people have come to our playgroup for one session and never come back. I don't think we're rude or b**chy, but of course you're never going to have instant rapport and easy conversation to the same extent as people who've known each other for a year or more. It takes a bit of persistence, and I think as the newbie you have to be the one who makes the effort to join the conversation or start a new one. If you sit back and wait for others to include you it's probably not going to happen.

#14 kiwimum2b

Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:33 PM

All very true and valid points...thanks!!
I will keep trying...I think a lot of them have been through school etc together, so very tight..not sure ill have success but will make sure I really put myself out there.
Maybe I'll try a  different day where the kids are not so much older than mine..
Thanks for the tips original.gif

#15 heffalumpsnwoozles

Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:33 PM

I think most established groups of people are cliquey without really meaning to be. We try to be welcoming in our playgroup and engage newcomers, but they need to make the effort too. I'm not there just to be a door greeter for people who are sussing out the group, I'm a mum who wants my 2 hours chat and a cuppa with friends while our kids play together as well. So IMO the best thing you can do is pull up a chair and join in. That's what the most recent comers to our playgroup have done, and it's like they've always been there, even though it's only been a few months. We're also at the stage now where older members will be moving on due to kids starting school, so you might find you have better luck in the new year when there's a change to the dynamic and possibly more new arrivals.

#16 About time

Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:43 PM

Help out!

I was new to an area and accidently got roped into being a co-ordinator. Something I would never normally do. The playgroup had quite a few established groups but being a co-ordinator was my in.

You don't have to become a co-ordinator but if you are seen actually getting in and helping out that will go a loooooong way to people liking you and talking to you.

#17 Natttmumm

Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:49 PM

Not easy joining an established group. I have joined one about 3 monthso ago and whilst everyone was nice enough its taken time to "break through". I have attended every week, offered to make the morning tea cake, actively joined in to the discussions even when it was a bit awkward with some.

I felt like not going after a few weeks but really wanted to kids to make local friends. It has paid off. The other option is starting in the new year might mean a few people move on and new ones start - it might be easier to be new then. I know our playgroup only has 3 weeks left this year

#18 chicken_bits

Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:51 PM

What area are you in OP?

I'd suggest trying another playgroup. I understand feeling very nervous about joining a new group. Our mother's group is currently in the process of starting our own playgroup and would be very welcoming to new members. Surely there would be other groups out there like ours.

Edited by chicken_bits, 19 November 2012 - 01:52 PM.

#19 Mummy Em

Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:48 PM

I think it is best to find a group with children the same age as your child. Once you can see he is getting something out of it, it is easier to commit to going along every week, even if you aren't enjoying it much. Once you have been there a while and had a few conversations with other mums you'll gradually make friendships and then someone will come along who is newer than you and you won't be the newbie anymore.

#20 BadgerBasher

Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:06 PM

Once you're not the newbie anymore, it becomes infinitely easier. Until then, ask someone to move over, join in the conversation and breathe through the awkward moments.

Alternatively, you could start your own playgroup. Everyone would be new then!

#21 ~~~

Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:21 PM

QUOTE (CCABW @ 19/11/2012, 01:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'd try another playgroup, OP. They are not all like that.

They are definitely not all like that!! Sorry to hear these guys are.

QUOTE (kiwimum2b @ 19/11/2012, 02:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
they just barged around taking whatever my son was playing with, who in turn just got more and more upset..there's not much choice in my area, so will try the only other playgroup and hope for the best..
I couldn't find someone to click with cause they all sat in a circle on the verandah..I was the only adult outside with all the kids!

That is a pretty sh*tty experience sad.gif Maybe even try a different day at the same place (if they have them), often the dynamics can be quite different from day to day!

#22 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:25 PM

Could you find one where the kids are the same age?

  I find at school, kindy, playgroup if the kids are similar ages then you will usually find it easier to strike up a conversation about developmental milestones etc.

I go to one at the local kindy and the good thing is other Mums tend to take their children just before starting kindy so you know your children are going to be in the same kindy class and then (since a lot of the kids go from that kindy to the local school) that may end up in the same reception year/class at school etc

The other Mums talk to each other and include each other because even if they really don't want to associate with you if they know they are going to have to for the next few years they are much more likely to engage you.
You in general!  and I hope this makes sense.

Sounds like you may be at one where this is the case, if the kids are a bit older and they all know each other from kindy, school, sports etc then it can be hard to break in.

#23 kiwimum2b

Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:27 PM

Its good to know that not all playgroups are like this..they do have different days at the same playgroup, so I think I'll try another day aswell as trying the other playgroup.
Apparently this playgroup goes right through all holidays etc, but know there's changes on the committee in the new year with kids going to school. Might be an idea to go in the new year..def need 1 where there are better ages for my son..
It was just difficult when they just stopped talking and went off to sit with the others..hopefully something will work out original.gif

#24 FizzlingFireboxes

Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:56 PM

I would try another day, not all playgroups are like that. The playgroup I attend, I have spoken to multiple mothers and had them speak to me on different weeks. Some of my original mothers group attend this playgroup and we have even made new friends within our mothers group and invite them out and meet up.

Hopefully you find one that's right for you op. original.gif

#25 Chchgirl

Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:16 PM

Keep trying, but sometimes it takes a few tries at different groups. It took me till my third playgroup to enjoy, get to know people and actually want to talk to them as well..

It's worth it if you can find the right one, I met one of my great friends at playgroup 10 years ago, and we are still friends, both moved to nz within six months of each other three years ago, I moved back and have visited and we still keep in touch!

Edited by Chchgirl, 19 November 2012 - 07:21 PM.

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