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Mommy Dearest: Befriend Parent Just to Get in Preschool?

Mommy Dearest,

My town has a few preschools, but one is extremely competitive and I'd like my son to go there. The problem is, he's my first child, so therefore I don't have the "sibling in" and spaces are few and far between. I know a mom at the playground serves on the school's board and has a lot of clout there. Would it be wrong for me to befriend her just to give my child an advantage? Or is it alright to put my child's best interest first?

— Befriending Parent to Get In Preschool

To read the response from Mommy Dearest,


Befriending Parent to Get In Preschool,

As a mother, you should put your child's best interests first and teaching him to befriend people with ulterior motives will not benefit him. Instead, you might try the honest approach. Simply introduce yourself and ask if she has any tips on how to get your son enrolled. I bet she'll respond with an appropriate answer.

— Mommy Dearest

Submit a question for this feature at the Mommy Dearest Group on TeamSugar.

snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 9 years
i dont see anything terribly wrong with it if you think its important for your child, but remember that if she helps you, you owe her a favor.
macgirl macgirl 9 years
I couldn't do that. I wouldn't want someone to do that to me. If you like me as a person that is fine but don't get close to me because I have something that benefits you and your life :-/
Greggie Greggie 9 years
"be genuine and don't ask her about it for awhile or she'll get annoyed with you" I don't think that's genuine, though. I'm sure she's annoyed by people kissing up to get into the school, but it'd be really hurtful to get close and then point out your goal. Running, I don't think it's just preschool, it sounds like there aren't many at all in the area. It doesn't sound like a situation like I have, where I have dozens to choose from.
runningesq runningesq 9 years
I don't have kids, so maybe I am totally off base (yeah right ;)) ... but really?! PRESCHOOL?! I've heard of thes hyper competitive pre schools and it sounds like a racket -- a way to get $20K/ year so your kid can fingerpaint. I get that in the upper class the whole Ivy path starts at 3 years old, but IMO the whole thing is utterly ridic.
vmruby vmruby 9 years
While I think it's commendable to put your child interests first, I don't condone befriending someone for the sole purpose of getting what you want either. Find another way and save yourself the possible embarrassment of being called on what your true motivation for the friendship really is.Try getting your son into that school on your own and without compromising your honesty.This woman has probably had plenty of well meaning moms sucking up to her in the past for the same exact reason to know when she's being used.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
might backfire. and what's the worst thing that can happen: your child goes to another preschool. try not to over identify with the accomplishments, challenges and opportunities of your children. maybe your child would he happier in a different environment. and frankly, an "extremely competitive" preschool sounds NUTS. preschool kids like to play and explore, cut and paste, dig in the dirt and pretend. i'm sure there are more than a few places that can accommodate those activities.
gigimama gigimama 9 years
You probably wouldn't be the first person to try that with her---she is probably very wary of people's motives. Don't expect it to work. Nobody likes to be used, even for something like a foot in the door of a certain preschool. It never hurts to strike up a friendship with another mom, but be genuine about it. You may end up with a true friend if you keep your ultimate intentions under wraps for awhile.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
i bet she hates people asking her questions about it and talking to her to get the scoop hence, be genuine and don't ask her about it for awhile or she'll get annoyed with you
meandtheo meandtheo 9 years
yes, befriend her. living in SF i know the hardships of schooling. any in you can get is a good one. the other posts are right, you may end up becoming good friends, but if not, it is always nice to know someone on the board!
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I agree with Mommy Dearest - don't befriend her dishonestly, just introduce yourself and ask for advice. Chances are, a friendship with form from that and it'll have a good basis.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
and to add to that, of course there is a right and a wrong way to go about it, so don't be manipulative, rather, be friendly!
skigurl skigurl 9 years
i don't think there's anything wrong with it. i mean, be genuine. maybe you will get along and enjoy each other, for real. don't go overboard and invite her to weekend with you in the caribbean or anything, but befriending someone is a nice thing to do regardless. i really don't see anything wrong with it.
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