How do you build your family network?

Written by: Melanie Schlachter

Who is in your family support network? Studies show one of the top 7 things happy families have is a strong support network - or mom friends!

I recenly chatted with Alison de Castro, host of the new family television program Playground Chicago, to discuss ways to build your network.

Here are some top tips:

  • Make it a point to get out of the house! Pick events or outings to go to where you’ll be in the position of meeting people. I suggest finding a moms group - NPN has groups specifically for new moms where they meet three weeks in a row in someone’s home. More times than not, these moms continue to meet past the first three weeks and end up becoming great friends.
  • Take a class "with" your little one. Check out postnatal fitness, baby food making, family photography, even get yournails done while your little one plays - check out our calendar for more ideas!
  • Schedule playdates – whether you’re a working mom, stay at home or somewhere in between, once you get into a regular routine of seeing the same group of people, in the same boat, doing an activity you enjoy, you'll automatically create bonds. The city will suddently feel much smaller.
  • Making new friends is a lot like dating. Don't be afriend to put yourself out there, introduce yourself and ask for people's contact information. Offer a hand to a mom in need - a bandaid or shared snack at the park just might turn into a longer-term friendship.

For more family-friendly tips, activities and resources, check out Playground Chicago, premiering on WTTW Channel 11 at 11 a.m. on July 12, with a second airing at 12:30 p.m. on July 13. WTTW Prime (channel 11.2 over the air, Comcast channel 370) will air encore presentations at 6:30 p.m. on July 14 and 6 p.m. on July 17. This new show gives families  the inside scoop on the area’s hottest attractions, as well as helpful how ­to segments devoted to cooking, parenting and family life. Click here for a sneak peak!

Photo courtesy: Eva Ho Photography

Posted on July 11, 2014 at 1:17 PM