Leaving a Playgroup Gracefully

by Ann Douglas

Leaving PlaygroupIs the playgroup no longer working for you or your child and you'd like to leave...gracefully?

This is definitely one of those situations that requires a light touch and truckloads of diplomacy.

One the one hand, you don't want to offend those parents who are still getting a lot out of the playgroup.

On the other hand, if it's not working for you, you don't want to find yourself stuck in playgroup purgatory forever.

Here are three tips on "exiting stage left" without becoming playgroup enemy number one.

Remember that you're not the only playgroup dropout. Everyone who joins a playgroup is going to have to leave that playgroup at some point -- unless, of course, the playgroup evolves into a book club or coffee club after the kids hit school or head off to college. All good things must come to an end, playgroups included.

Be honest about your reasons for leaving the group. If, for example, you've decided to leave the group because of health and safety concerns (e.g., the diaper change area isn't properly sanitized or playgroup snacks pose a choking hazard), you may want to raise those concerns. If they were an issue for you, odds are other members have noticed the same problems. And, even if they haven't, something should be done about the problems regardless, for the sake of the kids in the playgroup.

Don't burn any bridges. You're likely to run into many of the parents from playgroup time and time again: when you go to enroll your child in kindergarten, to sign her up for swimming lessons, or to drop her off at a friend's birthday party a year or two from now. The parenting community is surprisingly small -- even in the biggest of cities. If you leave on good terms, you won't have to worry about any awkward reunions down the road.

What are some ways you've dealt with this situation? Share in the comments!

Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting including the bestselling "The Mother of All Pregnancy Books." She regularly contributes to a number of print and online publications, is frequently quoted in the media on a range of parenting-related topics, and has appeared as a guest on a number of television and radio shows. Ann and her husband Neil live in Peterborough, Ontario. with the youngest of their four children. Learn more at her site, having-a-baby.com.

Copyright © Ann Douglas. Permission to publish granted to Pregnancy.org.