two angry women

Top Talker:
Have You Ever Broken Up With Another Parent?

Parenting is a lot like religion—there’s no arguing with the true believers. Whatever parenting method people strongly subscribe to, it’s really hard to get them to at least acknowledge the benefits of tactics they don’t follow. Also, it’s so much easier to cluster around other parents whose beliefs align with your own. There’s lots of support and virtually no side-eyes for doing things your own way.

Sometimes you have to even break up with another parent. Your kids get along fine, so you might not want to, but it’s necessary because your parenting styles are very disparate and you know it’s not going to end well for you or your kid. This blog post takes a look at those parent-friendships that must end because the two of you are the Mars and Venus of parenting—not on the same planet at all.

According to the writer, the parents who have to deal with this fall into one of four categories:

  • The Avoider—You stop answering the phone.
  • The Ulcer-Developer—You continue the playdates and hope for the best.
  • The Bold Liar—You tell an extreme lie to avoid contact.
  • The Earnest Truth-Teller—You reveal how much you can’t stand her kid.

This is tongue-in-cheek. No one is suggesting that you pretend your spouse’s job has the family moving to China in two weeks or that you change your phone number. The better route is to be clear about where your loyalties lie, and that is with your family. You don’t need anybody to tell you that.

Related: Ask Rene: Will Our Friendship End Over FEET?

All parents have their own way of doing things and I totally respect. However, I do not have to respect anybody’s laid back parenting attitude when it infringes on my children or me

I’ve had to break up with a mom before because she was of the too-laid-back variety. She came over my house with her son, who was about 4 or 5. When we weren’t looking, he got a bag of candy, opened it, and ate some. Now, I don’t mind sharing and I do believe if you invite people over, you should offer them something to eat or drink, which I had done. But the candy wasn’t intended for that occasion.

I don’t want to reprimand someone else’s child, especially not if the parent is right there. But when my “friend” realized what happened, she couldn’t have been more blasé. She literally waved it off and said, “Oh, you know, kids like candy.” When I pointed out that he had to do some snooping to get to it, she actually suggested that I should put things like that up higher where kids can’t get to them.


I was dumbfounded. I knew right then that our friendship was not going to get past the pupa stage. If she was okay with dismissing her son’s intrusion of my personal space and stealing, this was not someone I wanted to get to know better and I didn’t want her son around my kids. We were not destined for each other.

Breaking up with a friend, even a new friend, is fraught with emotions. Sure, we’ve all done it with significant others, but breaking up with another parent is somehow different. Do you just avoid her phone calls? Are you always “so super busy” when she wants to get together? Why is it so hard to find the right words to end things with other parents?

Related:Friends ‘Til The End.. Do You Have One Like This?

I have no answers; only questions. Have you ever broken up with a parent or had one break up with you? How did you deal with the situation? Share your stories below.