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Renee

Derek and I have talked about this before. He has wonderful memories of his neighbors being his best friends especially in one neighborhood where they played baseball up the hill on an empty lot and rode their bikes together everyday. I do think that families are often too busy away from home with their kids in organized actitivites (sports, classes, etc.) rather than just playing in the yard. I think that kids (and parents) are in front of the tv, computer, on cell phones, etc. and losing out some on interacting with real people. I find out what is going on with my neighbors from Facebook more often than from a conversation in the driveway. A strange dynamic in today's world. I agree that you've got to know the parents before letting your child go to their house and it's wonderful for your own house to be the hang-out spot where the other kids feel welcome. I will say that our across the street neighbors are always in their front yard and very friendly to everyone! They just built a super cool treehouse in their side lot and have invited anyone to play. Also, our other neighbors just had a cookout and super slip-n-slide ;) and invited the entire neighborhood last weekend. We all agreed we should get together more often.

liz

Hey Megan. Our neighborhood is like the one you grew up in. We have a very strong community, but here are some things that really help get things started: How about a contact list? One of our neighbors went up and down our street and collected names, children's ages and then phone numbers/email addresses. We email about suspicious activity, or just to tell everyone who our favorite yard guy is. We also have weekly pizza nights in the fall. Also, when we moved in, we were told by more that one neighbor that the street looked after each other. Meaning, the neighbors communicated that we promote a safe community; we will correct your kids if they try to cross the street without looking, send them home if w/o a bike helmet, etc. For some reason, this helped me feel more comfortable sending the boys out to play. Fast forward 3 years and we have a doorbell that rings nonstop with children that are looking for someone to play with, our boys are always outside and prefer that to any inside video game or television show. ( I like to think they have better social skills too? ) Hope this helps and that you are able to find the neighborly community that is most likely in your backyard. It can exist and maybe you are the starting point?

Megan

Thanks for the weigh-ins, Renee and Liz! I think it may have more to do with just different seasons of life more than anything else. At least that's what I tell myself, but it's true, I could make more of an effort with my neighbors than I do. I appreciate the things to ponder, though! :)

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