It Takes a Village or a Subdivision
You have probably heard this saying before. You may have thought, “Yes, that is a nice sentiment.” Or maybe you thought, “No thanks, I’ve got this.” I think it is time we all started living this idea of a village, or a subdivision taking a collective role with all our children. One way you can start these relationships is by taking part in National Night Out (Texas) on Tuesday, October 4th.
Why should we take time to meet our neighbors? How does this help our children? The first way it benefits our children is by making our community a safer place to live. Who doesn’t want a safer place for our children? A 20 year longitudinal study in Shreveport looked at how connecting people in a community effected crime rates. During the time of the study total crimes in Shreveport decreased by 25% and in the targeted neighborhood that was being studied crime decreased by 45%! That is a powerful example of what can happen from getting to know our neighbors.
Another reason to know our neighbors is to increase our sense of belonging. We have a need to feel a part of a group. This summer at a keynote speech, Lucy Calkins, discussed what has been happening to our sense of community in America. The studies she shared are sobering. The number of Americans who say they have no close friends has doubled. Is that what we want for our children? We don’t want to be alone during the hard parts of life and lately, most parts of life have been hard for us. Raising children is fulfilling, but hard. Doing it with others makes it easier. Living a connected life will encourage our children to do the same.
So how do we go about getting to know our Bear Creek neighbors? You may have noticed the signs about National Night Out. National Night Out (NNO) is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live. It happens the first Tuesday of October each year (the rest of the county celebrates this event on the first Tuesday of August). How to participate? That is easy – just go outside on Tuesday night. Look around for others and introduce yourself. I will be taking part in my neighborhood by going out with a tray of cookies in the driveway (pumpkin spice no less). I know of someone who is planning to put their fire pit in the front yard to roast hot dogs with the neighbors. Make it a goal to know the 8 neighbors closest to you by name. Do it to make the neighborhood better and safer for our children.