[ From: PixaBay ]
Community is one of those concepts that seems to have faded as the years have passed.
Once – or so old footage would have you believe – a community was a neighborhood that knew one another. Everyone knuckled together during times of strife or crisis, bonded by shared experience with nothing but a shared location making friendships that would go on to last a lifetime.
In recent years, it’s a culture that has largely been diminished. The reasons for this are various, from a more insular society in general right through to the fact that people tend to move home more. But community is still a vital, thriving necessity. The people you share a home with are those who you need to be able to turn to both for support through bad times and for celebration of the good times.
It therefore makes sense as a parent to want to instill the values and benefits of a strong community in your kids. Tough as it is to think of, one day you won’t be there to watch out for them. So you can ensure their future and provide yourself some piece of mind by being confident they know the values of community; a lesson that will stick with them for their entire lives.
Got concerns or not entirely sure where to begin? That’s natural – especially if you have relatively little community engagement at present to build off. So…
How Do I Convince My Kids To Do It?
Modern children, known as digital natives, might be difficult to tear away from their various screens – but that’s all the more reason to do it. Sometimes, you have to lay down the law as a parent and not give them the option of saying no. The productive way of doing this is to incentivize their involvement (an extra hour of TV for every hour they dedicate to community projects, for instance) and disincentivize not doing so (an hour of TV lost, etc).
How Can They Get Involved?
There are two things that primarily tend to bring a community together:
Community Improvement: Tasks like litter-picking, remodeling common buildings or improving facilities. The entire community bands together to bring a fresh lease of life to a public space.
Fundraising: Potentially for the above, though also for national crises like the effort to repair after Storm Sandy. There are plenty of easy fundraising ideas that can bring everyone together for the common good.
If you don’t already have one, forming a residents’ association can throw relief on the areas that need improvement.
What Will My Children Gain From This?
It’s not selfish to want to ensure there is some benefit to encouraging your children to be involved. The primary benefit is to do with selfishness too – or the eradication of it. Teaching your kids about helping the needs of others and thinking as a collective is a huge benefit, encouraging them to be more open to the world outside of their home and more empathetic throughout the rest of their lives.