In On Becoming Preschoolwise, community is defined as “a group of families sharing common interests, values, and a significant commitment to an ideal for the mutual benefit of the individual and the collective membership.” You can find community anywhere. Church, school, sports teams, mom groups…anywhere!
Why Community is Important
Community is important because “a community does something that nothing else can–it establishes a sense of ‘we-ness’ in the group that encourages its members to work toward a common good.” Without a sense of community, all accountability is lost. Working towards a common good alongside other people provides accountability and a sense of belonging.
You know that saying that it takes a village? It really does, in so many ways. It is inevitable that the people you surround yourself with will teach your child – directly or indirectly. There is just no way you will be the only adult influencing your child unless you live in a bubble. Knowing that, you should strive to surround yourself with people who will teach your child things that you are also teaching them and that fall in line with your values. “Children do better when the community they grow up in reinforces the values the parents are trying to instill.”
Positive Peer Pressure
When you surround yourself with adults who share your values, your child will end up with friends who are being taught the same values as he is being taught. When your community shares the same values with you it results in positive peer pressure. “Through association with like-minded peers, your children will see family standards reinforced by others who share the same values.” Think about how influential friends can be when you’re a kid. When your child has friends that have to follow the same rules as he does and who are being taught the same moral values as he is being taught, it forms a support system, making it easier for your child and his friends to act as they should.
Support for Parents
Having a community that values what you value will form your support system as you parent you children. This is so important because parenting is hard, and no one should have to do it alone. You’ll be able to get ideas of how to teach certain things to your children from the other parents in your community. You will get support from them to continue doing what you’re doing. You’ll have each other’s backs, so to speak.
Community doesn’t just mean having friends your age or in your same life stage. Having parents who have gone before you is just as valuable, if not more. There is so much wisdom to be gleaned from our elders, and we would do well to take advantage of that. Also, as your child sees you seeking wisdom from an elder, you are setting an example for him. As a result, your child will be more likely to come to you for advice rather than his peers.
Community is such an important part of life, and the community you choose will inevitably influence your child. Choose your community wisely and it will influence your child for the better! Finding a community that shares your values will be such a huge benefit to your whole family.
Today is Pinterest Day for the Babywise-Friendly Blog Network! We’re all posting from topics in the “Odds and Ends and Helpful Tools” chapter of On Becoming Preschoolwise today. Be sure to check out our BFBN Pinterest page for the rest of the posts and others! And if you’re not already following me on Pinterest, you can check out my Pinterest page here.
BFBN Odds/Ends/Helpful Tools Posts
Chronicles of a Babywise Mom: How to Teach Table Manners to Your Child
The Journey of Parenthood: How to Get Out the Door Quicker with Kids
Team Cartwright: Ask and Tell: Giving Our Kids the Power to Make Good Decisions
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