Neighbors with and without children can have very different ideas for what constitutes a harmonious community. Avoid an “Us vs. Them” mentality with these tips to foster a kid-friendly culture on your street.
Don’t exclude neighbors without kids from your social circle. For example, offer to have your kids help the retirees down the road with yard work. They’ll appreciate the help and will likely be more patient if your kids start a ruckus with their friends.
Use sign language
Placing one of the popular “Drive like your kids live here” signs in your yard is a friendly reminder for neighbors to keep an eye on the road and their foot off the gas.
Start a community Facebook page
No doubt, your kids can help you with this one if you’re not social media savvy. Posting family announcements, neighborhood news, or items for sale can boost a feeling of community and inclusivity.
Neighborhood gatherings can be beneficial for your kids’ social lives and your own. Hang a sheet over the garage, set out the beach chairs and host a “bike-in” kid-friendly movie screening. Don’t forget the popcorn and Twizzlers!
When concerns for your child’s safety or enjoyment of the neighborhood arise, gather other parents to bring the issues to the HOA. This is where fostering community will benefit you most: It’s important you’re able to raise your concerns and ideas to neighbors without everyone splitting into tribes.
Throw a block party for every season to help neighbors, and neighborhood kids, get to know one another. Try lining the street with luminarias in the fall. Or kicking off summer with a bike parade. Create a friendly atmosphere so that neighbors will come to you with problems rather than letting them stew.
Your Realtor will have the inside scoop on which neighborhoods have established a great community. Find a RE/MAX agent here: http://www.remax.com/officeagentsearch/.