Parenthood & the Neighborhood: Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Great Neighbors by Tracey Hempenstall
Will your future neighbors have a parenting style that blends with yours? Will late-night parties keep your kids awake? The benefit of great neighbors is highly underrated; most homeowners cross their fingers and hope for the best.
In the summer of 2015, my husband, 1-year-old son and I moved to a suburb of Boston and hit the neighbor jackpot. Both families were Boston locals with little boys. We created this trifecta of common values and unique backgrounds. Though we didn’t know it at the time, it shaped who we are as a family and let us create some non-negotiable rules for our son, Daniel. He learned important lessons early on:
- You always wear your helmet when you ride a scooter.
- Everyone gets a turn no matter his age.
- Shoes must be worn outside.
- You never play in the street.
- You don’t eat sweets before eating “real food.”
- Water is the only beverage.
Solid life lessons! While these may seem like normal rules for children, not all families think alike, which can add to the stress of raising little humans. Our two years on Florence Street created a rule-following 3-year-old with a need for speed (and helmets), thanks in part to great neighbors.
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