Parenthood & the Neighborhood: Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Great Neighbors by Tracey Hempenstall

Parenting Relationships
5 years ago

Parenthood & the Neighborhood: Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Great Neighbors

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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Brian Hempenstall
Florence street reunion this summer!
Ann Marie Patitucci
I love this, Tracey Hempenstall ! I feel exactly the same, thanks to Rachael Daniels and her hubby Jason and their kids!! What a great piece. Thanks for sharing it with us. Welcome to our community of writers. We're so glad to have you!
Elisa Schmitz
This is so true, Tracey Hempenstall ! We had a great neighborhood to raise our kids, and I really appreciated that. It can make or break you sometimes! Giving a shoutout to one of the best neighbors ever: Jan Mostrom ! xoxo
Dieter Schmitz
What great summer and neighborhood energy Tracey Hempenstall !!

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