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How child-friendly is your neighborhood and what could you do to make it more so?

This week’s Mom Enough guest has tips for strengthening connections and enhancing fun, wherever you live!

 

Do you know most of your neighbors by name? Do kids in your neighborhood play outside together in mixed-age groups? Or do families mostly stay inside or in their own fenced yard? This week’s Mom Enough discussion with author Mike Lanza will challenge you to think about what you could do to build a stronger sense of community and engage your children in more open creative play all at the same time. Marti and Erin have their own stories to tell of how much they appreciate their close-knit neighborhoods and what has helped maintain those connections across the years.

 

How do you and the other families in your neighborhood stay connected with each other? How free are children to play beyond their own houses or apartments or yards? Share your thoughts in our REPLY space below!

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Comments

  1. Jeffrey Willius on June 25, 2012

    Great topic. So vital that kids feel free to explore and learn from greatest teachers of all: Nature and unstructured play with other kids.

  2. Kari on June 29, 2012

    I enjoy hearing about the importance of independent outdoor play. I’m curious to know how parents balance independence with safety. Thank you, ~Kari

  3. Mike Lanza on July 2, 2012

    Kari – Believe it or not, the most dangerous thing you can do with a child is strap him or her into a car seat and drive away. Automobile accidents are by *far* the most common reason for death of children in America. It’s roughly 40 *times* more likely than death by stranger abduction.

    Of course, regarding the dangers of independence, there’s also the danger of getting hit by a car. If you add in this danger, getting driven around is *still* far more dangerous.

    Here’s an article that documents these statistics:

    http://playborhood.com/2007/10/is_driving_your_kids_around_safer_than_letting_them_roam_outside/

    Having said all of this, of course, there are dangers of letting kids roam independently. The trick, in my view, is giving freedom incrementally, not all at once. Here’s an article on that:

    http://playborhood.com/2010/08/giving_freedom_incrementally/