The Essential Village
Why Building a Village is a Vital Part of Parenting
We’ve all heard the term “It takes a village.” When it comes to parenting, it really does take a community effort. Not only does it greatly benefit your children, but it also is vital for the parents, too. Here’s why it’s so important to create a village that you can count on.
#1 Helps build a connection with your community
Humans have been raising children as a community for hundreds of years. Instead of feeling like you have to do it all, surround yourself with people who will love your family as you do. While it may feel intimidating to let love into your life, it helps your child build strong relationships outside of your family. This can be your next-door neighbor, a family down the street or a trusted relative who lives nearby.
#2 Allows you to practice vulnerability
Building a village means nurturing relationships so that you have people to turn to for support. As you develop your village, you will have moments where you want or need support from an understanding adult. Practice vulnerability and ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness, and your child will only be surrounded by more love because of it. The earlier you start building your village, the better––you’ll have support from your baby shower to high school graduation and beyond.
#3 Opportunity to support others
When you ask for help, make sure to offer to return the favor. For example, trade babysitting nights with a family nearby so you can have a date night. Then, offer to do the same for them and insist that they take you up on it. By showing people that you have their back, they will show up by having yours.
In the “When Super Dad Needs a Village” episode of Windy City Nanny, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Super Dad Andy and his beautiful girls. When Andy’s wife passed unexpectedly, he took on the roles of both dad and mom for his daughters. We worked together to find ways for him to lean on his village for support. After all, no one can do it all—even super dads! Check out the episode!