Your neighbours are your closest source of assistance, if you should need it. Make sure that your chats focus on solutions, not problems. Building deep friendships through cultivating trust is a powerful way to avoid isolation and getting caught up in all the challenges of bringing up a family.
Only three days ago I was told by my coaching partner that I was the only person she could talk to about the problems she’d been experiencing in her relationship with her children. Having a coaching partner to talk to once a week is handy – but having neighbours 24/7 is a good deal handier!
Research has recently shown that feeling isolated is the greatest cause of chronic disease. Overeating is brought about by feeling isolated. Smoking, excessive drinking, gambling, stealing, many relationship issues, and even suicide – are all brought about as a result of feeling isolated.
As a new or seasoned parent, break out of your isolation, and also break away from passing it down with your genes! Cultivate a problem-solving relationship with your neighbours. Discussing solutions, not problems, you can build friendships along the way. Both single parents and couples need this extra support.
Complaining about others, including our own children, is a favourite past-time for many; not only does it damage our relationships, but it just gives us a way out of taking responsibility for ourselves – or so we think. It’s better to start conversations by talking about your child’s good points, before moving on to the cause for concern and the request for advice or help.
“Loving To Read”, mentioned in my previous blog, is a project centred on the neighbourhood. Imagine being able to share the ideas you’re learning as you read this, not only with your neighbours but, through them, with dozens more people as well. Imagine the effect this could have not just on the local schools, but on your local community itself. Imagine being able to share and resolve problems, knowing that there’s someone nearby who can lift you out of your isolation.