John Cowan - Create a Village

Publish Date
Thursday, 5 July 2018, 3:01PM
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

By John Cowan

Out beyond the walls of your home. Society is changing and parents today are far less likely to belong to community groups. Their own parents and grandparents were far more likely to belong to Lions or Rotary, or go to a church or be on the committee at the local tennis club.  All over the country, clubs and societies are closing down or dwindled to just a few grey haired members. Where are the bird fanciers, the model train enthusiasts, the marching teams and the photography clubs? There are still Facebook groups but it is not quite the same. ` If it’s something with an AGM and a committee, modern young adults run a mile.  Parents are far more likely to be spending their time traipsing from program to program for their children – music, sports, art and so on, but doing none of those things themselves. In my day – which i admit was many days ago – weekend activities tended to revolve around the parents’ activities, not the children’s.

I can’t recreate the 1970s but I would urge you actively seek a social world outside of your home. It’s good for you and it is fantastic for your children if they have access to good trustworthy people with whom they can form healthy relationships. It’s part of the nurturing environment that helps kids to be safe to thrive. Your kids need a village, even if that village is scattered over several suburbs. And if you really want to see you children carry on in their music and art and sport and learning, the best incentive is to see YOU carry on in your music and art and sport and learning.  

About John

John has been with The Parenting Place ( for seventeen years as their senior writer and presenter.  He had various roles working with youth and families prior to that but actually started his working life as a scientist in neurophysiology at Auckland Hospital.  As well as writing and speaking, John is frequently on radio and television.

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