Village of Attachment; Post 2

Yesterday’s post featured the importance of a village of attachment for our children. It is the concept that embraces the notion that “it takes a village to raise a child,” and how kinship and community can provide adult relationships of attachment for children in addition to their parents.

In westernized society, the nuclear family has moved farther and farther away from the concept of village, and has become insular. Some ways that we can begin to move towards cultivating our own village of attachment include:

  • Being open to the concept of a village of attachment. We can begin by familiarizing ourselves with what attachment means and how children can flourish by having extended family (and friends) as additional attachment figures.
  • Begin to create a network of ‘aunties and uncles’. Get to know your neighbours, cultivate friendships, connect with your children’s school and their teachers. One of the principals of our local elementary school believed in the importance of connection and she would greet each child by name when they walked into the school each morning. That is cultivating a village of attachment.
  • Become involved in community organizations. When we first moved into our community 25 years ago, the Welcome Wagon showed up at our door. Not only did we get a lovely basket of locally made goods, we were given valuable information about service clubs and organizations of our small town.
  • Offer to help. I will never forget being down at the park when my three year fell off her bike, newborn in my arms, and two moms came over to help. By offering to help we cultivate the notion that it takes a village to raise a child.
  • Ask for help. When we have begun the process of cultivating familial type relationships with others that we trust, we can both ask for and offer time shared so that our children can be influenced by other parents/family members who share our values.

When we value the village, we value relationship. It won’t happen overnight, but it is possible to create a village that not only allows our children to rest in the security and safety of attachment, but one in which we feel the love and support of others around us.

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