Nurturing A Sense of Community in Children
How can you teach your child the importance of a community spirit? Storyberries offers parenting tips and free books about empathy, tolerance and community.
A community is a set of individuals, whether human or animal, that have various elements in common, such as the territory they inhabit, tasks, values, roles, or the language or religion that they share.
People often group together because they share similar goals, which can be as wide as living safely together or sharing resources.
The impulses that therefore motivate people socially within communities can include ties of positive affective feelings, and respect for the established traditions of the community to which they belong.
Educating children in healthy community values is essential for them to enjoy coexistence with other people, whether they be other children of the same age, a different age, or adults.
And while communities may change over time, one thing remains a constant: living in communities often requires shared values, and at the very least, a respect for different values, that enables everyone to live together.
Parents, teachers, neighbours, friends and strangers both form a part of, and contribute to, a child’s understanding of community, and help define their roles within it. But active parents can help children understand the importance of working together in communities through discussion, roleplay and modelling.
One thing to emphasise is respect: the best formula for learning to live in community is to maintain cordiality and good treatment, so good manners go a long way. In this way, it never hurts for children to learn to engage with their communities on a daily basis and take an interest in the individuals around them.
For example, you may teach your child the importance of saying ‘good morning’ and ‘how are you?’ to the people they meet every day.
Other ways in which parents can encourage children to think of themselves and act as productive members of their communities include:
Storyberries has a number of free books about community which you can read for free online by clicking on the links below:
The Inside Book was inspired by the quarantine of many countries during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and explains many of the activities that people have adopted around the world during this time to ensure that people do not get sick: hand-washing, wearing masks, staying inside and more. It’s a great picture book for explaining how people can work together to keep communities safer.
Grandpa Farouk’s garden is a home to ladybirds, who help his garden flourish. The story is a wonderful tale and engaging picture book about how animals and humans can often work together to achieve positive outcomes that they cannot do alone.
In this classic fairy tale, a little red hen asks for help from her community in order to bake a loaf of bread. But what happens when no one helps out? The Little Red Hen is a wonderful way of discussing the benefits of people working together in communities, along with the consequences of co-operation.
Article by Luzmery M. Romero Gamboa/ Jade Maitre Luzmery works in the area of clinical psychology as a psychotherapist for children, adolescents and families. Since 2016, she has run a Psychological Center in Venezuela called Psicoluz. She offers workshop facilitations to parents, is involved in recreational activities for children, and has been working as a freelancer since 2017 performing online psychotherapy.