Ask Dr. Jean: Sense of Belonging


(Arti Freeman) #1

Dear Dr. Jean,

I want my child to have a sense of community, both within my immediate neighborhood and within the global community. What activities would you suggest for middle years to promote a sense of community and belonging?

Anonymous (Parent / Service Provider)

(Dr. Jean Clinton) #2

What a wonderful and important question!

We know from surveys that children are having less and less contact with their neighbours and community on average. We learn about diversity by being wrapped up in it.

What I suggest is that you are already ‘aware’ and will be seeking out activities in your community that bring groups together. Attending local festivals and celebrations, organizing a neighbourhood block party, volunteering with your child at the local food bank or such, if they are mature enough to do so, are all great ways.

Look at the work that the Me to WE organization is doing with older children and ask… “what can we do as a family”. One of the most important things is to have family meals and conversations about the issues of community and giving. Turn off the TV, (OR get to out of the kitchen altogether), turn off the phones at meal times and actually TALK.

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