By Dionna Sanchez
Neighborhoods. We don't talk about neighbors much, but when you think about it, the neighborhood you live in is very important. It will be a big part of your child's memories.
I remember very well the neighborhood I grew up in. We had some great neighbors. Two in particular stand out for me. My neighbor lady Rosie used to always let us come pick fresh tomatoes out of her backyard. She was kind and sweet and looked out for our place. I miss neighbors like that.
I live in a nice neighborhood right now ---- as far as houses, scenery and location go. But I am amazed at the lack of respect neighbors have for each other. Ours? They have parked their cars and boats in front of our house instead of in their own driveway ruining our view. They let their children run through our yard, their dogs come and do their "duty" in our yard and most recently they decided to have a 4th of July Celebration on our property while we were on vacation. We came home to sparklers and fireworks in our yard and dead grass from a burned spot that someone had come into our yard, CUT and tried to patch up without telling us!
Children learn how to respect property and people from their parents. When an adult doesn't care what their child is up to and furthermore doesn't show respect for their neighbors' that passes on to the child. And it's sad. It not only harms good relations but ruins the whole integrity of the neighborhood.
I was taught to respect someone else's home. I teach my children the same. Do not go on their grass or in their yard unless playing with their children or invited to do so. Stay out of bark and flower beds. Keep your animals on a leash or in a fenced yard area. If you do make a mess on someone else's sidewalk, driveway or property - clean it up! If something like a ball goes in their yard - don't just go and get it - ring the doorbell and ask.
These are old-fashioned values that have gotten lost - at least in my neighborhood. When applied, your neighborhood will be safer, more fun and more trustworthy creating a positive and peaceful environment for everyone.
Take the time to teach your children these lost "rules" today. Your neighbors will thank you for it.
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