Friday, October 16, 2009

Teaching our kids about community

So as I am laying in bed last night, feeding my little pixie yet again, my mind starts to re-think this idea of creating communities on-line. I realised that I go onto my laptop to meet with my community when my little one is asleep. I dip in and out of various blogs that I have come to love, I smile, I sigh, I furrow my brow, I lean back and sip a tea, I write a little and often I send metta (compassionate love). So yes, I am communing with some of you out there in a very similar way to how I would do it in my own lounge room....BUT my little one does not witness this exchange...she does not see mama engaging with you. And what if when she is older (and allows me to go on line) she does see me engaging with you in this way....what message am I sending her about friendships and connections and computer screens???
I am somewhat of a recluse, yeah sure I see others from time to time but not so often and not on a deep level. My little one might see me once a week engage with someone other than my older daughter or my hubby but is that enough to teach her about community?
I believe it is so important to learn the art of engaging with others in a compassionate and aware way. To be there for others as a shoulder to cry on or as a friend to have a good belly laugh with. To share meals, ideas and most of all stories.

We are living in a very small town where there is a real shortage of mamas and their cubs.
We are leaving here soon...within a couple of months.
We are heading for Berlin.
I am going to be surrounded by people
By community?

I hope so!


  1. Hmmmmm....okay, now you've REALLY given me something to think about. I definitely fall into the recluse category....sort of just the way it is. I suppose my kids don't see me interact with people other than family and one of our neighbours with whom I am quite friendly...of course they don't see me with my work chums twice a week because they aren't by their viewpoint I likely am a friendless hermit. Wow. That's sort of depressing.And totally untrue, I feel very fulfilled by my online community -- but how to explain that to a 5 and 7 year old?! :)

    I see what you mean....but I wonder should I engage in superficial relationships that wouldn't be at all authentic for the sake of appearances? Of course, I know that isn't what you suggest - I'm thinking out loud - but it's really all I'm left with. This isn't a small town but it's a very...sort of...well....middle-to-upper-middle-class-white-dominated-upwardly-mobile- SUV-driving-big-house-buying...okay, so pretty much everything I DON'T stand for!! :)

    Perhaps I should try harder to ferret out like-minds...also hard when you're a hard-core introvert....*sigh* excuses, excuses ;) looks like our community garden is finally going to take flight so maybe.....

    Thank you so much for this!! I really enjoyed this perspective...


  2. I agree, a balance is needed, and it's not easy! But, whether we like it or not, our little ones are growing up in a generation that draws very little distinction between 'online' and 'offline' - they are more likely to text than phone each other, and myspace/facebook pages are a primary way they 'gather' I think we actually date ourselves when we talk about 'real life' and 'online' as being personally I want to relay to my kids (when they are old enough) the value and depth of the connections I make online, and how I myself strive to balance online and offline connections, and hopefully that will provide a model for them, and at least get them thinking...

  3. I am happy being a recluse - but recently I have started to be more involved with my 'real life' community. My daughter joins me. She watches me spend time helping my community. My husband also coaches a waterpolo team and takes her along to club meetings. Again she is watching him contribute to his community. I think this is so important. She will think develoting time and energy to ones communty is normal.

    I only just found your blog and am looking forward to following.

    Sorry about the horrible number that comes up as my user name. I'm trying to have it fixed. Its Tricia from Littleecofootprints.