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Old 08-20-2014, 06:42 PM
 
108 posts, read 260,805 times
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Quote:
Up until a generation or so ago, unless you lived way out in the country, as a kid you played with the other kids in your neighborhood. That was your primary recreation on a daily basis. Even if they were a little older or younger, bigger or smaller, boys or girls, they became your playmates. That is certainly how I grew up.
This is extremely important and underrated by many parents. For children, play is necessary for all kinds of developmental processes and helps kids negotiate social interactions which can't (and shouldn't) be micromanaged by parents. This means unstructured play without an agenda - sports don't count. There's a certain kind of weirdness in structuring kids' schedules like a corporate CEO.

I read a good article in a psych journal which I've since lost - it basically said many adults with deep psychological problems, including psychopaths and serial killers, have one major thing in common: A lack of spontaneous play while growing up.
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:50 AM
 
Location: Purgatory
6,322 posts, read 4,780,504 times
Reputation: 9765
I once saw a short documentary on this topic. They took lower SES city kids vs higher SES suburban kids and had them both build either a neighborhood or mall (i forget) w cardboard markers etc.

The city kids made windows w smiling people in it. The suburban kids had no people occupy their building at all. It was very sad to know suburban kids are projecting such loneness. Can't be good for their mental health.
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:03 AM
 
Location: Cape Coma Florida
1,369 posts, read 1,865,501 times
Reputation: 2929
I've purposely made sure I'm not connected with my neighbors where I live now. I quickly learned to keep to myself when I moved here. The guy on the north side as soon as he saw me here came right over to hit on me, and not long after came knocking on the door to offer me money if I would just knock on his bedroom wall, he pointed on his house where I should knock. Uh, I don't think so! Frequent squadrons of police cars at his house seemed another big red flag.

The people in the house behind him were aggressive scammers out to use anyone they could and constantly fighting. I watched her OD in the store on the corner and knew she had a record for shoplifting. They would try to get access to others houses asking to use their washer/dryer or bathrooms so they could look for things to steal. I know of one 80 year old woman here they ripped off for her meds that way.

Another across the street buddied up with these folks and was never seen without a glass of booze in her hand. She drank and did drugs with them a lot, and would try to use me in various ways, to clean her house or do her yard for free, and invited me to her BBQ, for which I was to bring all the food. Yeah, right. There was an incredible amount of vehicle traffic at her house.

On the other side of us was a pretty nasty woman who would pick a fight with anyone she could, and complained to the office twice to force us to have our house powerwashed on the side facing hers.

So no, I'm not connected with my neighbors here, and don't wish to be. I just want them to leave me alone.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:35 AM
 
38,422 posts, read 15,045,899 times
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Growing up, we knew all our neighbors and often helped each other out. I thought that's the way people lived.

When I moved to Alaska, I rented in a trailer court and was surpised that most of the neighbors were standoffish. They'd nod if we were both pitching garbage bags in the dumpster, but that was it.

Then one neighbor asked if she could use my phone for an urgent long distance call. (This was back when long distance cost an arm and a leg.) She talked for nearly an hour. Came back the next day and did the same. This time she left $5.

Another neighbor asked to borrow my car to visit a sick relative in the hospital. I didn't see the car for three days. I had called the police by the time she showed back up.

Loaned out a vacuum. Never got it back.

I soon became standoffish myself.

Fast forward to today where we know the neighobrs. Share gardening tips, compost, plants. Sit on the deck now and again in the evening. Look out after each other's dogs. Collect mail when on out of town.

I like it better this way.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,084 posts, read 102,830,251 times
Reputation: 33152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopian Slums View Post
I once saw a short documentary on this topic. They took lower SES city kids vs higher SES suburban kids and had them both build either a neighborhood or mall (i forget) w cardboard markers etc.

The city kids made windows w smiling people in it. The suburban kids had no people occupy their building at all. It was very sad to know suburban kids are projecting such loneness. Can't be good for their mental health.
I'm sure. Sorry, I think that was a set-up. My kids always drew pictures with people in them.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,416 posts, read 5,154,140 times
Reputation: 7231
From 1990 until 2006 I lived on a courtyard with 7 houses in the Maxwell Park neighborhood of Oakland, CA. I knew the names of every one of my neighbors and what they did for a living. Although it was just 7 houses it was as mixed as you could possibly imagine. Camille and Julio lived in the corner house, she was of Irish/Mexican descent, he was born and raised in Honduras. They had two daughters at home and a son who was out of the house. They had their own business. Next to them, on my left was a retired couple, Norman and Betty (their Americanized names), both born in China. Then my house, a single gay white woman. To my right was Roberta, a single black woman and her very shy, quiet teenaged son. She had been a flight attendant for many years and then went on to be a sales rep for a major CA winery. And so on.

There was a strong neighborhood association and several of us where involved with CORE, an emergency response training program. After I'd been there for a few years we got a small block party started that included the courtyard and several nearby streets and that was great fun. After a couple of years several more such annual parties spring up close by.

I think that being on a courtyard made all the difference. A few of the houses, built in the late 20's and early 30's did have tiny 1 car garages but most of us parked on the street, saw each other frequently and also kept an eye our for each other. For many of the years that I lived there I worked swing shift and it helped to know that my neighbors would notice strange cars or people around or if they heard my dogs really raising a ruckus.

I realize that this was an exceptional situation and was so glad that I happened to be house hunting when that house came on the market. I don't know how we might try to have more neighborhoods like mine was.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,336,476 times
Reputation: 10428
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I know what you mean, but I do think this is a generational shift thing. Younger people generally do not want to live in neighborhoods with people who think differently from them, particularly regarding politics. Which is especially ironic, considering the chances of actually having a political conversation with neighbors these days is astonishingly low.
In our neighborhood, people are overwhelmingly liberal. I know of a couple Republican households nearby, but they're in the minority. However, I really don't care and politics is rarely a conversation topic with my neighbors. I think the more important thing that ties us all togehter is that most of our neighbors are upper 30s to mid 40s with young kids. So we're all in the same boat and have a lot in common.

We've lived in our house for 9 years and know many, many neighbors. We're friends with people 3 and 4 blocks away. It helps having kids and a dog... the dog has to be walked, so I run into people and talk. And kids bring other kids home to play, or go to their friends' houses, so we end up meeting their parents. Many of our neighbors are like family. If I have some odd emergency and need someone to watch my kids for a while, I know I can find someone who will do that. We have block parties, happy hours, barbeques, go out to eat with neighbors, exchange Christimas cards, etc. One disclaimer, this is a New Urbanist community, if that makes a difference. But I'm so happy to live like this and know my neighbors.

My own parents never interacted with neighbors at their old house. I found it very odd that when they finally moved out a few years ago, no one said a word to them because no one even knew who the were. But my parents aren't the social type either. This article mentioned the people who only have their spouse as a human contact. That's my mother. Once my dad's gone, it's just her and the TV.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,336,476 times
Reputation: 10428
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajacksb View Post
This is extremely important and underrated by many parents. For children, play is necessary for all kinds of developmental processes and helps kids negotiate social interactions which can't (and shouldn't) be micromanaged by parents. This means unstructured play without an agenda - sports don't count. There's a certain kind of weirdness in structuring kids' schedules like a corporate CEO.

I read a good article in a psych journal which I've since lost - it basically said many adults with deep psychological problems, including psychopaths and serial killers, have one major thing in common: A lack of spontaneous play while growing up.
I agree. And I love that every house on our block has kids between the ages of about 1 and 10. My kids run outside and play every day and no, I'm not there watching them. They know to let us know where they are and that's it. We joke that our kids are living like it's the 1980s in our neighborhood.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:06 AM
 
2,827 posts, read 3,362,144 times
Reputation: 3031
Quote:
Originally Posted by zugor View Post
From 1990 until 2006 I lived on a courtyard with 7 houses in the Maxwell Park neighborhood of Oakland, CA. I knew the names of every one of my neighbors and what they did for a living. Although it was just 7 houses it was as mixed as you could possibly imagine. Camille and Julio lived in the corner house, she was of Irish/Mexican descent, he was born and raised in Honduras. They had two daughters at home and a son who was out of the house. They had their own business. Next to them, on my left was a retired couple, Norman and Betty (their Americanized names), both born in China. Then my house, a single gay white woman. To my right was Roberta, a single black woman and her very shy, quiet teenaged son. She had been a flight attendant for many years and then went on to be a sales rep for a major CA winery. And so on.

There was a strong neighborhood association and several of us where involved with CORE, an emergency response training program. After I'd been there for a few years we got a small block party started that included the courtyard and several nearby streets and that was great fun. After a couple of years several more such annual parties spring up close by.

I think that being on a courtyard made all the difference. A few of the houses, built in the late 20's and early 30's did have tiny 1 car garages but most of us parked on the street, saw each other frequently and also kept an eye our for each other. For many of the years that I lived there I worked swing shift and it helped to know that my neighbors would notice strange cars or people around or if they heard my dogs really raising a ruckus.

I realize that this was an exceptional situation and was so glad that I happened to be house hunting when that house came on the market. I don't know how we might try to have more neighborhoods like mine was.
Voluntary or involuntary?
The words "strong" or "active" associated with involuntary membership organizations usually means "strongarm" or "actively threatening" - not a particularly appealing environment except for sociopaths that enjoy inflicting harm on their "neighbors". From the date of the housing perhaps yours was voluntary.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:28 AM
 
6,370 posts, read 3,612,248 times
Reputation: 22287
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phyxius View Post
You can go elsewhere to connect and socialize. You do not have to speak with your neighbors. What damaging society is people being inconsiderate towards one another, not refusing to speak to a neighbor next door.
Maybe the reason that people are increasingly inconsiderate towards each other is because they don't see them as real people.

Socializing with neighbors has a larger purpose than entertainment. That's because problems arise in neighborhoods from time to time which affect everyone living there. Who better to know, understand and solve the neighborhood problems than those who live there?

A neighborhood, to function well, needs communication and cooperation. Otherwise it's just a bunch of buildings with living beings in them. It's difficult to communicate or cooperate for mutual best interests with people you don't actually know.
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