“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
When my dearly loved sister in law passed away in September 2000, I knew I needed to create a village around my brother. I watched as he fell apart before my eyes trying to care for his 6-year-old son, and so stepped in to help raise my nephew.
I realised it was vital that my nephew be embedded in a strong network of friends, relatives and neighbours who could help him experience joy, develop his strengths, form friendships, learn new skills and be loved and supported through this incredibly difficult time. Fostering his bond with the adults in his village – aunts, uncles, grandparents, my close adult friends, sports coaches, teachers and mentors, allowed me to embed my nephew in a rich community of relationships that helped him thrive and handle the curve balls life was throwing his way.
When I sat down and really thought about my priorities as I helped raise my nephew I recognised that I needed to model the habits, skills and mindsets that foster resilience, happiness and mental fitness, so that he could then continue to use these in his adolescence and beyond. I wanted him to be able to thrive and successfully handle whatever challenges life presented him. I needed other adults to model these things for him as well, as I knew I couldn’t do it on my own.
I developed different tools and strategies I could use, both with him and with the families and children I was working with at the time, to embed these habits and mindsets in our daily lives. I have continued this throughout my career and now want to share that with other parents and caring adults who are an integral part of a child’s village.
AN ONLINE CLUB FOR LIKE MINDED PEOPLE WHO CARE FOR KIDS
Parenting without a village can lead to us feeling overwhelmed, anxious and inadequate. Villagers is a place to come together as a community where we can enjoy rich, safe, authentic connections and share the struggles, worries and joys of everyday life trying to raise resilient kids.
I want to make instilling the habits, tools and mindsets a priority as we are losing too many children and young people to the rising epidemic of anxiety, depression and suicide.
After working with over 25,000 children and families in the past two decades, and undertaking many years of research, I know that our kids develop habitual ways of behaving feeling and thinking constructed from what they observe us doing as well as what we actively teach them.
I know that sometimes it is easy to get busy with the rush of day to day activities when we are racing to get everything done. However, I want to make this a priority and start actively embedding these practices into our daily lives. Our children and young people desperately need these habits and tools.
You’re about to become a Villager.
Villagers is a monthly subscription, you can join or leave at any time. There are no logins, no dramas, just a simple monthly email sent to you with a list of activities, discussion starters and invites to the following:
Email Every month you will receive an email focusing on a different tool, habit or mindset that can be modelled for the children and young people whose village you are a part of.
PLUS THERE WILL ALSO BE:
Villagers Only Group on Facebook
I’ll cover a different topic each month: resilience, optimism, gratitude, self-confidence, bullying, friendships, strengths based parenting, growth mindset and also take questions from the group to answer live.
Every two months you will read a chosen book focusing on strategies and ideas that promote positive mental health. Then join me for a live online discussion! I’ve been working with the team at Avid Reader and we’ve already got some great resource books selected!
You’ll receive a monthly Village challenge to complete. The challenges and tools will change every month. They will be simple, fun activities and ideas that don’t cost a lot of money but are incredibly powerful when they become habits.