“It takes a village” was a thought commented on by many after the last blog. Parents and providers have been discussing the importance of the sense of village. They have agreed that the village includes family, friends, neighbors, and communities we are learning from. We never stop learning and our children are just beginning to learn about life from their “villages.” The future of our state depends on how many villages – people & resources – we connect our children too… So, whether it’s your child or a child you work with consider how to connect them (and yourself) to strong villages…
Growing up I belonged to a large village … I had a large family and a close school/church family unit. Yes – sometimes being a part of a large village brought conflict – but it also brought a sense of security. This is a small portion of my village:
No I didn’t know everyone’s favorite color, much less everyone’s name, but I knew they were a part of my mom’s family tree and therefore a part of mine (yes a part – as it’s actually even a bigger tree). I knew they were there and I could count on many of them. Yes, some branches are (how do I put this delicately) weaker, but this tree has strong roots. Strong roots with a strong sense of heritage are as important to a family as it is to communities.
The Mi Families village is a community where everyone is encouraged to be there for each other and share resources – strengthening each branch. You are a part of this community. Help your child feel a part of such a village by creating a village tree – similar to family tree – but with branches of all those they feel support them. Ask them about who they can go to for help. Include family, friends, teachers, doctors, therapists … Cut out pictures, draw pictures… Here is my kids “village”:
Even though I have an existing village – I found the importance of creating more branches and connections when moving to new locations and especially after becoming a mom myself. I found that all the education and experiences I had didn’t give me all the answers I needed to parent the challenges my kids dealt with. I found I needed to accept help and even harder – ask for help. After learning how to re-do the IEP shuffle as a parent, I met parents who had similar stories and we discussed the need for different resources. This is how Mi Families began to grow and Mi Families will continue to grow and build resources as parents and providers like you share with us what services you would like available.