How to Build Your Village

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You can build your village, says Florence Ann Romano.

Most of us have heard that “it takes a village” to help children and adults thrive. We also want to know where $%@ the village went! Parenting today — often, far from extended family — can be an isolating experience.

You don’t have to do it all alone, though. In her new book Build Your Village: Guide to Finding Joy and Community in Every Stage of Life, Romano, a childcare advocate and former nanny, shows parents how to create and nurture community.

Your Village Should Be Unique

“Trying to replicate other people’s villages is where we get into a little bit of trouble,” Romano says. We can feel inferior and depleted when we compare our “village” — our support system — to others. But we all have unique needs, skills, and talents, so our villages should look different.

“Every family has their own ethos and values,” Romano says.

You need to be vulnerable and honest when you begin building (or shoring up) your village. That part can be uncomfortable; it’s hard to admit — even to ourselves — what we need and might be missing. But “asking for help is absolutely imperative,” Romano says.

Taking time to identify your passions and personal interests can also help you populate your village. Why not join a local MeetUp group, or volunteer at, say, your local humane society? Interacting with people who share common interests and goals increases the likelihood that you’ll connect with others who “get” you. And that’s a big part of any village.

“No matter how old you are, you want to be seen, heard, and understood,” Romano says.

In this episode, Jen, Janet, & Florence discuss:
  • What 15 years of nannying taught Florence Ann about boys
  • How the COVID-19 pandemic affected about ability to build village
  • The 6 villagers you need in your village
  • Helping your boys build their village
  • How nurturing your friendships can help your boys build a healthy village
  • How helping others can help you build your village
  • How males build a village
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

Build Your Village: A Guide to Finding Joy and Community in Every Stage of Life, by Florence Ann Romano

How to Have a Kid and a Life — ON BOYS podcast

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