If you’ve lived in a neighborhood where everyone was friends with one another, you know that having trustworthy neighbors is a blessing. The children can play safely, and if something happens, there are people nearby that you can turn to. That being said, how do you make friends with your neighbors and build a friendly atmosphere on your end of the block?
Making friends with your neighbor can mean a number of things — bringing good food, offering lawn equipment, waving at one another as you fetch your mail — no friendly gesture goes unnoticed and unappreciated. If you’d like to make a bigger gesture, or just make a good impression, here are a few ways you can spark up a friendship with your trustworthy neighbors and their children.
- Organize a block party! If you’re a parent, you know how frazzling the summertime can be, with the children home all the time and the heat affecting everyone and their electricity bills. If you can, gather a committee for the party and see if anyone wants help, and start planning. Send out invitations, whether they’re physical or just by word of mouth, and get people interested. After that, it’s a piece of cake! Host a barbecue, set up the patio furniture, serve some cool drinks and snacks, and enjoy the company.
- Pull out all the stops when it comes to potluck dinners. If you’ve got a legendary chili or cherry pie, don’t hesitate to show off a little. There’s no shame in making good food, especially when everyone gets to enjoy some. If they’re popular the first time around, try making extra and handing it out to your closest neighbors. Make a note of which neighbors like what, and when a holiday rolls around, don’t hesitate to give them something. Just make sure to buy extra Tupperware!
- Carpools. If you’ve got kids that you drive to school, it’s not farfetched to say that you could drive your neighbor’s child(ren) to school as well. If it’s not too much trouble, you could offer to truck your neighbor’s tyke to school along with your own kids, or work out a situation where you and your neighbor take turns. Children are one of the best ways to befriend neighbors and find common ground with them, so why not save the kids from riding the bus? Your real estate agent can give you more information on your trustworthy neighborhood.
- Join the committees and block organizations. If you like organizing or contributing to parties, try asking around to see if your neighborhood has existing groups. These can be a great way to find other families with children, help with community projects, and make connections with your neighbors. If your neighborhood doesn’t have one, it might be an opportunity for you to start one and enlist the help of the neighbors you’re interested in befriending.
A closely-knit neighborhood and good relationships with your neighbors can be invaluable, especially in situations where you need a helping hand (or a cup of sugar). It can also be good for your children to know who they can ask for help in the event of an accident. Don’t hesitate to bring over a pan of cookies or wave hello – they just might be waiting for you to make the first move!