Earlier this year The Telegraph published an article that compared the happiness of Dutch children with those in other countries*. A 2013 Unicef report had rated Dutch children ‘the happiest in the world’, compared with the UK’s position at a just 16th.
In each of the main categories of material wellbeing, health and safety, education, behaviours and risks and housing and environment, the Dutch scored highest. The main reason: Dutch children enjoy freedoms others are denied and a sense of togetherness that those who might be isolated from their community will struggle to experience.
There are numerous benefits of raising a family in a community space – here’s a top 10 for everyone with a quest for happy family life.
Parents and children generally feel safer living with in a community setting.
- Communities with good local childcare and education help youngsters and their families form close bonds with their neighbours.
- Children are more likely to be trusted to ride their bikes to school on their own.
- Children are more likely to play outside unsupervised.
- Playing outside unsupervised is a rite of passage that encourages them to be independent and self-reliant.
- Children raised in a community where they can easily observe how adults behave makes them more socially aware, outgoing and confident.
- Children aren’t just segregated into same-age groups – they socialise and play with children of other ages who live close by.
- When the children are able to play elsewhere within the community, parents have more time to themselves.
- There’s more opportunity for children to spend time with their parents when social circles are formed close to home.
- Family time spent within a community space tends to be more simple, fulfilling and less expensive than costly trips further afield.
With so many rewards to be reaped by raising a family in such a setting, like quality time over money, happiness over fear and great social experiences and learning for all, it’s easy to see why a relocation to a community space could be the best move you’ll make.