I met with a potential volunteer this week. We met for coffee and discussed her excitement about our organization and ways she may be able to contribute. After that, I asked her about her experience so far in preparing for her 9-month-old baby and for parenthood. She shared with me about how she and her husband took multiple childbirth preparation classes, a breastfeeding workshop, and a newborn care class. She researched everything she thought she needed to know far beyond what she thought was probably "normal". Yet, in her diligence to prepare for the arrival of her baby, no one (and no workshop) prepared her for what happens next… parenthood!
Our actions and parenting in the first five years of a child’s life set the stage for future physical and mental health, learning ability, behavior, and so much more. Why aren’t we preparing to be parents?
We know that supporting parents is foundational to the healthy development of children. Parenting is the most important job we will ever have, yet we’re often left to navigate it on our own. We all do the best that we can, but how great would it be to have access to tools, information, and support? How about a community of other parents in the same boat to share with and learn from? This is why we have set out to build this village.
Building Villages believes that the well-being of a community is enhanced when all parents have access to support and children's earliest experiences are positive and healthy. We are working now to cultivate and sustain a community that empowers families to adopt skills and tools that will positively impact the development and long-term well-being of their children.
We're supporting parenthood!
How? Through our work, we will foster meaningful social connections for new parents, and offer tools to help families navigate parenthood and build a strong foundation for a healthy family environment. We will do this by growing a support system and community of parents of young children in the Treasure Valley through peer support groups, workshops, and events. We will educate parents and families on practices that foster positive early experiences, and promote healthy child development and emotional well-being. We will be advocates for children on the positive long-term impacts of providing a nurturing and healthy environment.
Why? Because parenthood is hard, and important – and no one should have to do it alone. Programs that impact the lives of children and families have an opportunity to improve lifelong health and community outcomes -- why wouldn't we? And...because every family in our community should have the foundation to nurture happy, healthy children who grow up to be happy, healthy adults.
So, we hope that you will join us! With the community behind us -- our village -- we will develop impactful programs to educate, empower, and cultivate community for families in the Treasure Valley.