Living Together, A Guide to Community Etiquette (part 2)

To Be A Good Neighbor

Writer: Jedikat

While respecting the privacy and views of others is always the best way, those values need to extend to manners in and out of the home as well. While we might invite people into our homes and show them around, how we treat others within our community is important too. These are your neighbors after all, and while you may not live with them, you do live near them and may seem them more than you think. It’s always important to remember that, as one day they could be there to help you, but nobody will want to help you if you are not nice to them in the first place. Continuing below are some other locations that might be found in your community, near your home that should be respected. These are places where manners for you and your family play a role in the community and in your lives, providing a better living experience for everyone to enjoy.

Parks and Playgrounds

COMMUNITY PARK

There is one place that is common to all communities and where all the kids have spent some time. This is the park, and here is a place where manners and respect have been thrown out the window at times. Since smart phones are so popular kids and parents alike are so distracted by them that they tend to forget to pay attention to what is going on around them. Parents need to understand that the park is not only for everyone, but that they need to pay attention to their kids while they are there. There are simple rules to spending time on the swings or slides, and that means to take turns and share them. The park is for everyone, and that means everyone gets to use it. Fifteen minutes on the swings should be enough for each child, so that there is time for everyone to enjoy them if the park is crowded. Be sure that your kids keep their hands to themselves so that nobody gets hurt. If at a special needs park, be sure and understand that the equipment is built and designed for those children with special needs, so if a child comes up with a wheelchair or walker, they want to enjoy the place as well. These parks usually have two different types of swings, and the type that those with disabilities use look like oversized baby swings or carnival ride safety harnesses.

Trash is another problem, and unfortunately not all parks have public trash cans available. These parks are generally the dirtiest, however you can prevent this from happening by picking up after yourself, whether it has a trash can or not. Keep the place clean and report any broken equipment to the city so that it can get fixed. There are generally signs posted with a number you can call, or you can pull out your smartphone and search for it, just do it when at home.

Barbecue Grills, Pits and Bonfires

Some parks have places where you can barbecue, and they are all on a first come first serve basis. Sometimes there are places where you can reserve it, but you will still need to claim the place within a certain time frame as there won’t be anyone posted for you. Parks are owned and operated by the cities so they are free for all to use. This means you need to be wary of those pits, and grill stations in case they have been recently used. Kids can get hurt and don’t always understand that it is not ok to touch them. Be sure and put out any open flames before you leave the place, even pouring water on the embers unless someone else is going to use it after you. Once again keep the place clean and pick up any trash so that nothing is left behind. You would want to have a nice experience so let the next family have a nice experience as well.

When Things Get Broken

Living closely together in homes, apartments, condos and more means you will get to know your neighbors and their children. Sometimes children can break things, even if it was an accident, by playing games in the yard and the streets. If you have children and this happens than you need to take responsibility for their actions and offer to pay for the repairs to the property. It is the right thing to do, even if it was your kids doing the action and not yourself, as you are responsible for them. They should also apologize to the neighbor and offer to clean up any mess that was made as well. There can always be something worked out if money is an issue, and paying it back should be your first goal.While windows are the most common item to get broken, sometimes it is the lawn decorations or sprinklers that get damaged in the process as well. It doesn’t matter how big or small the break is, but how you take ownership of the problem that is important. Also you want to be there to help your neighbors, so if there is a storm be sure and check to make sure that everyone in your neighborhood is ok. At the very least you will want to check your neighbors on each side of your home.

Walking the Dog

DOG WALKING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Many people have pets these days, and it can be a responsibility all on its own. Dogs are the most common pet and they need to go out and take a walk every once in a while. Generally, so they can get exercise but also to relieve themselves. As a pet owner you need to carry the proper items to clean up after your pets when you take them for walks. You also need to understand that when they relieve themselves on someone else’s lawn it can destroy that lawn, so try and keep them off of it. Dispose of your refuse in your own trash can and not into someone else’s either. The same goes for if you take your dog to the park. Nobody wants to run in the park and step into a steaming pile of poop that someone was too inconsiderate to pick up. Dogs don’t belong in the public pool either. Not everyone likes dogs, and some people can actually be highly allergic to them. That dog hair sheds, especially in the summer months and get everywhere, even in the pool. Plus, if the dog is shedding a lot the hair could clog the drains in the pool and create a problem when it is being cleaned.

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