24 Oct It takes a whole village to raise a child
The modern day village is a suburb, and the modern day suburb is isolated. A house floating in a sea of houses made of surface layer familiarity. We know longer know our local community, let alone who lives on our street. We can barely tell a stranger from a neighbour. The nature of a city is that we travel away from our homes to work, further & further reaching out. Going global has come at a price, and that price is a lack of community. And community is always most integral at home.
When it comes to raising children, we can really feel the weight of carrying the role of a whole village on just our nucleus family. And for some people, they hold this space alone.
Parents are no longer just mum or dad, sometimes they are both, and role-playing auntie, uncle, grandparent & friend. A child is constantly learning its environment and where it fits into it. How feasible is it for mum to be authority one moment, child-like imaginative friend the next, then into the wise elder? To have multiple influences from different care-givers can help a child to development dynamic relationships. It not only builds a sense of trust & support for the child, but a sense of support for the parents as well. Everyone has a role, it brings meaning & purpose to the different life-stages.
If as a parent it feels exhausting & unnatural to raise a child alone, how does it feel for the child? And if it feels so much better to have some support to call on, how does this feel for the child?
What happens when the standards of the modern day village have dropped, in a way that is no longer supportive of raising empowered & connected children, which is to say powerful & supportive adults? Do we just go along with the ‘norm’ for the lack of ease & pressure? How can we strengthen the integrity of modern day communities in a way that keeps them relevant to our fast paced life, frees us from the traditions we not longer adhere to, yet provides us with a supportive container to hold us in? This is a question worth asking. And when you have children to think of, it’s a question you can’t afford not to ask.
Our schools, our homes, our investments, & the gifts we give to society, are all avenues we can begin bringing community-mindedness into the picture.
How can I keep my mind local, how can I deepen my relationship with the land I live on and the people I share space with?
‘Kids become more resilient if we teach them to think independently, manage their emotions, deal with and manage conflict and communicate clearly. If working through difficulties, challenges and problems – with village support – gives kids a chance to learn about themselves, develop resilience, and grow as a person, then let’s get that message out there loud and clear.”
A child cannot rely on one person to teach them the world.
Village-like-support is not a given, but we can ask, and we can create.