Social Question

Hibernate's avatar

Does it really take a village to raise a kid properly?

Asked by Hibernate (9019 points ) July 20th, 2011

I’m sure when one grow up he needs to be sure he can rely on others beside his family. They get to be more balanced. But how can this be explained? Is it necessary to be raised by a whole bunch of people or be raised by a balanced parent [family] is enough?

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17 Answers

rts486's avatar

No, it takes good parents.

Cruiser's avatar

IMO a “balanced parent” is essential. In the absence of a “balanced parent” thankfully there is a village of relatives, friends parents, teachers, coaches, etc. who do also greatly contribute to a childs development and well being. I can’t imagine how my oldest would have missed out in life had he not had his Autos teacher embrace and further my son’s new found passion for auto mechanics or his piano teacher, or his bass teacher or his Scoutmaster, or his aunt’s and uncles, grandpas, and grandmas who made him laugh and took him on outings.

Bellatrix's avatar

I think to be a well-rounded person, we need influences from outside our family too. Certainly those with good parents have an advantage, but I feel we need to learn to connect, negotiate, respond to other people too and this is where ‘the village’ can help. The school teacher who helps you with your essay and shows you you can. The police man who gives you a telling off when you are being a bit naughty with your mates. The shop keeper who knows your name and talks to you about what is happening in your life. The neighbour who helps you when for some reason your mum isn’t there or tells you off when you and their child are getting into mischief. So many people influence us in positive and negative ways and help us to grow and learn to manage our lives. I don’t think parents can do all of this totally on their own. Sadly, I think more and more parents are having to as society becomes more disengaged. How many of us don’t know our neighbours at all? Don’t have a local shop keeper we talk to while we buy basic groceries or send the kid to to get a pint of milk.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

No.
It takes a village to raise an idiot.
A child should know right from wrong by the time they are around eight.It is a parent’s responsibility to teach their child those things.

whitenoise's avatar

Yes, people need to be able to interact in a constructive pleasant way with other people, with as well as outside their own family.

A layer of ‘safe / known / friendly’ people around that family is essential for children to be able to master such interaction. Not necessarily a village, though, a small town may work as well.

sophiesword's avatar

I think the reason they say this is because in the village the child breathes fresh air and drinks pure,healthy milk which builds up his immune system but as far as a being a good person is concerned you need good parents and a mature social circle.

The most important thing however is that the child should have a conscious which he must develop himself.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

This is an old Nigerian proverb based upon the belief that it was the responsibility of the community to be help raise their village’s children.

Does it apply to us where our upbringing is traditionally the responsibility of parents or guardians? Yes, but in a slightly different way. Show me a parent that can make the food, clothing and shelter without the aid of others. Don’t forget the medical personnel that heal our illnesses and injuries. Think about all of the books that influenced our thinking, the friends who helped us develop social skills. Schools take a fleet of people to run them. Even if children are home-schooled, someone else wrote the materials. The list could go on.

dabbler's avatar

Kids learn from everything and everybody around them. If everybody around them is mindful of this it can have a great positive effect. When folks ignore someone else’s kids, and demonstrate bad behavior around them, it is to everyone’s detriment.

ShanEnri's avatar

It does take good parents. But then they start school and that’s where the ‘village’ comes into it. Teachers and even peers, friends and their parents are all a part of who our children grow up to be.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Depends on what village is doing the raising.

As it stands now parents are gradually being denied the privilage of raising children as they see fit, so it’s mostly the state and local government that’s acting as the village.

SpatzieLover's avatar

As it stands now parents are gradually being denied the privilage of raising children as they see fit So true!

Yes, and I would add to this, however it seems to me that both @Pied_Pfeffer & @SABOTEUR said it best.

wundayatta's avatar

I take it as a metaphor to indicate that many people are needed to raise a child. Parents can do it all on their own, but that puts a lot of pressure on the parents and it leaves the children without any other resources to rely on. To keep parents sane and to make sure the kids can learn how to work with others, we need to conceive of ourselves as part of a network of people; as part of a village.

Who are the babysitters? The teachers? The doctors? Etc. Etc. There is a whole village, and they all cooperate in raising the child and keeping him or her healthy, or learned, or cared for when the parents need some time on their own.

We all cooperate – even strangers, to help each other’s kids. You see a kid on the street, clearly skipping school and looking for trouble, and you tell them then should go back to school. They might not obey you, but it will have an impact. We are all responsible for everyone else’s kids. If we don’t behave that way, civil society will gradually erode.

incendiary_dan's avatar

It’s just a lot easier on the parents to have a ‘village’ (extensive support network).

Hibernate's avatar

Thanks for the replies.

keobooks's avatar

I think if Hilary Clinton hadn’t have written a book with this title, most of the people who seem violently against the idea wouldn’t think twice about it.

People go to church and send their kids to Sunday school. They send their kids to schools to be socialized. Even homeschooling families attend co-ops so their kids can meet other people. There is an extended family, doctors and nurses and even neighbors keeping an eye out for you kids.

Hilary Clinton didn’t invent this phrase. So don’t bash the phrase just because you didn’t agree with her ideas in the book. Or worse yet, don’t bash the phrase because you never read the book and just don’t like Hilary Clinton. I know people who agreed with this phrase and suddenly deny they ever did for that reason.

wilma's avatar

@keobooks I think you have a good point there.

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