General Question

cdwccrn's avatar

Does it really take a village to raise a child?

Asked by cdwccrn (3605points) November 15th, 2008 from iPhone

if so, who is part of that village?

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14 Answers

skfinkel's avatar

It is very helpful for children to have other adults to rely on outside of their own immediate family. It can be relatives (aunts and uncles, grandparents) or close friends. Also, it makes it immeasurably easier for parents if there are people they can also rely on to take the children once in a while, to fill in, or to talk to about problems.

asmonet's avatar

Not in my case, I had my mommy. That was about it.

laureth's avatar

Children raised with many people helping out often seem to be more balanced and have a wider base of knowledge, skills, and experience from which to draw as they grow up (and into adulthood). If they only have their immediate family, they often reflect back only what that family can provide – which is great if the parents are educated, erudite Renaissance individuals – but too often, they are not.

A “village” is just a term for the network of people that a child can rely on in their lives. It can be extended family, teachers, neighbors, friends, other trusted adults and even younger people. Resources that are wide and deep make for a better kid, imho.

Darwin's avatar

The village also includes teachers, ministers, coaches, and neighbors, all of whom teach something to every child they come into contact with. Some teaching is deliberate while other is in the form of modeling appropriate adult behavior.

Oops, laureth! We were thinking at the same time!

laureth's avatar

I think it’s even important to have people you disagree with (to some extent) be in the child’s life. I don’t mean, like, molesters, or bad people that will hurt the child. I mean people with differing views. If you’re a Democrat, have some Republicans around. If you’re straight, have some gay people around. If you’re Christian, have some Jews and Pagans around. If you’re a businessman, have your kids meet artists, craftspeople, and blue-collar workers. If you’re allergic to the outdoors, have them help the lady down the street with her garden. If you’re Caucasian, they also need to know Hispanic, Asian, and Black people.

The more they know, the more questions they ask, the more experience and insight and wisdom they gain.

asmonet's avatar

“the parents are educated, erudite Renaissance individuals” is my mama. :D
I agree it depends on the individual raising the child. My mom raised us with Buddhas and Jesus pictures everywhere sharing space with the Dalai Lama, medical books, novels, textbooks from her college years, barbies and trips to the opera. Not every single mother has the life experience and culture she had. In most cases, it does take a lot of differing views to raise a well-rounded tolerant individual. Or, it could just take one with enough life behind her to make her own village.

laureth's avatar

I wish my Mama had been. :) But she knew to let me meet other people, so it was all good.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think it’s necessary, but it sure can be helpful!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

You never know what’s lacking in a child’s life, and what opportunity for guidance you can provide. I think that the opportunity to be a role model, to explain how adult life functions, or even to be there to listen cannot be overlooked or undervalued. Teenagers especially seem to need affirmation of good decisions, someone who will listen impartially, and someone that will talk them through the decision process. Lots of times, that isn’t their own parent.

fireside's avatar

I was thinking along the lines of a butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker.

Darwin's avatar

@fireside – Great! Those folks can model the rewards of working hard at a chosen profession, and show how different talents may lead in different but equally rewarding career paths.

eaglei20200's avatar

As an educator, I’m always happy when there is some collective wisdom gathered and shared among fellow teachers that can support a student. It may not take a village, but in my world, it certainly often takes a school.

cdwccrn's avatar

we had difficulty with one of our children through adolesence. Home was at times a hard place to be.
At it’s worst, our other child escaped to another family’s home where he was taken in, noquestions asked,even as he sat and cried. They kept him for as long as it took for him to be ready and strong enough to face homelife again.
I will forever be indebted to his “village.”

Judi's avatar

Up until the last 100 or so years fathers had a more active role in raising children. Teenagers were an asset, because they were another farm hand. Work, was not just a job you went to and earned money, it was what you did for survival and it involved the whole community. Tend the chickens, milk the cows, weed the garden, can the food, grind the wheat, bake the bread. When the village cooperated to survive children were exposed to a lot of people who loved and cared for them.
Today, the village is the school, the neighbors, the Churches, the Recreation centers, the libraries…. We don’t rely on them s much for physical support, we don’t have barn raising parties like we used to, but we deny our children so much if we don’t rely on these community (village) resources to help us with this daunting task of child raising. A network of people concerned with your welfare is worth way more than money.

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