There’s a famous African proverb that states:
It takes a village to raise a child.
Hilary Clinton shared this proverb in one of her speaking engagements a few years ago. Since then, many politicians have started to use this quote. However, it’s a statement that I’ve always heard growing up. And, quite frankly, I believe it! Im sure you do too! I have yet to meet a parent/guardian who thinks its easy to rear children.
Since this is a proverb that we believe, have we put it in practice. Let me share what I’ve observed over the past five years.
– Lack of respect for adults. There are a lot of parents that will reject your help. Somehow they have developed the notion that they have perfect children. Don’t be surprised if you are cursed for trying to help or correct a child. Some parents aren’t hearing! They WILL believe what their child says regardless of the situation!
– Children manipulating the school system. Schools are “pressed” right now. Their hands are tied in many areas involving discipline. Some students cannot receive consequences for their misbehavior until the infraction is completed at least three times. If a child is labeled or classified as ESE, ESOL, 504 (just to name a few), he or she cannot receive discipline like a “regular” student. Students know this, they have learned the system. This makes it’s more difficult to assist and educate children.
Here’s the reality of this issue, WE CANNOT GIVE UP! There’s no time to throw in the towel! I can care less about the parents who don’t want help. Why? You cannot help a hand that is closed. At the same time, there will always be children that manipulate the matters of discipline.
There are still many more parents and children that will appreciate the village. So, how do we raise our children in this village?
1. Set the standard. Children become what they see. Are you setting a good example? Are you a polite adult? Do you tell the truth about your child’s age at a Resturant? Even if it means you have to pay for your child’s meal? Have you showed your child that you are an advocate of his or her education? Ask about homework. Check it. Ask what your child learned in school. Attend open house (not just the football games). Continue your own learning. Reach greatness in your own life and expect the same from your child or the children around you.
2. Remember where you came from. It seems like adults forget ALL of the mistakes they made as young children and teens. There’s nothing new under the sun. Children will mess up! That’s a part of growing. Correct and help them with love. Feel free to be open about your past. That which you used to do can be helpful a young person thats in need. As my pastor would say, don’t be so “wonderful” that you don’t acknowledge your past.
3. Respect everyone in village. Do you know how you can reach the heart of children? Respect them. Children KNOW if you care about them. Hands down! When they discover that you don’t genuinely respect and care for them, they will shut you out! After that, you can teach them because you’ve failed to reach them. Catch the fish before you try to clean it!
So, let’s put an end to just saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Indeed it does, but we need to put this belief to action!
Let me hear from you! Are you ready to be an active participant in the village? How do you plan to help and inspire our children?