Letters to the Editor

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CHILDREN: It’s good to be raised by a village

Letter by Emily J. Stewart, Gig Harbor on May 7, 2010 at 12:45 pm with 40 Comments »
May 10, 2010 9:36 am

Re” “From a mother’s perspective, it still takes a village” (TNT, 5-6).

I love my mother. And I’ll bet that you love yours, too.

In her article, Celia Jackson discussed raising children and how it takes more than just two people. There is an African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

I couldn’t agree more. I haven’t had kids yet, but I have grown up with many adults whom I have known my entire life. I have been raised a churchgoer, which has amounted to the influence of many different people on my upbringing. There are people who have known me since I was born who babysat me, tutored me and overall helped me grow. I know that I would be a completely different person without this interaction with people besides my parents.

These experiences have left a positive imprint on my character for good, and I know that when I raise my children it will be with the help of my community. This is how it should be done.

We live in a world where people are growing farther and farther apart with the growth of technology, and this limits a child’s ability to learn and grow from other people. It is crucial that we find ways to interact with each other in order to make the most of everything around us.

Leave a comment Comments → 40
  1. InsideJob says:

    I cannot think of one single time that I have heard this crapola that it takes a village and bla bla bla and yada yada yada and on and on that I was not impressed that the speaker actually had as a motive getting their grubby little paws on other peoples’ children. No it does not take a village, it takes parents who know what the word means.

  2. Right on Inside.

  3. witchiwoman says:

    You are right, Emily. There are many many people that influence us as we grow, besides our parents. Our siblings, our neighbors, our teachers, our grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and if we’re very lucky, all these people have our best interests at heart, and not their own.

    In the old days, when people lived in small towns, everybody knew each other and everybody looked out for the children. If someone saw your child about to get into trouble, they’d help get them out. Since our towns have grown into cities and we barely know our neighbors anymore, we have lost something very valuable in that “village” concept. Wherever we can find it these days, we are very lucky.

    Don’t pay any attention to the people who make cruel, rude remarks on here. They are bereft of meaning in their lives, so they try to suck the meaning out of others’ lives. Like vampires.

  4. InsideJob says:

    “we barely know our neighbors anymore, we have lost something very valuable in that “village” concept”

    Another shining example of why the word “we” is becoming among my least favorites. Speak for yourself and substitute the word “I” instead of we and I have no doubt that what you have written would be a true statement. As it stands, it most certainly doers not apply to me, any of my close friends or family, members of my church or quite a few other organizations I belong to.

    “Our siblings, our neighbors, our teachers, our grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and if we’re very lucky, all these people have our best interests at heart, and not their own.”

    This statement leads me to believe that you are clueless, it is not through “luck” that these traits are developed and nurtured.

    “Wherever we can find it these days, we are very lucky.”

    I suppose luck does play into it, if one is unlucky enough to have been born into a family that relies on luck to find these traits in the people they choose to interact with – then it naturally follows…. However if one has been brought up in a true family, and not one of the phony family like constructs that are all the rage among the more “progressive and enlightened” who are afraid to teach values, then yes it would be very, very lucky indeed to stumble into relationships with people whose with traits you purport to admire. This demands that one make value judgments, something that is anathema to progressives when it comes to discerning between people with these qualities. Oh the progressive left makes value judgments, they are amongst the most judgmental people you will ever meet, but the problem is their values are so interconnected with victim-hood and identity politics that other things trump character.

  5. InsideJob says:

    To judge those you enter relationships with based upon the quality of a person’s character is something that will almost guarantee that the qualities exist in your relationships, but if your own character is lacking in these qualities then chances are that others may not see you as possessing the qualities they are looking for in those they enter into relationships with and you will just go through life ……hoping. But then that is what you have made a career of…hope. So, by the way, how’s that hope and change been working out for ya’ there, Withci?

  6. nwcolorist says:

    There are wonderful sentiments behind that phrase, but I’m afraid it represents something from a bigone era, those halcyon days of old expressed in poems like Tennyson’s “The Village Blacksmith”.

    Maybe there’s a way to recreate this sense of community. If so, it’s got to start with a strong family and extend outward from there

  7. The essence of this AFrican proverb is true, but the saying has become distorted thanks to its mishandling by politicians who have essentially co-opted it to suggest that it take “the feds” to raise a child.

    Of COURSE it takes the love and support of others to raise a child, but not when it means Mom and Daddy abdicate their responsibility and demand that Uncle Sam do it.

  8. Olemag says:

    Dear Emily,
    Yours is a lovely letter and meant to capture some of the loving spirit of Mother’s Day. Unfortunately there will always be ugly, angry curmudgeons who can find fault with everything. Italian Spring and Inside Job are two of them. Their posts are ALWAYS negative, critical, divisive downers. Don’t pay any attention to them. Keep on being an optomist and when you have children teach them to be positive thinkers and believe in their dreams. And love them to death like I do mine.

  9. Roncella says:

    A Mom and Dad are the most important factor in any family. Recently a young girl in our state had an abortion through the School System without prior notification given to her Mother or Father. Appartently without realizing it, the Mother had signed some papers allowing this procedure to occur.

    The Liberal/Progressives want control over everyone from birth to death. They actually do believe they know whats best for everyone.

    President Obama just finished forcing through ObamaCare. This will lead to a panel deciding if certain surgeries would beneficial or not especally in dealing with Senior Citizens.

    What I see happening in todays world is many children are living with their mom, but have two or three haft sisters or brothers. Some just living with mom and no dad period. Many familes are a Mom and three or four children all from different fathers. Anyone that has been fortunate enough to be raised by a caring Mother and Father should count their blessings.

    It Takes A Village, actually fits more with years ago when families lived closer together some actually living in the same households. Today many children move to different states and lose contact with family members. This saying has become a Socialistic Liberal/Progessive type of thinking in order for them to push their agenda on all the people, because they know whats good for us, better than we do.

  10. edasterisk says:

    its too bad divorce judges often commit genocide to such a big part of the village……dad and his side of the family

  11. Olemag says:

    Emily, I should have added Roncella to that list!

  12. Roncella says:

    Olemag, Thank You, for including me with Intalian spring, and Insidejob on am honored.

  13. edasterik, I will agree with you to a point. It is also the father’s responsibility to fight for his children. I have seen too many men enter in to a divorce with the expectation that the wife would get the kids no matter what. Until men start to adopt the attitude that they are as viable a part of their childrens lives as the mother is, and are then willing to fight to remain involved in their childrens lives, the status quo will remain. I have heard so many men belly ache about how the ex got the kids and then moved away. My first question is always “Did you oppose the relocation?”. The usual answer is ” Why should I, the court will let her move”. Never giving one thought to asking for a modification of the order if the move is permitted by the court. I have a friend who travels 5 hours every other weekend to visit his kids for one day. Some call him committed, I say he dropped the ball and should have fought for his rights rather than roll over because it’s easier. It’s not easy, but I can tell you it’s well worth it.

  14. nwcolorist says:

    That was decent of you, Olemag, to nudge the discussion back towards higher ground.

    IMO. there’s no greater human force than the power of a mother’s (or Grandmother’s) love for her children. They just seem to know best what’s right for their kids.

    So, happy Mother’s Day, moms,

  15. aislander says:

    If you are looking for a sense of community to be provided by government, you are on a fool’s errand. if you find such “community,” it will be only an imitation, provided to support another agenda…

  16. Roncella says:

    nwcolorist, I thought the discussion was about the term “It Takes A Village”.

  17. Yes, ron, back to the notion of the village raising the kids. You said “Recently a young girl in our state had an abortion through the School System without prior notification given to her Mother or Father,” which is an excellent point.

    When the schools and their cronies such as Planned Parenthood decide that the parents are too stupid to know what’s best for the kid, the village starts to stink up the place.

    It becomes a sweet little hallmark mantra with little meaning.

    I’ll thank the village to keep their mitts off my kids unless they want to check in with me first.

  18. Hey aislander, good to see your name again. Where you been?

  19. Olemag says:

    Roncella, I’d like to see the facts to support this rumored so-called abortion item. Who? Where? When?

    So much garbage rumor with absolutely no factual data to support makes me think it is all a fairy tale.

    I don’t belive if one repeats a lie often enough it becomes fact. Where are the FACTS????

  20. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Sorry you missed the story olemag. It’s not really surprising considering the story ran for a day or two and then disappeared. A shame really, since EVERY parent should be made aware of what happened. And I am PRO-CHOICE!

    A quick google search:

    http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=seattle+hs+girl+gets+abortion&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    An entire page of stories for you to enjoy! Chock full of FACTS! ;-D

  21. Roncella says:

    Olemag, This was on all the cable channels for about a week. The Story was in the Tacoma News Tribune, every detail. If I remember right the young girl was from the Seattle area.

    Yes it can take a village to mess our kids up. The kids need loving Mothers and Fathers or at least one or the other to teach them respect and honor and trust and hope and love and alot more, not some village.

  22. InsideJob says:

    aislander, it is good to see ya’ back. And Roncella. I’m glad ta’ have ya’ join me in the rogues gallery. Unfortunately imjim has been making noises about leaving lately, I’m hoping he doesn’t.

  23. Olemag says:

    MarksonofDarwin: Read all the trashy stuff. So her mother gave permission for health advice including birth control information. Whatever in the world of wonder created a mind that thought birth control was necessary if sexual activity was not going on? And what is the usual result of sexual activity ? Oh, wait a minute. It’s coming to me. Slowly, but surely on my radar…………..oops!
    PREGNANCY! Who would have thought? Give me a break. What you have here is a mother trying to cover her ass because she is stupid. She probably thinks denial is a river in Eygpt.

  24. InsideJob says:

    Unfortunately what the “it takes a village” mentality is all about is spreading the blame, more like deflecting the blame. By saying that the village can go pound sand – I have assumed sole responsibility. And if things go south, I have not the recourse to blaming society’s failures.

    I am responsible for what my kid is and does. Period. But by assuming what I should… I have also taken the primary claim for greatness and placed it where it belongs. With the family and their support group. Period.

    Buzz off, and may the chips fall where they fall. It is understandable that the left would seek to spread blame by setting up society as a fall guy. Their children have made remarks to yours truly that “I think all Republicans should be chopped up and burned in the wood stove.” This was from a five year old son of a super leftist that I used to work with.

    So much for being tolerant! So much for the golden rule. So much for this five year old being able to comment here! So much for thinking that the Waldorf School that she is so enamored of because it teaches her son tolerance! So much for this child, “who thinks it takes a village” ever contributing to America in a positive way.

    Raise YOUR KIDS. Period. Raise them to respect a diversity of opinion. Raise them to contribute to charities they believe in. Raise them in a household that makes it clear that your family respects them regardless of their opinions. Raise them to give unbiased consideration to all opinions and to dare to not hold an opinion because it is popular.

    Raise them to be critical thinkers who are not ashamed to form a judgment that does not have popular support. Raise your kids to “question authority” – be it the news media or their teachers. Make them demand validation that opinions people in authority espouse are based on fact and not consensus.

    Make them defend their conclusions. Make them work hard to rise to the top of the village structure through merit. Not by going along to get along. Make your children be hyper-critical of any thing they hear. Make them unashamed to stand apart from the rest of the village when they are not convinced that the village has come to a consensus based on a critical examination of the verifiable facts.

    Let them know that it is their right to reserve judgment unless. and until, their standards are met.

    Make them aware that others have standards that are not the same as theirs and let them know that all opinions are not equally valid, because some people’s standards are not as rigorously arrived at as theirs.

    Make them aware that opinions are only to be given the weight they deserve.

    The “village” you are promoting as a substitute for family represents nothing more than an inculcation of substituting the wisdom of the village for the wisdom of the family. In other words let the village assume an equal standing for the family and substitute what is simply the consensus instead of opinions you hold that are based on your own talent for being judgmental.

    Strive to lead a bunch of automatons. Don’t strive to be your own person and follow your own instincts. Don’t take sole responsibility when things don’t work out. Don’t try to take off in a direction that is not where the village thinks you should. BS

    Make the village keep up with you. Be innovative, don’t be reactionary. Don’t rely on the village to do anything but try it’s collective hardest to make you just another villager. Go for it, go all out to leave the village behind and concentrate on developing relationships with like minded people. Be a leader, don’t be a follower. And above all don’t seek to be first amongst a bunch of drones.

    Respect your conclusions above the opinion of others, you know how you have arrived at your opinion. You can only take the word of others that they have been as critical as you. Make others provide validation before you alter your conclusions. Don’t ever take anybodies word unless you have personally vetted their credentials.

    Don’t let the village usurp that that they have no right to.

  25. InsideJob says:

    And finally don’t let the village raise you, the collective they doesn’t give two hoots and a holler about you. You are but a cipher to the “village.” The only reason “The Village” will ever come to your aid is when it in the village’s collective best interest. I guarantee it.

    Oh the flowery words will come in heards, but those in a position of being able really won’t care about you the way your family does. Never. What they are solely interested in is the power they have as first among villagers – and you don’t want to be beholden to that.

    Go your own way, let your family raise you and learn from them.

    These remarks don’t apply to dysfunctional families, but they do apply to the masses.

    If you are from a dysfunctional family – get a mentor and forget about relying on the village. Find someone you admire from among the families that do not rely on the village and stick with them.

    If your family is great – let them raise you. Don’t fall into the trap.

  26. edasterisk says:

    bnsg …….I agree with your point……but..many fathers dont have the resourses to pay an attorney or they dont know about the CLE books on family law or as stated in the gender and justice report wa report 1989 there was and is a lot of consumer fraud going on with lawyers in family law…… . shared parenting 1/3 time min with the other parent,,works . the judges assoiation and the bar association are against shared parenting . there is a lot of effort to discourage dads ………even when there is a decree signed …..dad shows up to pick up the kids according to parenting plan and they are not there..the parenting plan is the law…….the thing to do is call 911 to report a crime. the 911 operator will tell you it is a civi matter contact your attorney. some say family court is a factory for future dshs clients

  27. Ed, i agree completely. Dad’s who ALLOW themsleves to become discouraged are their own worst enemy. Channel that anger in to positive energy. There is so much more to fighting for your children than just hiring an attorney. Your attorney is your guide to the legal system, you are your attorney’s guide to your issues. Both should work together. If the father is serious about fighting for his children, he will work harder than his attorney.

  28. Well-said IJ.

    In short, it’s not “the village’s” responsibility to raise our children, and the sooner we reclaim the responsibility the better.

  29. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Olemag,

    Why so hostile?
    You read the “nasty” bits, and all you got from the story is the mom is an idiot?
    Really?
    You understand that it isn’t Planned Parenthood that provides this medical service, right? Why would any parent wonder if their child will be taken off campus, during school, to have ANY medical procedure performed? (let alone an abortion) How old are you? When was the last time you signed a medical release….I know I do it every time my kids go on a field trip.

    Oh well…talk about denial.

    I guess you just need to argue. There really are many issues that we all could come together on. I’m not really sure if you buy into this whole “it takes a village” thing, because your comments were just an attack on some list you’ve made in your head of the “bad guys”.

    Seriously…every one of the commenters you named, I have had a disagreement with at one time or another. NEVER did I feel like they attacked me. There was a respectful disagreement, with both of us writing our own thoughts.

    If you are having trouble with people, it’s always wise to do a bit of self-examination, and be honest with yourself….maybe you’re sporting for a fight, and then are all aflutter when you find one….

    Hoping you have a peaceful day….and Happy Mother’s Day!

  30. RONALDUS MAGNUS!!!! USA USA USA USA USA! Our military is the best in the universe! I love beautiful women! And chocolate! Subaru rocks! I love sunshine! Low taxes are awesome! My big screen TV is incredible! I love having money in the bank during an Obama jobless recovery!

  31. Each and every one of us were “raised by a village” unless we grew up locked in a closet.

    Every person we came into contact with, influenced some part of our lives.

    As children, we were influenced by our immediate family, close relatives, neighbors, teachers, clergy, and casual acquaintances.

    As we got older our village grew as we ventured out into the world.

    Everyone has a village full of life experiences from which to draw. How often do we reflect on our mentors when we practice those skills that serve us so well?

    That influence is undeniable, as Emily has so accurately pointed out.

  32. Roncella says:

    Polago, Most folks are raised by a Mother and Father or a Mother or a Father . A village doesn’t raise anyone.

    Once you have a Mother and Father, then the other relationships like an uncle or aunt or coach or minister, can compliment your life experiences as a child as you grow up and mature.

  33. Roncella wrote, “Once you have a Mother and Father, then the other relationships like an uncle or aunt or coach or minister, can compliment your life experiences as a child as you grow up and mature.”

    You’re saying the same thing that Emily said in her letter, Roncella.

    Is it the word Village that is so bothersome to you and others?

    Maybe it’s that Hillary thing.

    What if Sarah had written that book…………….”It takes a Tea Party to raise a child.” :)

  34. Roncella says:

    Polago, Big difference in what I said and what the letter writer and you believe.

    I repeat, it takes a Mother and Father or a Mother or a Father to raise a child and coach and train them. The support folks like uncles and aunts, coaches, teachers, etc. all add to the stew , but the Mother and Father have the most influence on the children.

    Polago, You almost had it right when you blamed Sarah Palin ( Drill Baby Drill) on how I think.

    It actually is President Ronald Reagans fault that I am a Conservative today.

  35. Emily wrote, “I have grown up with many adults whom I have known my entire life. I have been raised a churchgoer, which has amounted to the influence of many different people on my upbringing. There are people who have known me since I was born who babysat me, tutored me and overall helped me grow. I know that I would be a completely different person without this interaction with people besides my parents.”

    Roncella wrote, “Once you have a Mother and Father, then the other relationships like an uncle or aunt or coach or minister, can compliment your life experiences as a child as you grow up and mature.”
    —–and—–
    “I repeat, it takes a Mother and Father or a Mother or a Father to raise a child and coach and train them. The support folks like uncles and aunts, coaches, teachers, etc. all add to the stew , but the Mother and Father have the most influence on the children.”

    Polago wrote, “Every person we came into contact with, influenced some part of our lives. As children, we were influenced by our immediate family, close relatives, neighbors, teachers, clergy, and casual acquaintances. As we got older our village grew as we ventured out into the world.”

    It looks to me like we are all in agreement, Roncella, unless you have some spin.

    Becoming part of the community is a community effort. And yes, the parents are primary.

  36. InsideJob says:

    Have you ever noticed that people who wish to but into your family’s business and give parenting advice are always the ones who are miserable the one’s who failed miserably at raising their kids? Have you also noticed that they are also big fans of this “it take a village” idiocy?

    I have, and I don’t want or need your input.

    Guess what I have also noticed? These people are clueless, or at least they act clueless when it comes to recognizing that their kids are a mess. I think there are some of each.

    Rarely, if ever have I ever had a person whose parenting skills I admire chip in with unsolicited advice. You show me someone whose record at raising their children is one of pathetic miserable failure and the advice never stops coming – to which it is all I can do to keep from answering with a single upraised digit.

  37. Roncella says:

    Polago, You keep missing my point, which is, A Mother And Father or A Mother Or A Father are the Most important factor in the relationship when it comes to raising children. All the other folks are important but not near as important as a Mother & Father.

    It Takes a Village is nothing more than a catch phase for progessive thinking on letting society feed and raise your children for you.

  38. Polago…the rub comes from the fact that “the village” has come to represent the federal government NOT helping to raise the kids, but TAKING OVER the raising of the kids.

    I have watched this monstrosity grow over many years; in fact I’ve uttered tocsins and waved flags, but to no avail.

    It’s most evident at school where educators presume to know more than parents and happily permit parents to abdicate all responsibility.

    First we started feeding the kids breakfast, then we insisted on teaching them all about sex and how to use condoms, then of course we had to figure out how to talk to them about STDS which were running amuck for some reason;

    then of course we had to find a way to support sexual experimentation of every kind by sponsoring gay and lesbian clubs on campus…never mind that half the kids “come out of the closet” only to discover years later they weren’t really gay after all, just “bi-Curious!”

    Finally of course, we had to find a way to ferry them over to the abortion clinic without teling mommy because she would be really upset to learn that her daughter was “only doing what comes naturally.”

    Yeah, some village. We’re doin’ a great job.

  39. One of the things I’ve been trying to get across in many of these threads is that the perception you and others have of those you’ve labeled as liberal/progressive is more about your imagination than reality, sozo and Roncella.

    As I pointed out, we’re all using the same words to describe the influences that our kids are exposed to, yet somehow the word village throws you into a tizzy. No one here mentioned government. Yet you assume that this is all about government taking over raising our kids when the word village is used.

    Roncella, It takes a village means “A Mother And Father or A Mother Or A Father are the Most important factor in the relationship when it comes to raising children. All the other folks are important but not near as important as a Mother & Father.” That is the village of which we speak.

    It is not “a catch phase for progessive thinking on letting society feed and raise your children for you.” You didn’t get this from the letter writer or myself, yet somehow you keep thinking this is what was meant.

    You’re the one who keeps missing the point.

    We’re all in this together. We need to start working together.

  40. What’s the big deal? A village is already raising more than half of the kids in this country. That village is called the U.S. Taxpayer. Mothers don’t have to crawl out of bed to cook anymore, the schools take care of that. The contributor of the sperm can continue to hang out with his homeys and not pay child support. So what’s new/

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