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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not trying to pick a fight here..I'm trying to understand this mentality of it taking a village to raise a child..The parents can't do it themselves? I don't understand..

I don't feel like I'm overprotective but I have very strong beliefs on how I want to raise my children that most people I know do not agree with so I want to raise them the way DH and I feel is best.

I would love to have more support and interaction from family and friends but we go over to MIL's house and she turns the tv on and lets him watch any cartoon that is on! Violent, etc..He's 3 years old!! He was watching something that was okay on Sunday but I said when it was over the tv was off because I wanted him to play. She jokingly said "This is grandma's house..He gets to do whatever he wants here!" I said "You think it's better that he stare at a tv screen then play with his aunts whom he rarely sees?" ARRRRGGGGHHHHH..My parents would be in line with a lot of what we believe as far as parenting goes but they live 8 hours away so tons of interaction isn't doable there..

So does "The Village" mentality really work with some people?? I saw it mentioned in a recent thread so I was just wondering the thinking behind it..

Again no flames please..I just don't understand it..Thanks!
 

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Disclaimer: I've never read the book or discussed it before.


I think that obviously the parents are still the very most important factor, but that the "village" concept can work well for some people. As an example, I am lucky to have a large group of AP friends and I would trust any one of my mama friends to mother my child in my absence if I could not be there for any reason. If there was an emergency I would trust them absolutely, or even if it was a minor thing like I was nursing L and couldn't go help A, then I know they would take care of him like their own child and it would be in a way that I agree with. That elephant example rings true to me in my particular circle of friends.
We have even talked about it in our group and agreed that yes, we all feel comfortable with another person mothering our child if necessary, whether it is feeding them, playing with them, helping them to resolve a conflict, wiping a bottom, etc.

We also have supportive family nearby and I would trust them with my children also. So although I am still the parent, and want to make sure that my children are being raised the way I want them to be, there are definitely other people I trust to contribute to their upbringing and I think that all of us are richer because of that.
 

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I didn't know there was a book with this title . . . . but I did know that this originated as an African proverb.

In an ideal world, a Utopia, a village would indeed be righteous.

The concept is based on the idea that it's not natural for one or two people to do *everything* that is necessary to have a family and a home. It is also not natural to be so isolated as we are in these so-called 'civilized' parts. Humans are social creatures.

But

there is the flipside of the situation --
the melting pot of lifestyles and values we work hard to welcome does make intimate co-habitation more challenging, if not impossible. We are a very socially diverse and complex society.
 

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I thought the "Village" concept was dumb, till I actually *thought* about it. Mom and Dad are primary, but how many other folks influenced your life as a kiddo?

A special teacher? A cool auntie? Your granddad? His best friend? All are part of the "village" by instilling values, skills, and self-worth.

Short of moving to a Waco-style homestead, it's pretty unavoidable.
 

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Well, I believe in a chosen village, if that makes sense. Our chosen village is comprised of family members, special friends, the moms of other preschoolers who I carpool with, our preschool teacher, karate & dance instructors, a couple neighbors, our pediatricin & homeopath. These are all people I trust, who have special relationships w/us & my children, and who have positive influence on my children. I would not subscribe to the village philosophy of including everyone in one's community - there are just too many unsafe people out there.

I have tried doing it all alone, and have found that it is so much more to have special people involved in our lives.
 

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That was my signature a while back. Actually it was I have seen the village and I don't want it raising my children.

I think in many areas the village concept works. I would love to live in a village of the like minded where my children could play and not have to worry about them as there would always be someone they could turn to if need be.

We don't live in that kind of atmosphere, thoug, atleast I don't.
 

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I am not sure what book everyone is talking about, but I right now have It takes a village a children's book from the library. I have really enjoyed it. I have always been interested in communal living. The idea of living amongst other individuals that share similar beliefs, and having them aid you in raising a child was appealing (before having a child). After having dd, There was NO WAY, I was so untrusting of other people in the care of my child. I felt as though I could do it just me and dh, and was not eager to have other people influence her. I have watch a friend of mine raise her child w/ a village, and it seemed to be effecting her dd negatively. As dd has gotten older and I have formed some bonds, my idea of a village has changed. However, I do not think that a village works if there is no common ground, consistency, etc. (that's the problem w/ my friend's dd). I have recently chosen to work part-time at the local cooperative school as one of two lead teachers. DD will not come w/ me during those five hours, five days a week, until she can attend in a 2 years. She will be at home w/ dh for all but 1 hour. During that hour, she will be left w/ an AP/NFL friend who has ds a couple of months older. She and I have decided to work together (kind of like a village): She watches dd for an hour, I come and watch her ds for an hour. We have done some trial days, and neither of us has issues w/ mothering eachother's dc. We ALWAYS discuss things regarding mothering the other's children. Right now, w/ dd still being a little over a year...this is enough of a tribe for me. I am sure, as dd grows I will embrace more of these opportunities.

I know that as a mother, I could raise dd w/out a tribe right now. But, I feel like it is pretty natural to have support in raising children if it is the right people, and not to an extreme. You mamas should check out the children's book...it is really great!
 

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Not really a useful post here, but whenever several people (read: complete strangers) help me getting my children and stroller and backpack and chubby self on the bus, I always thank them profusely and then state my 'signature' line ... "It takes a village to get me on the bus." Always cracks them all up. Especially the folks sitting there, waiting for me and my anonymous stranger-assistants, scowling at me and my brood, wondering why anyone would have so many children (b'H four is so many?
) if they couldn't even get them all on to the bus by themselves ...

A good line, no?

 

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And now, ever since reading this thread, I cannot get Raffi's song "It takes a village, it takes a village to raise, it takes a village to raise a child..."
 

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In other cultures around the world and even into the years of the depression here in the US, it was the "village" raising our children. People looked after each others children, breastfed each others children, fed others children, and in general helped each other in need or if they saw the need. In the US like minded folks lived together in smaller, and what I believe stronger communities sharing similar values, religions, etc. The "I'll take care of mine" was not as prevalent as it is today. In some rural communities in the south and in some black communities this is still practiced.

Most of my family is dead. I have no biological parents living or grandparents, I have one aunt that is still living (she is more like a sister) and I have a step sister (other sibling is dead). I am fortunate to live in a really great neighborhood. Not only is it diverse culturally, but I have live on a culdesac with really great neighbors who I have made friends with. We look after each others children, we help each other when someone is sick, dies, or has some other problem, we borrow food from each other, feed each other, etc. We are all pretty diverse but we have grown to think of living here as like a small family. We don't all share the same values -- especially in religious and political matters, we all raise our children with different styles of parenting, but this has never stopped us from forming a strong dependent community for the past six years. I would say that so far we have been pretty respectful of each others beliefs and childrearing. (at times tolerating I am sure) I trust most of these people for the most part, they have watched my children and vice versa. If I saw one of them getting into trouble or needing something I would not hesitate to take care of it. At times I feel like I need all the help I can get so at times I really am relying on "the village".
 

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I want my child raised my way, but I definitely benefit from the help of others. My parents babysit, strangers will help out when necessary like at the airport once when I had to unwrap my wrap carrier and get the baby out at the security checkpoint, *that* was quite the amusing challenge.
 

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nak

I think the book being mentioned is Hilary Clinton's "It takes a village to raise a child". Never read it, so don't really know how it applies in the book. I think the phrase became popular b/c of this book.

I agree w/MayMay. Human's are social creatures and are not meant to live in isolation (and I consider the "standard" nuclear family - Mom, Dad, kids - as isolated). We need to be surrounded by a tribe of like-minded folks that are also diverse in their experiences and what they can share. I think it's very difficult to find that in the culture we live in. Like others said, I have created my own "village" out of close friends that I trust to treat my children in ways I approve of.

arrghhh...want to write more...this is a subject I feel passionate about...but I'm typing one-handed and my 4yo is needing attention. Maybe later
 

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Of course we have a "village" helping us raise our children.

Our village is comprised of grandparents, an uncle or two, some neighbors, close friends, other Goddess worshippers, etc. etc. I don't expect everyone to match my parenting style EXACTLY. How utterly boring.

But out village has intrinsic values that we all share. I could not raise my children as well as I am without their support and love.

It's a little too "David Koresh" for me to evern contemplate NOT having a diverse group of people surrounding us.

Jen
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So the problem is not with the concept but with *my* village!?! :LOL

Heehee..I seriously would not have a problem with others having more of a hand in rasising my kids if they agreed with what we were trying to do with them..Very little TV, creative play, encourage thinking etc..But I feel like I have to deprogram my kids every time they spend more than a few hours away from us..ESPECIALLY at MIL's house..They just run wild over there..

I think we need to tap into the resource of our church friends more..I babysit a lot for them and they're always saying they'd love to do the same for me but I always feel bad about asking them..I need to get over that..

After thinking about it I think my main resentment toward all of this is the thinking that kids HAVE to have other influences or they're going to be wierd..MIL is always saying about how DS will have no friends because he's not in daycare and we plan on homeschooling. She says he needs other people teaching him and he needs to be with other kids..I don't see why he needs other people teaching him at this point..I can do that just fine..He's only 3 anyway! Let him be a kid!! And I don't mind him being with other kids if it's kids I know aren't being a bad influence on him..He spends about 4 hours with our friends' kids week..That's enough for me..

I guess I just feel like some parents have taken this to the extreme and aren't sharing the parenting responsibilites with the village..They're letting the village parent their kids all by themselves!! We've seen it a million times working with youth.."Can you talk to Danny about his attitude?" "Can you talk to Amy about her boyfriend?" They want us to "fix" their kids and it drives me crazy!!!!!

OKay, so I'm off to get myself a new village..Anybody live in Upstate SC???
 

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I'm with the you-can't-trust-the-village crowd. Perhaps in some societies, the village is trustworthy. In such places, childrearing practices are probably similar from one family to the next. Breastfeeding is normal, and you probably don't have to worry about your MIL sneaking formula to your baby. Etc.

In the U.S., there seems to be a huge difference in parenting between the current generation of young parents and the grandparents. Sometimes, it's a SIL or BIL, someone of your own generation, that you cannot trust. Maybe they try to sneak ice cream or cookies to your 4-month-old. We've all heard these stories.

So yes, for me, I can't trust the village. I do trust my ILs, but they don't understand BF. So the first time they babysat DD, she was about a year old. I also trust my sister. She's not exactly AP, but she is gentle and understands children very well. So those are the only people in my "village" who are allowed to babysit.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MerryOne
I'm from the caribbean, my son still goes to school there, (his choice not to leave my mother), even when I lived there full time we had a village concept.
I'm from the Caribbean too, and we were all raised with the village concept. although it wasn't called that. I kow that when i was going to school, and anyone of my neighbors caught me doing something I shouldn't, I was going to get reprimanded on the spot, and then get reprimanded again when I got home. I could send my kids to the neighbor's house while I ran an errand, and it wasn't a problem. My children and the entire village were jst as comfortable in each other's homes as they were in their own. We always cooked extra food at meal times just in case someone dropped by. Actually inviting people over fr dinner was unheard of, it's was just expected if you were there and there was food, you would be given a plate.

I think North America is sorely missing a village. Once people form a partnership, they are expected to be completly self sufficient. And when they have kids! Forget about getting help from anyone. It's more of an attitude of. "You had them, YOU take care of them!" It's not normal, it's not human to be isolated and not have a support sytem when raising children. Every child I knew could change a nappy (with pins!) by the time they were seven or eight. They all knew how to hold and soothe a baby. Every woman I knew who had just had a baby knew how to breastfeed minutes after birth, and knew how to confidently hold and care for an infant. That comes from being around new babies and new mamas all their lives. Who needed parenting books written by so called experts when you had Grandma and Auntie and Big Sister and Mama and Miss Brown next door? I really think the huge incidence of post partum depression in this country is due to the lack of support and unrealistic expectations we impose on new mamas.
And just as we were all raised surrounded by life, we were all raised surrounded by death. When someone died, the whole village gathered to help out, donating time, money and prayers. We weren't sheltered from death. We attended funerals and wakes. We went to the grave digging. We carried buckets of water so the Grannies could wash and dress the body. It wasn't scary, it was life.

We were meant to rely on our village, it's part of our evolutionary design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ooy, MIL fed DD a whole bottle of cow's milk when she was 10mo..I had left her with tons of little snacks and told her if she was super thirsty to give her a little water...ARGH!!!!!!!!!!! She didn't even admit it to me until months later..
 
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