Monday, April 7, 2014

It takes a village to raise a child.

We hear this all the time.  "It take a village to raise a child". For the most part, I will say, yes, it does. It takes loving people to support the parents and help out when they can.  Some people have apparently taken this to mean that it is okay for a stranger to discipline a child that they don't know. That is false. It is never, I repeat never, okay to discipline a strangers child. If a child is being noisy, talk to the parents. If a child is doing something you find unacceptable, talk to the parents. It is their right, not yours, to tell the child to be quiet, or to stop doing the thing that is unacceptable.   There are few exceptions: If a child is running into the street, it is acceptable to gently stop the child and keep him safe.

So, does this mean a person shouldn't help out a mom or dad in the grocery store?  It does not mean that at all. That is where the village comes in.  To support the parents.  Instead of telling the child to be quiet, play with the child. Entertain the child so the parent can do what he/she needs done.

Example: You are in line at the grocery store, and your 2 year old is being, well, 2.  Wanting everything, screaming, the whole works.  Instead of scowling at the parent for "not controlling her child", a better choice would be to help.  Talk to the child. Try to make him laugh. Entertain him. Make funny faces. Offer to help the mom or dad with the groceries so she can tend to the screaming child.  Be creative.  Just don't judge.  Don't scowl. Don't be mean.  The parent is doing the best he/she can, and  smiles and support go a long way in making life better.

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