- What Village Can Raise My
- By Barrington H. Brennen, October
2, 2003, 2020
Writer's Note: This article was first written in 2003 on the backdrop of the
discussion of child abuse and the neglect of many parents. It is not
intended to diminish the positive value of the community but to reinforce
the primary function of parents. The purpose of this article is to
stimulate parents to think carefully about their responsibilities.
Not one village can raise my child. There is no
village thatís as wise as I am and that has the responsibility as I do to
raise my child. It does not matter if the village has the latest technology,
educational systems and techniques, the most trained teachers and
administrators, spirit-filled pastors, or the latest skills in behavioral
modification. Before you fall off your chair, read further.
- THE MYTH
- Itís not the villageís responsibility. Itís
mine. The truth is that it is a myth that "it takes a village to
raise a child." Before you get turned off, just read further to grasp
the points being raised. Parents have the responsibility of raising their
children. The village will destroy the child if parents are not
responsible. That is if the wrong "village" is chosen. (Note
that this is a general statement and not to be interpreted to be the
impact on every single child.)
- Responsible parents choose "villages" (relationships,
schools, churches, events) that will support and re-enforce their
belief system, thus making their parenting easier. Without this kind of
parental guidance the village will destroy and not effectively raise the
child. Here is a poem written by Glenn Conjurske that will
illustrate my point. It is entitled "It takes A Village"
It Takes A Village
"It takes a village (so we're
told), to raise a child today.
It takes a village (we reply), to steal his heart away.
To purge old-fashioned do's and don'ts from his enlightened mind
To leave old fashioned Ma and Pa, a hundred years behind.
It takes a village, verily, to teach some mother's son
To steal and gamble, smoke and swear, and vandalize for fun.
His mother didn't teach him that! His father? No, not he!
It takes a village to corrupt, a village verily.
It takes a village, this we know, to teach the maidens sweet,
To dress and act, to look and talk, like women of the street.
It takes a village, not a doubt, to teach a maiden mild,
To save the monkey's, owls, and whales, yet kill her unborn child.
It takes a village public school, some subtle class room chats,
To teach the little boys and girls to act like alley cats.
To teach them of the birds and bees, without morality,
To teach them what to do and how, and tell them they are free.
It takes a village, yes indeed, to brainwash all our youth,
With notions and with fallacies, in place of sense and truth.
Abortion rights! The right to die! The rights of animals!
Creative spelling! Unisex! the rights of criminals!
It takes a village, well we know, to turn their minds awry.
To stand for fancied "Children's rights," and parent's rights deny.
To honor human nature less, and trees and rivers more.
To sacrifice to Mother Earth, and Father God ignore.
"It takes a village," so they say, but something more they mean.
United Nations, Washington, The Liberal machine.
Society, the "Brave New World," the socialist scheme.
The global ideology; It's here.....The New World Order Dream!"
- THE PROBLEM
- A fundamental problem in our society is that
far too many parents, knowingly or unknowingly, depend on others to raise
their children. Here are some of the ways parents absolve themselves of
their God-given responsibilities:
They quickly rush their
infant children off to daycare centers before they can even walk and talk
because they want more time for themselves. They place more value on the
unfamiliar nursery care-giver than on themselves.
Some would send their
children to their grandmothers living on the family islands because they
are too busy to take care of them. Then they wonder why their own children
are more attached to grammy.
They expect the school
teachers to teach their children about the fundamental principles of
reading and writing. These parents do not take the time to read to their
children. They forget that parents are really the primary educators of
They allow the television to
be the babysitter in the home, feeding their children with endless hours
of violence, sex, and foul language. Then they punish their children for
They leave their children
alone in the house or with neighbors while they go out at nights to have
fun, then they are surprised with their own children sneak out of the
house to have sex with a friend.
At a very early age they send
their children on very long summer vacations with other family members or
friends. Many parents are not aware that it is during these times that
their children pick up bad habits that will stay with them for the rest of
They neglect to punish they
children for poor behavior and get terribly angry when the school
principal decides that enough is enough.
These are only a few of the ways
parents neglect their responsibilities. The village can only help raise the
child by supporting the principles and lifestyle of the parents through
encouragement and setting a good example of disciplined living.
- STOP CRYING
- Many parents who neglected their
responsibilities during their childrenís early years end up crying when
their disobedient sons and daughters (whom they refuse to admit were
disobedient) are thrown in jail. They are not crying because they realize
they have made mistakes as parents. They are crying because the cannot see
how their "nice" children became criminals. Parents, it is time
to stop crying and get into action. Crying wonít help now. It is now the
time to take on your responsibility and help change our nation. Itís all
in your hands, not the villageís hand.
ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE (REVIEW)
Yes, it is the parents responsibility. The village can
provide support and even direction, especially when a child is
coming from a dysfunctional family or was abandon. However,
primarily it is the parent's duty to raise a child. The
challenge we have is when the "village" provides greater influence
than the parents on the forming of values in the child, especially
when those values are counter productive. Perhaps parents
should select what "village" they want their children to be
influenced by. This is important to prevent
childhood cognitive dissonance, emotional conundrum, and
psychological dysfunction. Parents, make sure you are truly the
first "village" your child will live in. For
whatever reason, if there are no biological parents to raise the
children, then a good village can be impactful. Also,
when a good village and good parents join forces, usually the
influence is productive.
Barrington Brennen is a marriage and family therapist. Send
questions or comments to
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 242-327-1980 for
professional help. Or WhatsApp 242-477-4002