Do kids need a 'village'?

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Hooray and amen to Gwen Fulcher Young’s guest column in The Augusta Chronicle on Aug. 10 (“Past generations of so-called ‘unattended’ children turned out just fine”).

I too was an “unattended” child. Mornings, by myself, I set out roaming the confines of the city block where I lived. The day was magical, as it can be for children – holes to dig and games to be played. I returned for lunch or to obey my mother’s injunction to be home when “the lights went on.”

Neighbors looked after one another’s children. If I was seen doing something I shouldn’t be doing, I was promptly disciplined. I was told to stop or my parents would be told. Possibly, if the act was egregious enough, they would rub their two index finger at me and say: “Shame, shame.” And I felt ashamed. It seems today’s parents think shaming irrevocably harms a child’s self-concept. Does it? I wonder.

Hillary Clinton wrote a book titled It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us. Well, it takes a village, but it also takes a mom and dad.

Today, however, the village seemingly can have no say. On Aug. 11, a North Augusta woman was handcuffed, booked and issued a citation of disorderly conduct for using profanity in front of her kids (well, not good, but kids hear much worse on TV) while reportedly telling her husband repeatedly to stop squishing the bread in the family’s cart at a local supermarket. A shopper complained, and police were called.

Now I don’t want my bread squished, and I imagine you don’t want yours squished, either. The supermarket darn sure doesn’t. Seems like the “village” should have reined someone in.

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hoptoad 08/27/14 - 06:40 am
It does not take a village to

It does not take a village to raise your own kids other than your own village of family and friends.

Most children have grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins who should be called upon to help with your children when needed. Even if mom and dad are divorced, both should make an effort to co-parent.

Those friends should include your children's playmates' parents, your neighbors who, along with you, keep a watchful eye on anything unusual going on, and ones you socialize and commiserate with.

The involvement of government in child rearing is clearly getting much too intrusive. Too many parents are afraid to even discipline their children, especially in public. Let's back up before we allow any more governmental "villages" into our homes.

Bizkit 08/27/14 - 09:21 am
If you grew up in the MidWest

If you grew up in the MidWest the village was miles away from your home, you could be home schooled, and you could literally see the village once a month if that much. What moron thinks up this crap-oh Hillary she made up the Obama birth certificate controversy too.

Darby 08/27/14 - 04:31 pm
No, not really....

It doesn't "take a village". At least not in the sense the Hillary C. intended. (Socialism).

What is needed is an education system that will stress family, not national or politically correct values. To include good manners and social decorum and individual responsibility.

There was a time, not that long ago when I would have bitten my tongue before suggesting such a thing, but the growth and reach of government has placed such a heavy financial load on families that it's rare to have someone at home to carry the burden of properly guiding children's behavior.

To that end, we could do with a general population that is more interested in controlling school curriculum than we have now.

Maybe it's just me, but I get the sense that many moms and dads simply throw up their hands and surrender their kids to the system.

That's NOT a good thing.

jimmymac 08/27/14 - 06:30 pm

It takes two dedicated parents to raise a kid. The biggest factor in todays headlines with children involved is it's usually a single mother. The dad if she knows who he is doesn't contribute anything for the welfare of the child and goes his merry way making more troubled children.

corgimom 08/28/14 - 05:52 am
Today, if a neighbor

Today, if a neighbor disciplines a child, the parents want to sue.

Or if a neighbor tells a parent that their child is misbehaving, the parents are offended.

We behaved ourselves, because we knew that everywhere we went, somebody was watching us and would report back to our parents if we did something wrong.

And then not only did you get in trouble for the first thing, you got in trouble for embarrassing your parents.

It's changed, and not for the better.

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