Do kids need a 'village'?

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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