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It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child
Everybody has heard the quote "it takes a village to raise a child", right?  Well, normally, when I hear that I immediately think about my friends who I know have had rough situations with families and have relied on grandparents, friends, friends' parents, etc.  But after some more thought, I realized that this applies to me more than I might have originally realized!  Honestly, family problems haven't been an issue for me personally.  I really have been seriously blessed in the parents department.  Even though my parents and I may not have always gotten along perfectly, (I mean, I was, at one time, an angsty teenage girl who didn't always love my mother's dating advice or my dad's curfews). after growing up a little I can look back and say that I am so grateful for my parents' advice and rules and that they have truly been my best teachers throughout the years. In my earlier years my mom stayed at home with her kids and taught us the value of hard work (gotta love chores!).  Now that her kids are older she is still the best example of working hard by going back to school to get her degree in what she loves and working hard to do that!  My dad is a very spiritual man and has helped me to develop my own beliefs, as well as the ability to think logically and problem solve. So how does "it takes a village to raise a child" apply to me if I had great parents who taught me so much of what I know?  Well, there have also been a number of other people in my life that have taught me valuable lessons.  For example, my freshman year of high school I had a drama teacher that helped me see my self-worth and taught me to chase my dreams.  That confidence she gave me was the springboard I needed which started my whole 'I'm-a-teenager-and-I-am-figuring-myself-out' journey.  My junior and senior year of high school I was involved in student council and the high school principal, who was over the student council, taught me how to be a good leader.  He taught me that to be a good leader you should be interested and invested in the lives of those you have responsibility over.  Take interests in their lives because you work for them.  He also helped us as a council learn to set achievable goals (we were determined to get our school on the Ellen Show - didn't happen, if you're wondering! :P ).  These are just a few examples of important people in my life that had a profound impact on my growth as a person. So seriously, it really does take a village to raise a child.  You may be the best parent in the world and your kids are still going to learn things from other people, and that's okay!  We all have different strengths and weaknesses, which is great because we can lean on each other to fill the gaps. Your children will learn from your strengths, your weaknesses, other's strengths, and other's weaknesses. You see, being a parent is stressful. You are responsible for this little body running around the house, terrorizing the family dog with their all natural diaper waving in the air like a war flag! That's when you need to let the village come in - let them give you two seconds (or if you have really amazing parents, two days) to breath. You need to breath! You need a break, and your children need to get a chance to learn on their own as well. It's wonderful for children to experience lots of people's perspectives on the world.  This way young ones learn to see things in different lights, which helps them develop their own opinions and gain understanding of the world around them. I know that even between just my grandparents and my parents I learned a whole lot of different perspectives - which taught me how to look at the world through someone else's eyes. Another great thing about exposure to lots of people and ideas is that kids social skills are sharpened!  The more situations you can place children (or teenagers) in the more they can learn to handle things appropriately.  Whenever something happened that caused me to not know how to respond or what to do with myself, I'd handle it the best I could and then talk to a trusted adult afterward, usually my parents or my friend's parents.  They'd tell me what I did well or what I could've done better and because of  those experiences I'd be better equipped to handle a similar situation in the future. I was definitely raised with a 'It takes a village to raise a child' mentality and I can see how it has blessed my life.  I was able to find myself, learn how to handle situations, and realize that the world is full of different views!  So let your kids have a little space.  Let them learn from different people and different experiences.  They will always see their parents as their main teachers of life lessons, but it's okay to share the responsibility.  And remember, you're a better teacher than you think you are! 'Till next time! ♥ Alexa
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