“It Takes A Village”

by Debbie Twomey on May 30, 2013

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 "It takes a village to raise a child." The saying and its attribution as an "African" proverb were in circulation before it was adopted by Hilary Clinton as the source for the title of her book. Indeed, the saying previously provided the source for the title of a children's book entitled It Takes a Village by Jane Cowen-Fletcher, published in 1994. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Takes_a_Village)

There are many debates as to whether this statement is accurate. Bob Dole (1994) argued that it takes “a family to raise a child.” I certainly understand what he is trying to convey but family dynamics have changed. However much you agree or disagree, the nuclear family has changed.

Even with a traditional family, I believe it still takes a village to raise a child. A village is a community and a neighborhood where the goal is protection and nurturing of our children. There is a sense of security when parents live in a neighborhood where they are all friends and know one another and their children.

When I was younger, I am not going to say there were no crimes or predators. There were and too many times it was a neighbor or relative you just would not expect it to be. But, more often than not, we lived on streets where everyone knew everyone and there was safety in numbers. If one Mom was working there would most likely be your friend’s Mom who was home and helping keep track of all the kids.

Today, I see some of this but not the degree there once was 30 years ago. I do not quite know all the reasons why, people moving more, so much dysfunction in families (divorce, money problems, lack of empathy etc) but I do see less of it today than there was when I was a child.

But, it does exist. I know this for a fact because my neighborhood is one such place. I live on a small street and almost all of the houses have people who I consider to be friends. They know my child and now they know my granddaughter.

I can count on them in a time of crisis just as much as time of camaraderie. We watch out for one another and we care about each other’s homes and property. If something seems out of the ordinary in this neighborhood, we alert one another so there is a tremendous sense of security for our most precious commodity—our children.

This is a village that is determined to insure the children who live here grow with a deep sense of security and community.

I was reminded of our village this past Memorial Day. I went to a picnic with my neighbors Jay and Mary and our 3 kids. There were many children at this picnic and ours were thrilled to be part of such a fun group.

Josh (theirs) is 3 and McKenna (mine) is 20 months which means we could not leave them unattended. We are such a tight village that it was already understood that the 3 adults would take shifts in eating, visiting and watching the kids.

I would go with the kids while Jay and Mary ate. Then we would just change positions so that all 3 of us could have a good time and know the kids were being monitored. It is that way at home too. Whenever one of us needs a break or assistance the others are there for them. And between the 3 of us, baby Sarah Grace (6 weeks) was fed, changed and held and one very content little baby.

I am a single parent household as I was when I raised my adoptive daughter. I have been fortunate enough to live in 3 different neighborhoods where I had good friends that could help and also share in the love of my daughter.

Today, this is the best village I could ever imagine for my granddaughter. It reminds me that even in a two parent home, there is still a need for community and extended family—for all children.




"I have dedicated my life to the care and welfare of children. I feel privileged to share what I have learned with you. I am also committed to continuously learning.iStock_000004213744XSmall  I will keep informed of the latest information in parenting children from newborns to teens and pass it on to all of you.”   I will also use that same passion to help you create a dynasty generate increases in your business with straightforward and specialized media managing skills that guarantee your connection and scope will grow. Keep up to date reading our posts and discover valuable insights that can make parenting and succeeding in the business of the blogger– the most exciting adventure. (Debbie Twomey)
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