Weeks ago I wrote about the Imprint of an Absent Father and soon will write about the concerns of a Vacant Mother. I don’t have children, but this will be from the perception of being on the outside looking in. I was and am very involved with the raising of my niece as her mom and I lived together the first few years of her life and we have remained close. I have nephews that I don’t get to see as much, but definitely think about anytime I am with them how I am behaving, talking, and others I might have them around. The one thing that comes to mind is the learning and growing of these children is that it does truly take more than mom, dad, grandparents to raise children; I by no means am taking away from those that only have one parent or no living grandparent. It by no means means those children come to less well rounded. Let’s address it from the positive reinforcement that it can bring. I give props to all parents, no matter the situation. It is not a title to be taken lightly and from many I have been it are the best title they will ever carry and the one they are the proudest of.

I was fortunate in the way that I had two parents fully engaged in my upbringing with hearts full of love and monetary support. My parents were both hard workers and my family was very involved, My grandmother and grandfather were a large part of my upbringing We used to gather as a family for birthdays, holidays, graduations, and anything in between that was important to someone else. My aunts have always been down and held their title at the highest level. I was lucky enough to have aunts that made sure they stayed in contact, picked me up from school, had me at times during the summer, and never missed anything major in my life. A grandfather that would cut out articles from the newspaper (yep back in those days people still read the actual morning newspaper) and save them for me to read about a field I wanted to go into. I am and have been truly blessed to have each and every one of these people in my life. My mom was able to work overtime if needed and my dad worked odd hours due to each party in my family that played their part. I don’t mean with attitudes or looking to make a profit from it, but rather just being glad to get extra time with their niece or granddaughter.

I was able to focus on growing up without concerns about food, cloths, and having to work to assist my family. My job was to make good grades and be the best I could be in all activities I was involved in. I was in drill team, a newspaper writer, peer mediation, Student Counselor officer, and a debtor. My other activities were just as important to my parents as they were to me, but enough about me…let’s dive in real quick.

I know so many people that have a great team of people to assist and some vice versa. I’ve always wondered why that was if the parent is attempting to do something positive or just needs a breather. Now days you have grandmothers that don’t want to be called grandmothers. Grandmothers that would rather be in the club, with other people or just not willing to help with their kids kids. I am not speaking of raising your grandchildren fulltime, although all the things you do with and around them do mold them as well. I guess I have always wondered why and how that works if your child is trying to better themselves or provided stability for their family, why aren’t others willing to help.

Single parent or not all parents need family or other people to assist with the raising of the kids. Not just necessarily monetarily always but to help with school pickups, drop offs, extracurricular pickups and drop offs or watching the kids on date night or for the parents to enjoy their hobbies. So many people are out there without family and need others they can call on as well. The kids get an avenue out as well. They enjoy getting to see their family and friends. If you don’t think it matters, it does. I have heard three year olds ask where their family is. I have heard preteens asking why their other grandmother doesn’t call or pick them up… And people think kids won’t notice or figure out the ones that want to be involved. When I am with the little ones (even though some of them are taller than me now J) I take time to talk with them even if it is about boy bands, that I don’t see talent in; it is just about the time. It also just about learning and knowing their interest and what goes on at schools, conversations between them and their friends, and you can learn a lot about what is going on with them by just listening. I know it can be easy to drown them out as they can be little chatter boxes, but it is good to stay actively listening.

Children need love, stability, and guidelines. The best way to do that in my opinion is to provide an area with them knowing prayerfully who God is and who they can trust. Just as it is not only the responsibility of a teacher to teach our kids what they need to know academically and to live responsibly, it is just not on parents either. So the weight of this falls back to all parties involved. If you know your sibling, friends, etc are mistreating their kids, neglecting them, or even just aren’t stable themselves. It is ok to ask questions and offer assistance where you can. You have to find your comfort level in stepping in which will cause many people to instantly become defensive. So be aware and ready if you decide to comment on their parenting style.

So to all my parents out there, I bow to you!!!! I know it isn’t always easy, but know many of us out there hope to be as good of parents as you guys are one day. You were chosen to be in charge of one of God’s greatest creations.

So to my Mom, Dad, Mommu, Daddo, Monica Teague, Nicole Johnson, Delaneo Johnson, Monika Teague, Erica Ray, Candra & Dewayne Bryant, Nikki Boykin, Brandon Boykin, Counselor Web, Shava Echols, LaToya Minor, Meriane Carter, Keon Smith, Mike and Megan Browden, Adrienne Gonzalez, Traci Champion, Andy Brown, MasterPiece, Desmond Patterson, ShaRhonda Caviness, Adrienne Whitman, Raine Daine, Aunt Dot, Shara S, Zandra Sumlin, Char Jeffers, June Bracy Brown, AC Cristales, Delanea Davis, Ramelle Santos, Brandi Mallard… thank you guys for not only taking parent duty seriously but to the aunts and uncles listed above that I know go way beyond their call of duty…. One day if the kids don’t already see it they will be thankful for you 🙂 Anyone I left off, please don’t be offended… These were just the first people to come to mind. I appreciate you all.

3 Replies to “It Takes A Village”

  1. ShaRhonda Caviness 9 years ago

    I always say that my son is the product of many individuals and organizations that want him to succeed. It does indeed take a village and some creative maneuvering to ensure that your child is exposed to those that have the means and resources to support them as well as some brief encounters with those who dont have their best interest at heart so they know the difference. I applaud all parents and pseudo parents who are willing to put in the time and effort to guide the young. I, being a single parent, know that sometimes with all that is going, its just easier to let that kid slide or turn a blind eye to what they are doing just to get a few moments of blissful unaccountability. But even with all those accolades, these parents cant say it was all due to themselves alone. The whole child rearing process is like a participative sport. You have to be active, direct, focused on that end goal even when you’ve only had 2 hours of sleep, its raining, your shoes are busted up, you twisted your ankle, youre down by 20 points and the opposing team is supernaturally unrelenting. Its freaking exhausting and sometimes you need to be benched but that doesn’t take away your MVP status. It just gives you an opportunity refresh, repair and rejuvenate to carry the team another day. Honey, my sons fingers are dripping with series rings and cabinets bursting with trophies that I gladly share with Teammykid. He couldn’t have done it without them and neither could I.

    1. Love it ShaRhonda. Thanks for sharing and giving details… It is because of parents like you that inspired me to write this in the first place 🙂

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