Friday, April 20, 2012

The Village Idiot Is Missing

I read a blog whose author said it takes a village to raise a child. THAT opinion is so far from my own that I clicked out, never to return. I’m of the adage that it takes a loving, supportive FAMILY to raise a child. The village is filled with quite a few... um... people and quite frankly I’d strap on cement shoes if I had them anywhere near my kids, let alone giving them advice or helping raise them. I want my children growing up with my values and beliefs and from there to form their own—NOT the villagers’. Thank you very much.

 Well, I stumbled upon another blog where the author takes her four year old and fifteen month old out and is all bent out of shape because the villagers aren’t helping her. Her four year old is rambunctious (as most four year old boys are wont to be) in restaurants, knocking over high chairs and what not, and this mother wants to know why no one will help her. She’s actually ticked! Stating that the other patrons SHOULD stop him AND pick up the items he has knocked over! Um excuse me, YOU had the child, it’s YOUR responsibility to wrangle him, NOT the villagers. If you can’t, don’t go out in public.

 Now before anyone gets in an uproar and sends me hate mail for being insensitive, let me tell you, I’m not. My youngest son, Austin, turned into the demon spawn at three weeks old. It was ten o’clock at night at my mom’s retirement party and he started crying, and he cried, and cried, and cried and he did it for a year. He also didn’t sleep straight through the night until he was almost FOUR years old! He would tell me, My eyes aren’t tired Mommy. But MINE were! Yet, I couldn’t go to sleep because I had to ensure HIS safety. It wasn’t the village’s duty, it was MINE!

 I’ll never forget going to the pediatrician and telling her about Austin and how he cried and wouldn’t sleep. She said he had colic, or at least that’s what they called it in 1997. Years ago, she said, they called it fretful baby. There wasn’t anything wrong with him. As a matter of fact, she told me, he was FINE and studies actually showed that colicky babies turned out to be type A personalities and quite successful. So she wasn’t worried about him; she was worried about my husband, my older son and me. We were stressed and if we needed anything, we could call her. What an awesome doctor! She resigned from the practice to work as an emergency room Pediatrician (I teased Austin it was HIS fault. lol.).

 Austin will be fifteen on May 31st and I’d be lying if I said the years have been easy. He can still be a handful. However, his doctor was right. He’s fine and he’s a straight A student. I’m fairly certain if he continues on his current path that he’ll also be successful.

 It was startling, because I actually had people who suggested I put Austin on Ritalin when he was younger. In all honesty, I wanted to pinch their heads off. Yes, pills would’ve calmed him down and made my life easier, but they would’ve hindered him. Austin is a very creative child who is physically AND mentally dynamic. Medication would’ve changed him. I wasn’t willing to take that chance just to get a few extra hours of sleep.

Don’t misunderstand. There are children who NEED medication because they can’t function without it. Austin was able to function with the extra patience, guidance and structure that we, his family, provided.

 I never once looked to the village or villagers to raise Austin, or his older brother, and I don’t intend to for the remaining three years of Austins high school years. Hes my responsibility; he’s also my pride and joy.

It deserves repeating. It doesnt take a village. It takes supportive, loving, selfless parentsa devoted familyto raise a productive member of society. A child should never be fluffed off to the villagers. Keep him tucked under the protective wing of your family for as long as you possibly canas most parents know, they grow up much too fast in this crazy world.


  1. *standing ovation*!!! I couldn't agree more! I'm by no means a model parent, but there are most certainly frustrations in the exposure my boys have outside the home. I do my best to be ever-vigilant of their sensitivities, behavior, manners and mannerisms. Ultimately, they are the product of me and my actions - and I take that responsibility quite seriously.
    I can feel the love you have for your children and it is marvelous and to be celebrated!!

    1. Annie, You're spot on that it's ultimately "our" responsibility in how our children turn out and people who blame the "system" really need a reality check.

      Yes I love my sons with all my heart, as you love yours, and while I'm not the "model parent" either, I do my very best. I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong and I pat myself on the back when I do something right. It's a hard job, but it's the only one I'll ever love above all else!

  2. APPLAUDING LOUDLY! I totally agree with you on this! Well Said!

    1. Mrs. C, thank you so much. I'm quite out spoken when it comes to children. Well, I'm out spoken in general, but really out spoken when children are involved!

  3. Bravo, excellent points!

  4. May I join in with your previous readers and say....

    *standing ovation*

    *applauding loudly*

    BRAVA, Pamela!!!!!! You NAILED this, girl! And honestly, I don't think it's being insensitive at all because your brought up some very valid and intelligent points.

    As you know, I'm not a parent so I can't speak as one. But I do know that if I was one, I would not expect the 'villagers' to help me raise them. It amazes me the stuff I see going on in public with how parents handle their children. Some of them just ignore their behavior, while others SCREAM and CURSE at them - in PUBLIC!!!

    SO glad to hear you found a good Pediatrician when it came to Austin. I agree, drugs are not always the way to go because they can hinder a child.

    Again, great post! You should write a BOOK!

    Have a faaaabulous weekend, dear friend!


    1. Ron, thank you.

      And I think you'd make one heck of a great DAD!

      That "book" thing is twirling around my head. I have two done, just short ones, and I really need to get them to a publisher, and I think a longer one is due ;-)

  5. True story: When Brit had the 20 week "find out pink or blue" sonogram, her Dad, her Sister and myself all accompanied her as there was no husband/boyfriend/baby daddy. The xray tech came to the waiting room to get the expectant Mommy and looked a tad suprised to find an entourage. My older daughter stuck her hand out to shake and said "Hi, we're the village, nice to meet you"...cracked me up. That was the day we found out our Peanut was an Avery!

    1. Grammy, Peanut is so lucky to have such a loving, supportive family! And that's what is all about!!

      Funny story, village indeed! ;-)

  6. You are right on target here Pamela! If our children ever acted up in a restaurant, we would not make any of the other guests suffer. They were paying good money to eat out, why should anyone listen to a ranting child? I never understood those parents who let their children wail and wail.

    I love the statement "My eyes aren't sleepy!" I'm sure you wanted to strangle him them. But it sure is cute!

    1. Bill, I feel the same way about "ranting" kids in restaurants. There were so many times we had to get our food "to go" because our kids just wouldn't settle down and we didn't want to disturb the other patrons. Too bad other parents aren't as considerate.

      Aw yes, his eyes weren't sleepy--he was so cute I could've eaten him up and many times I wish I had!! ;-)


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