Monday, August 20, 2012

Whole Village

     I hope I do not bore you today with some philosophizing about raising children. I have no concrete suggestions in today’s column, just some musings about how the future of today’s children is in our hands. These musings come from a poem I just read and was very moved by called Through This School by Joseph Robert Mills.
     First and most importantly, the future of today’s children is in the hands of the parents, beginning with genetics and reaching into how parents impart their values to their children by their own behavior.
     When things go wrong, most of the blame goes to these parents. However, one must step back and take into account how they were raised and who their parents are. One also must take into account the society in which the children are being raised. When parents have all they can do to put food on the table and not lose their homes, the outcome for the children is not good.
     So we look to the society the children live in, the local communities, local schools, churches and organizations, but also the policies of the states and nation we live in and beyond that, the world with the challenges faced by global warming and fighting between nations.
The poem I mentioned at the beginning of the column considers the speech given to parents by school principals, “Through this school comes our future, senators, mayors, doctors, and lawyers….He doesn’t mention through the school also comes future plumbers, nurses, and custodians, and there’s not a word about the future thieves, deadbeats, and arsonists, or that some of the ones who go through do so with difficulty, blocking the way like kidney stones until they’re painfully passed.”
I believe it does take a whole village (with every villager taking responsibility) to raise a child.

Brown Bear
Brown Bear
What do you see?
I see Robert looking at me.

Robert, Robert
What do you see?

Adapted from the book by Eric Carle.  This game takes a group in which most children are social enough to either point or say a child’s name.

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