We’ve all heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but what exactly does that mean? Yes, one person could raise a child alone with no help, but I don’t think that’s the point.
First of all, parents need help. They need to have someone in their lives that can come in, care for the child, and allow them to take a break. Parenting is exhausting, and breaks are needed. Even a trusted babysitter who comes once a week is a help. More so are the daily help a parent gets. Whether it be a spouse who comes home at night, or a daily caregiver who watches and cares for your child while you are at work. These people are part of your and your child’s village, and without them, things would be so much harder.
Branching out into a wider village, you have your neighbors, teachers, bus drivers, crossing guards, etc. who have an almost daily interaction with your children. They don’t necessarily help you in a literal way, but they do have an impact. These people teach your children to follow rules outside of your home. They teach them about being part of a community and helping one another out. And they also may introduce your child to different interests and hobbies that they may not have been exposed to within your home.
Even further still, you have a village of extended family, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and family friends, who may not see your child every day, but who have a great impact on their lives. These are the people who love your child as you do. They can tell stories of a younger you to your child. They help to set your child straight, but also give them special attention. These are the people you go on big family vacations with, have holiday parties with, and make life-long memories and traditions with.
Your village that helps raise your child is a little about assistance, but it is mostly about interacting with different people. All these interactions help influence and teach your child about the world around them. Every single one of these people will help to shape the person your child becomes. Who is in your village? Who is impacting your child as they grow up?