It Takes a Village
It takes a village to raise a child. That’s what they say.
And those of us with little ones running out the house, know the truth in that saying.
Children are naturally curious. They like to explore, to copy the world around them, and they want to learn all the time. Which means they’ll find teachers in everyone and everything around them.
The primary adults caring for a child’s upbringing are, of course, the parents. Parents are role models. But, what would it look like if the child is exposed to other positive and varied role models, examples, and behaviors that children should see and experience.
That’s where the village comes in, with its different personalities, its many talents, and its many mentoring and caring relationships that helped raise children.
With the village gone from our modern society, however, our children often grow up in insularity often without much influence from anyone outside the nuclear family. It’s up to us, their parents and loving family members, to offer modern kids the right village of role models that help them grow into confidence and positive individuals. The helps our children to be well balance adults more able to understand and appreciate human differences.
Finding Your Own Village
Close Family & Friends
If you have close family and friends living nearby, make it a point to spend time with them. Your children will not only learn by interacting with these adults (and even older children), they will also learn from watching you interact with them. Seeing how you, their primary role model, behave with friends and family will teach them the basics of respect and friendship that they will carry into their own lives.
Teachers often become role models for children. But not all the teachers will have the same impact in the life and development of your child. If your girl expresses particular fondness for a teacher, encourage her to talk about the reasons she likes that teacher. Is it her kindness, her wisdom, or her humor that make the teacher likeable? Help your children understand the qualities they admire in a particular teacher and help them pick up the behaviors or habits that make those people good role models to imitate.
Your child may develop a fondness for a celebrity, a singer, a character in a book she reads, or a hero in a story. My daughter, Fiona, found a book in her school’s library about Terry Fox, a Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist who fought for raising cancer awareness in the early 80s.
Though his story and life is beyond her comprehension, we used the book to talk about Terry as a “hero,” describing him as a kind person who helped many people including children. Fiona will never meet Terry, of course, but Terry’s spirit and accomplishments make part of the “village” of positive influences that’s helping raise her.
Who’s in Your Village?
You don’t have to go back to the village to find your village. We all have people around us that can act as positive role models for our children.
And we owe it to our girls to find the best village that will raise them right.
Who’s in your village? Do you have any friends, family members, or teachers who’ve become positive role models or mentors for your girl?
Or, how have you created your own “village” of caring adults around your family?
Share with us #fioladreams and let’s make our Fiola village stronger!
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