It takes a Village to raise a child. We have heard that concept before. The idea of raising children as a whole community by supporting and caring for both the parents and the child, is a thought that is too good to be true. But why? What stops us from reaching out? Supporting each other? Offering our different strengths to each other without conditions?
What's that you say? You will take little Johnny to the park while I get some shopping done? You will support Johnny with his school work because that's your area of strength? You will watch the children with absolute pleasure as my partner and I have a night out together? You will provide a safe, loving and open space for a child that is NOT YOUR OWN? And by virtue of this, be supporting an entire family to be healthy, vital and connected?
Raising children is a massive job and was never meant to be for one person alone. Ask any single- parent how hard the task is and they will tell you, it's beyond overwhelming. When you are exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed and managing many issues and situations all the time, you tend to miss the joy in life. To truly raise a child in love and respect for that child and their family, would be to have a group of people in their lives that gave their time, hands on support, wisdom and know-how to the family. This would allow the family more room to grow and live in a way that felt spacious and forever expanding. The team of Villagers would connect to the child, speak respectfully to the child, be sensitive towards the child, hold the child both physically and metaphorically speaking, in a way that allowed the child to know them selves through the different reflections of those around them.
The Village is composed of many facets. The Villagers are the earthy types, the artistic types, the carers, the students, the elderly and the professionals. All Villagers have a responsibility, a purpose and a place in the raising of our children. Humanity is never alone. We have each other. But do we live like this?Often Beings can feel lonely, if we are not connecting.
Raising children is no picnic in today's society. We have families bringing children into the world feeling isolated and without any support, or when there is support it is based on the needs and identification of other people, namely grandparents and close family that are around them. True support is not spoiling children on the side with sweets and treats whilst parents struggle to hold the children with a healthy diet. True support is not speaking down to a child, or making them small, whilst being 'proud' of their offspring's offspring. True support is not thrusting devices into the hands of tiny tots whilst we repeatedly scroll on our own hand held social world. True support is having a deep connection within ourselves to then be available and open with and for another being.
The child born into today’s family is not a 'new' addition but an old soul returning to be held and loved and respected and known by a team of people willing to care for them and back the parents in their truly aware, unimposing, supportive and loving ways. If this is not occurring, then what are we all doing?
3 ways to support a child as a Villager
Make yourself known. Reach out to those around you. Family members or members of your community. Meet the child or children. Truly connect to the child. See the child as an adult soul. A big being in a little body. Speak to them and communicate with them with respect. Without judgement or arrogance care of the child on behalf of the parents and on behalf of humanity. Do not undermine the parents by spoiling or doting on the child. Truly connect to the parent. What do they need? Rest? Care? Companionship? The needs may be many but you will provide a unique way of support. Bring your flavour to the table. Connecting is easy, when you are you.
How will you support the child and the family? Physically? Mentally? Psychologically? Will you be there to provide a holding quality and heartfelt connection that allows the family space to feel met and truly nurtured and provided for? You may walk with the child. Listen to the child. Support with homework or hobbies. Sometimes it is not the amount of time, but space that is required. OFFER SPACE. The ways of supporting a child and their family are as varied as the children. You may support simply by being a steady rock when times are tough.
Confirm the child and family by celebrating your connection with them all. The Village is responsible for the health and wellbeing of the ALL. If you observe behaviours that are anything less than loving then call them out. Family is not an excuse for abuse and ownership. Family should be about respect and decency, bottomline. Also....Family is not just bloodline. We are all family on this earth. Appreciate the child and don't hold back. That child that you are supporting may have not been appreciated for how wonderful they truly are. Let them know. Let the parents know. Know that within yourself.
As a Villager in a Community or should we say Common Unity, we have a responsibility and that is to be connected, supportive and confirming, first with ourselves and then with each other. Don't hold back. You are needed. Every single day.