It Takes A Village

My sister’s father (God rest his soul) told me a long time ago that he has eyes everywhere and people know who I am in relation to him. I shrugged it off. Surely enough, days later, he was able to tell me what park I was in, around what time, and which direction I went when I left. TRUE STORY.

I don’t just hold young, naive, ignorant parents accountable; I don’t just put the weight on the single parent who refuses to mature and realize the gravity of raising a child;

but it’s on the family as well. I watch the young, dumb uncle around the children and the discovered independence of the young aunt. I understand, it was your sibling’s choice to have a child and you do not have DIRECT responsibility for them. But if you have to/ choose to be around them, you need to watch your actions. A child between the ages of 3 and 9 should not

  • know the words to IDFWU
  • know how to use the N word
  • should not know how to gyrate a damn thing
  • scream Worldstar when anything ratchet happens
  • should not be aware of what ratchet happenings are
  • should not be able to curse around you, but not AT you,

and the list goes on.

I know it is common for children to grow up in imperfect households, but it is common sense not to bring adult habits around young children. If Big Sis needs you to watch Jr. while she is out providing, your weed head friends cannot come over that day. Aunt J shouldn’t be watching fight videos or twerk tutorials with Little Missy in her lap while Dad is doing a double. It’s all cute and viral until you have an open ACS/CPS case because your child’s teacher has been cursed at all week and all you can do is say, “I know. He does the same thing at home. That’s just him.” No. It’s just YOU, doing just enough, to just get by.

Poverty, absent parents, lack of resources; these are just some of the things that cause some of our youth to grow up too fast. But filters are not just for coffee and Instagram. Teaching starts in the home. We need to teach our children age appropriate behavior so they know when to avoid something that will mar their character before they have the chance to create it themselves. We can’t protect them from the world, but we can still put a shield in their hand. And every person of influence in the child’s life should be on the same page on how that child is to be raised.

If I hear your 2nd grader talking about popping bottles, or popping off on someone, I just might pop them in their mouth. We need children to be children for as long as possible. And it still takes a village to raise a child.

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