Growing up, I would always here angry parents say “it takes a village to raise a child,” essentially when they wanted to bitch at someone else’s child for something they deemed unacceptable, and always hearing this in a negative manner made me despise this saying. To put it simply, these parents really just wanted to be assholes to other kids like they are to their own, but “it takes a village” is so much bigger than that.
It wasn’t until I got a little older that I realized there is a lot of love and positivity lacking in households and even daily life. You see a lot of kids that aren’t able to be themselves around their parents, or really even express themselves, good or bad, around their parents and that’s so damn worrisome. We must allow kids to be kids, make mistakes, see the repercussions, but at the end of the day, still know they’re loved and valued. We must embrace these children and be the right village there to love and guide them. It is way too easy to get mad and punish children, but what’s not easy, is to constructively love these children, all while guiding them through life. At no point should children or the youth feel like love is conditional. Unfortunately, in many homes, that love is extremely conditional and that is so detrimental to children.
In life, we are all going to make mistakes, and the more we realize that, the more effectively we are able to grow, love, and accept accountability. If love is revoked the second our children makes a mistake, they are way more prone to lie and cover up their mistakes. When these mistakes are covered up and ran from, our children will never accept accountability for the mistake, nor analyze how to minimize it happening in the future. This is a cycle that has the potential to hinder our youth all throughout their future. But none of us are flawless.
We all let anger get the best of us sometimes, and don’t handle situations perfectly immediately. Within the right village, there are other individuals that our children respect and feel loved by that can assure them the love is still there, all while explaining that we can all get caught up in emotions, but the love is still there. Even if the parents handle a situation perfectly, it’s not always the easiest for anyone to tell their parents everything, which is another circumstance in which our children and youth can turn to another member of our right village, and truly confide in them.
This goes both ways though. We also must be these village members for everyone in our village. To truly progress as a society, we must stand with open arms to the youth of our village and hear them out, love them unconditionally, and guide them when they need. Hear them out, let them talk, and remind them constantly that there are people here who love them. Understand that their thoughts and feelings are valid. They are young, but they are intelligent. They form thoughts, but sometimes may not be able to factor in everything. It’s not our job to change their minds or tell them what to do, but rather to offer up other angles. Let them know there are other options and angles. Just provoke thought and love with open arms. You never realize how far love truly goes…
Now let’s go out everyday with the intention of being there for those around us. Let’s not only love, but listen, guide, and affirm. Let’s let the youth know that they are valuable, worthy, and capable. That they are amazing and loved…
I truly hope you found this piece eye opening, or at least thought provoking! If you have any questions or concerns, comment below! I’m more than happy to talk!