It Really Does Take A Village To Raise A Child – Scary Mommy

It Really Does Take A Village To Raise A Child

I suppose I should explain what the hell I’m talking about before you think I am just some bitch going around telling people off (don’t I wish).

My daughter had an incident with a friend. Every time they would get on the bus, this girl was a complete and total bully to my kid. I tried to let it slide, telling my daughter she needed to stick up for herself. She let me know she was trying. She tried ignoring it and asking her to stop. She even let the bus driver know. But this kid was relentless. My once happy girl seemed to be dreading getting on the bus every day. Not cool. So after a few weeks of letting things work themselves out, I decided enough was enough.

So the next morning, when the girl came knocking on my door, asking if the girls were ready to catch the bus, I told her I needed to talk to her. I stepped outside and stooped down to her level, so we were eye to eye. I told her I knew what she was doing. I asked her if her mom would want to know how mean she was being. The look of fear in her eyes answered me before she could say a word. I spoke very calmly, and I told her that friends don’t treat friends the way she was treating my daughter. She looked embarrassed. She never saw this little talk coming. She apologized to my daughter. It was sincere, and I could see the relief in my daughter’s eyes.

Spare me the “let them work it out” speeches and the “that’s just kids being kids” excuse, and the popular, yet angry “that’s not your place” talk. Because I DON’T CARE. I am gonna put an end to it NOW. Because the more I let it go on, the less I’ll be able to control it later.

Too often people coddle and put their precious little angels inside a bubble so they can be protected from the big, bad, scary world and be excused of any wrongdoing. I’m here to tell you I think it’s bullshit. I think kids need to be told ASAP that their shitty behavior will not be tolerated. I am of the mindset “It takes a village.” Because plain and simple, it does.

Once upon a time it was OK for people to correct kids, whether they were their kids own or not. And I am not talking spanking or hitting. A simple, “No, that isn’t right and you need to stop doing it” is what I mean. If my own offspring are being jackasses and I am nowhere near to correct them, yes, believe it or not, I want you to put them in their place. I am not raising jerks. I’m trying to raise productive and polite members of society. And if that means having someone other than myself telling them what to do, so be it. Nobody in their right mind wants their kid to grow up to be the kind of adult with no manners, no regard for anyone, and a “wanna punch them in the throat” attitude.

This isn’t about parenting someone else’s kid. I don’t want to take your place. Believe me, I have enough kids of my own to worry about. It’s just about helping one another raise well-adjusted, good human beings. And yes, we as parents need to talk to each other. That goes without saying. This isn’t me bullying your kid. I’m just trying to help. Promise.

Word got around about me. Everyone on the bus, and who knows where else, heard all about me stepping in. Needless to say, that girl is now beyond polite and my daughter says everyone is being incredibly friendly and the snarkiness is gone. Would I do it again? Absolutely. And I give permission to any other parent who might ever witness one of my children acting up to confront them (with patience and a calm voice of course). I can’t be everywhere all the time. I look to other people for help.

The idea of everyone helping each other with the raising of a child may seem odd to some. Maybe it seems normal to others. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to try. In the end, we are all doing our best. And sometimes we need to get by with a little help from our friends (and family, neighbors, etc). Our tribe. Our village.