Monday, August 17, 2015

Never Underestimate the Power of Your Village

Never underestimate the power of your village.

At our annual Mother's Day gathering this past year, my Mom was playing with Pitter Patter (as per usual), and I was not about to stop her.

When her mom, my Grammy, arrived with my godmother (Nanny), Mom immediately started to show Grammy all of the cool stuff that Pitter Patter knows.

She first started out with the things that I had worked on with her, The ABC's, "what's that letter for", counting, "what sound that animal makes", and then she started into the prayers Pitter Patter knows.

She started with the ones I worked on - The Our Father, The Glory Be, The Sign of the Cross, Grace before Meal, and then she started with one I hadn't worked on: The Hail Mary. I'd been figuring on waiting on that one until she knew the others REALLY well, since I knew it would be a likely source of friction, since Daniel is not Catholic.

I quickly interrupted, thinking that Mom was setting her up for failure - "I haven't practiced that one with her," I said.

"But I have," she said, and my little girl proceeded to say the prayer, perhaps not as clearly as the ones I say most frequently with her, but I understood every word.

A little later on, when the time came to pray before we ate, Pitter Patter proceeded to interrupt her father - who was just beginning to lead prayer - and do it herself! (After all, she knew what she was supposed to say! We did this all the time!)

But I'm glad that my parents are around to assist with forming my kids. That old African saying is definitely true: It takes a village to raise a child.

We've gotten so used to the notion of the nuclear family that we've forgotten that it's a very, very modern notion. It's only in the last couple of generations that people have stopped living close enough to their immediate families to be partially raised by their grandparents. There is a continuity of experience that is gained by a close relationship with those previous generations.

It's important for children to have relationships with other adults that you trust. That will mean that you have a lot of adults that they trust that all tell them the same things about important things like God, faith, the world, and cultural issues that they have to be able to deal with.

Kids to be confident in the Christian worldview, and in order for this to happen, it has to be reinforced in lots of different ways. One of those ways is seeing it lived all around them, by adults they've learned to respect and trust.

In this way, you really do need a village, so make use of yours. And if you don't have one, find one!

No comments:

Post a Comment