Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It Takes a Village

It is said that it takes a village to raise children. But it appears some of the villagers must be asleep or on vacation. As a divorced mother of four, I struggle daily to make sure when my children leave my watchful eyes that they act like they have home training. Some days they act like it, most days they don’t. But that doesn’t stop me from constantly staying on top of my mommy duties. I must admit that it gets frustrating competing with the media, peers and the state of society as a whole, but I refuse to give up my post. I have successfully raised my two eldest, ages twenty-one and eighteen. My daughter left the nest at the age of twenty and has held a job since the tender age of fifteen. My eldest son has worked odd jobs since the age of thirteen and recently acquired a steady job at the age of eighteen. He is even researching stock options. My two youngest boys, ages eleven and 9 are a whole other beast. Just trying to get them to keep their room clean and learn in an environment that is full of distractions is my biggest challenge with them right now. But past experience has taught me that I can raise my children without the help of the villagers. I have and will. I will not give up my post.

Single and coupled parents alike, I implore you to not give up on our children. “I can’t do a thing with my son”, some of you may have said. Others of you may have uttered, “My daughter hates me; I can’t get through to her”. Just don’t give up. Some of us might have been rebellious, remember? I sure remember my days of rebellion and guess what? My parents knew that it was theirs as well as some of the villagers’ duty to keep us in line. This was when it was okay for a parent to use some good old fashioned corporal punishment, of course. But still they never gave up on us. We owe it to our children to constantly stay on them no matter what. Communication is the key. I’m talking about from birth on. I know when there is something wrong with each of my children. I know them very well. They were raised to tell me everything. But of course, some things I’ve had to pull out of them. All I’m saying is our children need us more now than ever. Don’t give up your post. The villagers may be asleep, but we as parents should all sleep with one eye open at all times.

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