Saturday, July 4, 2015

Thoughts on the Village and the Child

There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child.

This got me thinking.... (a dangerous pastime, I know)

In our society, it certainly seems to take a village to raise a child. From the moment of birth (conception, really) we have industries devoted to the care and keeping of the child. Without even considering the obvious ones, like prenatal care, daycare, and schools, think about the many ways our children are influenced by their village. Childproof devices, television shows and videos geared toward the youngest, toys, books, more toys, clothing, electronics, youth sports, dance classes, etc. all court the child and parents with promises of creating a superyouth who is smarter, stronger, and more stylish than his or her peers.

I think of all that has risen up from schools. Learning centers, curricula, textbooks, teaching supplies, and tests are all offered by separate companies to supplement the child's education. Stores have Back-to-School sales now before classes end in the spring.

Then there is government. How many laws do we create because it's "for the kids?" How much money do we hand over to educational systems "for the kids?" Is there anything we wouldn't do "for the kids?"

It appears to me that it takes a child to raise a village.

I, myself, have always benefited from kids. I entertained at children's parties and events. I worked as a teacher's aide in public schools. I taught circus arts at afterschool and summer camp programs. Even now, I benefit by working in a children's library.

I wonder how our village would survive without the child? Because I think the child would survive fine without all of the attention.

3 comments:

Inner Elder said...

Love your very wise comments. It would be nice if all the educational industries and companies that benefit from "serving" children remember that the child is the reason they exist. Love, Mom

Susan Gaissert said...

Brava! Great post. By being separate from the school world, it is possible to see how much of society revolves around it and how it just keeps expanding. For example, when you went to college, did you buy a comforter set and a matching trash bin for your dorm room? I'll bet not. Did you take expensive courses to prepare for your SAT? I'll bet not. And somehow you survived. Thanks for this post!

jugglingpaynes said...

Thank you both for your comments. I often wonder if our society has taken for granted that businesses must make a profit off of our education system. I don't see how we can reform a system that is so tangled in corporate bottom lines.

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