of single moms, married moms, dads of all kinds–foster, adopted, step, biological and honorary to raise our children. Add to that list important figures like aunts, uncles, grandparents, godparents, and mentors (single or married). And if I were to include all the other adults who have cared for and loved on my kids throughout the years, then I would have to acknowledge their wonderful teachers, sports coaches, den and troop leaders, Sunday school volunteers, neighbors, and their friends’ parents.
Wow, what an amazing web of interconnectedness that forms a young child’s life!
I love our vibrant local community! There are so many adults here who volunteer their precious time, hard earned money and resources to contribute to the well being of my children while I go to work to help improve other people’s mental health. It all comes back around. I love the South, and I love America where the spirit of volunteerism, generosity, and empathy is alive and well.
How can you be a part of this thriving community, you ask? First, start with those closest to you–any spouse you may have. Treat your wife or husband real special, with loving concern, generosity of spirit, and sacrificial devotions. If you share a child with an ex, then seek to co-parent harmoniously for your sake and your child’s sake. From a strong, committed partnership comes solid parenting based on trust and mutual respect. Yet, your kids will not be obedient or cooperative all the time just as your spouse is not always easy to live with. There will be hair raising moments. Accept them as part of the journey of growth.
Rugged individualism right alongside peace, harmony, and order. Grownups taking care of the young. Adult children taking care of the elderly. Different people from unique backgrounds finding common ground and unity in raising children together. Don’t get me wrong, I want my kids to beat yours in academics, sports, or any other competitive activity. But I will encourage your kid if s/he looks down, just like I’m working hard to encourage mine all the time. They will be our future leaders in the real world of cut throat business and vicious politics. This is why we all need to try our best to make sense of what seem to be competing interests, dualing priorities, and conflicting values –so that we can prepare the children.
Parents of all types can inspire kids with joy, love, and peace by modeling these virtues in their adult relationships. The kids are learning from everyone in their lives. They do as we do, say as we say. It takes a village made up of families made up of conscientious parents.
What about you–what is your local community like? If you are proud to be associated with your region, then savor those precious moments as you marvel on the mystery of interconnectedness. If you would like to live in the community I just described, then find ways for starting one, but begin at home.