Sex & Life
Sex & Life July 17, 2017
It's on all of us.
“It takes a village,” is the old saying; it takes a tough-love-style community for raising kids.
Parents may try their best, but it just can’t be done alone. And parenting shouldn’t be offended parents against an insensitive world; it should be a helpful world working with accepting parents to provide better growth for the younger generation. There are two specific pieces in the news that prove village interference was the right call.
According to the Edinburgh News, singer Susan Boyle, who also happens to have Asperger’s, was harassed and abused by a group of teenagers. They threw objects like glass bottles and papers that they lit on fire and shouted racist remarks at her, as well as calling her an “old, ugly bitch.”
It was absolutely terrible and community members rose to her defense, alerting the police and supporting her through the trauma. Instead of observing and hoping the kids’ parents would take care of the situation, they stepped in, saving Boyle and disciplining the teens.
Another instance is told by a woman, Mary Katherine Backstorm, in a viral video recounting a trip to Target. She noticed a group of kids making fun of and taking pictures of an employee who suffered a major accident, displaying cranial injuries (staples, drooping eye, disfigurement, etc.). She followed the children outside, confronted their cruel behavior and waited with them for their mother to arrive to let her know what they did.
The mother responded well, accepting the truth and preparing to disciple the children afterward. In her video, Backstorm praised the mom for acting kindly. Backstorm acknowledged that the woman was a great mom, not taking the news as criticism on her parenting skills, but as “a village” who could help straighten out the kids.
Backstorm also noted in the video that she hopes if any of her kids “act like buttholes in a Target” that others will stand up and teach them a lesson.
This reminds me of a lesson I learned in a linguistics class once, about children first learning a language and using improper grammar, like saying “holded” instead of “held.” No matter how much parents try to teach the child standard grammar, it’s more effective sending the child out to school to talk with slightly older children who will teach them (or honestly, make fun of them) so they know they’ve made mistakes and correct them.
If you’re an adult, don’t make fun of children’s grammar: that’s bullying. But correction from an outsider’s perspective could shed a new light on the child’s worldview.
Without the “village,” Susan Boyle and the Target employee would still be harassed, none of the youths would have such powerful lessons on respect, and linguistics would be completely irrelevant.
So, sometimes it’s a good thing for someone else to step in. Maybe we do need that “village.”
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