Thursday, October 27, 2011


This is Day 27 of 31 Days of Serving Others Series

It takes a village to raise a child!

So this one may be hard to explain but I am going to give it my best! The other day my son's preschool let out early so we decided to spend some time at the playground. A few of the parents seem to have the same idea. One of the kids was pleading and begging for their dad to pick them up and ring the bell. One of mom's chimed in "oh go ahead I am always in trouble with the principal of the school." The dad laughed and then had this look of maybe I shouldn't do it but oh it is so tempting. My son and another parent's daughter were playing together when the daughter overheard the whole conversation of "ringing the bell." I am not saying ringing the bell is wrong but in this case it is obviously one of the rules at school. Yes, for this particular case it is wrong. I think one of the many reasons is, the bell appears to be one of those old school bells from long ago. Also, I am sure just to prevent the whole craze of "ringing the bell." Sounds like a good rule to me. Anyway, back to the daughter still wanting to ring the bell. Her mom was trying really hard to think of something clever and help her understand that just because so-so's parent lets them do it doesn't mean you get to. The mom had twins under 2 at her hip so it was a challenge. I felt pretty comfortable with this mom so I quickly looked at her daughter, " I think it is one of the rules at school to not ring the bell so for right now it would not the best decision for your mommy to help you ring the bell. Why don't you go back to the play area and rise one of the trucks?" Her mom graciously thanked me. Of course from the other side of the peanut gallery were looks of "kill joy." Really? Adults encouraging other people's kids to go ahead and do something that they KNOW is wrong! Even the parents of the child knew this and still were making jokes about it. I understand it is just a bell. However, it is the principle of the matter here. What are we communicating to 3 and 4 year old's when we blatantly tell them it is okay to cross the line this time? Or even joking about following the rules? Or that it is okay to disrespect authority? Children are not mature enough to know what lines they can and can't cross. This line was an obvious "no-no" but that doesn't mean everyone "gets it." So yes even discipline can be of service. In this case it was let's stick together as a village to help these children learn from right and wrong. Just goes to show you that being a child has nothing to do with age or a number.

So are you helping the village? I know you may be thinking well it is none of my business how people raise their kids. You would be right to a certain degree. When it influences your child in a way you do not approve you have a choice in the situation. I typically choose the "let's leave" or "I'm the parent over you not them." Both of those can work in different scenarios. However, sometimes you have to step in gently and lovingly help. Notice I said gently and lovingly! It isn't a harsh take over or my way is better than your way. You just never know when you might need a little reinforcement.

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