parents would not feel so alone and outnumbered by their children.
Once upon a time, society worked a whole lot different. People took on the attitude that it takes a village to raise a child. That means that if a child was misbehaving in public it was likely that an adult that knew the child’s family would correct that child. Then they would tell the child’s family who would also correct the child. Even complete strangers would step up and tell children to straighten up. But now days, if a stranger corrects a child, they are looked down upon; even yelled at by the child’s parents for stepping in. When did things change? And more importantly, WHY?
Let me give you an example. When I was dating an individual that came from a large family (before I had children of my own) we went to Lake Powell with his family. We attempted to fit his parents, his 5 siblings, and all their children on one house boat. It was a very fun trip but can you say overcrowded? Luckily we took a tent to sleep on shore. One evening after motoring around the lake all day, we pulled up to shore to dock for the evening so that those with tents could get their beds set up.
Now, docking a large house boat can be a tedious task. It takes concentration and a lot of coordination between the driver and others around the boat to get the ropes out, anchor out and placed, and ropes tied off to it properly.
It can also be dangerous if you are not careful.
On this evening, there were three young boys who wanted to fish but were told “No” by their grandfather. You see, he was busy trying to get the boat anchored and parked in a way that those going to shore did not have to step in the water if they did not want to. Upset to be told “No” they complained to their mother who quickly reversed their grandfather’s decision. Coming from a family that does not tolerate a parent overriding another adult without asking why they made the decision they did, I stepped in and explained the situation to the mother. Expecting her to see the wisdom her father-in-law demonstrated by telling them “no” in the first place, I was dumb founded when she told me to stay out of it because she was their mother and I had no right butting in. I had to step away from the situation completely in order to refrain from making an enemy out of this women.
Over the years, I have upset plenty of parents by butting in and telling children to stop doing something they shouldn’t. Some of these parents have been my friends but many have not. I can tell you this, I would much rather make an enemy of a friend for stepping in when they think I shouldn’t have than see a child get hurt because I saw them doing something they should not have been doing. So the next time you see a child or young teenager doing something they shouldn't, speak up and help me bring back the village to help keep our children safe.