Of the village raising a child

When many people take responsibility together

Article was written on 31.08.2020 by Philipp.

Parents often have different faces. Some are very young themselves and others already have several years of life experience. In many situations, however, they are brothers and sisters, grandma and grandpa or the great-aunt. Many people take on "parenting tasks" in everyday life, because often the secure framework we offer our children is much larger than we thought. (safe framework).

Of the village raising a child

When I was born, my parents were very young. They both worked all day. As it was perhaps very common in a village about 30 years ago, I therefore spent most of the time with my grandparents. They had a garden and a big house and my mother could pick me up there in the afternoon.

Grandma ran with me in the garden and with grandpa I was in the workshop

My grandmother herself was still mobile enough to run after me and my grandfather took me to his workshop. My uncle walked with me to the kindergarten and if I had to leave earlier, my grandmother got a phone call.

Conclusion: For me today it is self-evident that many people take responsibility for a child in different situations.

  • This can be lunch once a week
  • This is the visit to the kindergarten
  • This is a brief conversation with the staff there

At the daycare center the big brother picks up his sister

Even though I read a lot about "Mamas" and "Papas" now in this difficult situation since the Corona lockdown, I know that many children are just as well off as I am. Many are represented in life by people other than their parents.

A friend told me from her time as a kindergarten teacher that older siblings regularly pick up the younger children. They are the ones who keep themselves informed about the events of the day and are in contact with the staff. In this way they relieve the parents.

Especially if children have a history of migration, it is possible that people in their environment may have different levels of proficiency in the local language. So those who feel more comfortable speaking the language have a conversation with the teacher as an example.

Everyone demonstrates responsibility when they are needed. Even the grandmother, who is present at her grandson's kindergarten parents' evening.

Every day we encounter a colourful mixture of life situations

My colleague Steffi here from the parents' hotline team has therefore written the appropriate saying directly into her portrait: "It takes a whole village to raise a child For someone like me, who comes from a village, this is exactly the reality. But also in another environment (a big city for example) there is the "village" that protects us in our childhood: It's those who care.

Family households are not simply "mommy-daddy's child", but are a colourful mixture of life situations. Many are passionate about their partner's biological children. Such a thing is often referred to as a "patchwork family", but it is not so special that it necessarily needs its own word. It is just another version of the village we grow up with.

Together we take responsibility for the children

So education so often consists of very different moments when children can trust someone. You also take responsibility in this situation - and that is not so easy.

  • Maybe as an uncle, you get looked at sideways on the way to kindergarten sometimes?
  • Maybe it means that parents are actually responsible for this?
  • Perhaps the expression on the face of the other person shows: Where is his mum?

Conclusion: You don't need to be persuaded, because in the end you know the circumstances best: everyday life is much more complicated than any pictures can show. No mum is a "superhero" and fathers can't do "everything".

"We're stronger together." This phrase is self-evident.


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