Purposive Rambling

the journey is the reward.

Does it really take a village to raise a child?

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In the news today is a guy who slapped a stranger’s two-year-old child at a Walmart because she wouldn’t stop crying. He spoke cruelly to the mother. He hit the child in the face multiple times. And apparently it was hard enough to cause some redness to the girl’s face. So he was arrested and charged with cruelty to children. I can’t imagine that many people would disagree with the law enforcement’s response to this man. But for me, this raises questions about parenting.

We have this saying that “it takes a village to raise a child.” But do we really believe that? What do we think about adults disciplining other people’s children? Sure, in this particular case, we might call this abuse rather than discipline, but what if we change a few details? What if the man had bent down to the child’s level and firmly told her to calm down and stop crying? What if he had given her one swat on her backside? Many see this as an appropriate response from parents. What about when it’s someone other than the parent? If he had not harmed the child, would the law intervene? Or would he just have an angry mother’s tongue-lashing to deal with?

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Written by Lisa

September 3, 2009 at 4:09 pm

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