“It takes a village to raise a child.”
No one is sure who coined the phrase, but it received considerable publicity with the release of Hillary Clinton’s 1995 book titled It Takes a Village. The phrase has its roots in African culture that dates back several centuries. Nearly 30 years after Hillary Clinton shined the spotlight on the new family paradigm enveloping the United States, “It takes a village to raise a child” has taken on a slightly different meaning.
The Transformation of the Village
It takes a village represents a type of child therapy that supports kids during their journeys into adulthood. Back in 1995, the village consisted of a broad network of support groups, from teachers to daycare center workers. As we move forward into 2022, the village has narrowed in scope a bit. The modified family support paradigm focuses more on the support provided by close family members, such as aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Although the broader network of support remains, the emphasis on support is now an important part of family therapy.
Why the Village Matters
The growth in single-parent households combined with households that include both parents working makes the village an influential factor in the development of a child. Parents cannot be everywhere at all times, which places part of the responsibility for child support on the broad shoulders of the village. As we are about to see, the importance of having a village to support your family has a positive impact on children, parents, and members of the village.
Strong Family Equals Strong Kids
In 2001, The New York Times released a groundbreaking report that building a strong, cohesive family unit leads to the development of resiliency in children. The report went on to discuss how extended family members can help parents build the strong level of support children need to develop resiliency. One of the most impactful parts of the article said, “Children who have the most self-confidence have what researchers call a strong ‘intergenerational self.’
In other words, children from strong families know they belong to something much bigger than themselves.
Learn How to Build Relationships
Expanding the family to include members of the village introduces children to a wider variety of people that possess different personalities, as well as offer different cultural experiences. When a child spends time with friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and even neighbors, they develop skills that help them interact with a diverse community.
Better Ideas, Different Skills
Individual child therapy can involve implementing the ideas presented by members of the village. Maybe a parent does not know how to control frequent tantrums or know when to determine whether a child is sick. Listening to members of the village can offer solutions that are not found at home. Expanding your family to include relatives and influencers in the community also introduces your child to different skillsets.
Above all, a village creates a sense of community, which welcomes kids to feel a part of a team.