Collective Parenting: A Panacea for A Better Society
“It takes a village to raise a child” –African proverb.
A better community is what you and I both hoped for. Despite everyone’s hope, most societies are still far from what we could call ideal. The current situation in the world brings the definition of society, according to oxford languages, which is a set of people living in a more or less ordered community, to life. The emphasis is on the “more or less” order of the community. Perhaps, less would have been a better fit for the present-day world.
Hope for a better community in itself is not enough to make society a better place. You and I must consciously plan to make society a better one through good parenting. Parenting is not exclusive to a biological relationship. It is much more than that. It includes the promotion and the support of the emotional, physical, intellectual, and social development of children from their early years to maturity. These children are not only the leaders of tomorrow but they are also the followers of today and tomorrow. They are the society of tomorrow, so if they are better, you would have a better society.
Effective parenting requires input from both the biological parent of the child as well as the society. Society has been playing a major role in the shaping of the children’s character, behavior and upbringing are immense. The point of the Collective Parent is intended at assisting biological parents in their development and the discovery of their wholesome and dynamic parts. It originates from the principle that turning out to be a good parent is an extensive, unhurried procedure of developing the abilities needed to care for the children. Collective parenting is one of the basic solutions to the difficulties society is facing today. But before we go into the specifics of collective parenting, let’s talk about general parenting first.
An indisputable fact is that a good parent will produce good children. In fact, children are a reflection of their parents’ attitudes, approaches, manners, and ways of life. Children imitate, either directly or indirectly, whatever their parents are doing. The dearth of good parental training has given rise to more problems in society than any other inadequacies. A good parent must inculcate morals and knowledge into their wards. It is part of a parent’s obligation to instill good behavior and conduct in their children. Parental training is a pedagogy that sets what the child would become in the future.
You and I both know that the first teacher children have is their parents. Before the child could even interact with his or her siblings, peers, and the general public, he or she must first interact with his or her parents. The eventual interaction with the public may be strong but believe me, it cannot take the place of good parental training. While public influences such as peer group pressures, and societal trends are temporal, the impression of a good parent through noble discipline is long-lasting. A parent’s impression and training will last longer if the ward is taught to identify and have a circle of good friends to hang out with.
The importance of a good parent cannot be over-emphasized but it takes more than the influence of a good parent to making a good child. Hence, the need for good collective parenting. By the definition stated above, collective parenting involves parental input from a child’s non-biological parents such as siblings, extended family, peers, school, and society. Gone are the days when family meant grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, and other relatives living close together –practically under the same roof. Then, resources are shared, there is someone to talk to, get guidance and supervision from, make regulations and fine tuning with, learn from, and the children always have one another to chat and play with.
However, the prevailing family structure nowadays is quite different. A father, a mother, and a couple of kids, often around just 2, are the order of the day. Traversing parenthood in this situation can be a daunting experience as you do not readily have the support of your parents, or siblings (aunts and uncles) readily available. Even when you have these people around, parents’ busy schedules and children’s after-school activities can diminish the impact of good parenting. Mind you, we have a wealth of good parents around. All that is required is to pool these skills and talent and make better use of them.
Two good heads are better than one. Certainly, the more the better when it comes to parenting. A group of parents living in the dame neighborhood could cold collectively train their children. This will allow the children to have a blended training from an adult from different backgrounds, nurture and nature, ethics, and training. The result would be versed and versatile children that will make a better society.
Collective parenting is not easy to set up but it is quite worth it. It requires all participants to devote resources such as time and effort to the project. This will comment by listing the strengths and values of each participant and how they could help make up for the weakness or shortcomings of other parents. The next step is to highlight activities and set the limits of these activities. It could be time bound or location bound. The roles of each individual could be set from the onset but you should allow room for specialization and change. Parents in this type of organized group can think of themselves as an alternate parents for every child in the group.
That’s for organized collective parenting. There exist a non-organized and somewhat unorthodox form where members of society just naturally assume a role in the group. The parties involved may never have to officially meet yet they provide support to each other and the children just like the organized group.
Children, rightly raised to become good adults, will become good citizens and a member of society tomorrow. It is therefore a collective duty of the society to help to shape these children to be godly and good. Remember the African proverb that says “one set of eyes gives birth but 200 sets help train the child.”
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