it takes a village to raise a child

The Lonely Child - This child appears to be alone without anyone...
United States
October 12, 2009 12:24pm CST
In my extended family, there is one woman who is divorced and is now a single parent. And, unfortunately, the father plays no role in his child's life, except for child support. The child should not have to suffer because of the stupidity of the father. So while, he is minus a male figure in his home, should other family members, other uncles take part in that child's life, even it's only inviting him to go along somewhere with his children. Should extended family, help out to be there for those who are missing a parent in their home? We have one family, that goes camping every weekend during the summer, and has gone for the last 10 yrs. They have 3 kids. I believe they have only asked the one child in the divorced family to go with them once. Sometimes the divorced mother would like a night out, but rarely do the other families volunteer to have this mother's child have a sleep over at their home. When child is having a hard time, the other families sit back, and don't even think of how they can help them out. I try to help out as much as I can for them, but being divorced woman, too, I am not the male figure they need. I find it amazing that some families can be so absorbed into their own little world, that they can't look at this child, and see what he needs. It's not like those other families are poor. They have more than enough...and money is not what this divorced family needs...the child needs male bonding, male attention. He would like to do some of the things that his cousins are doing but can't do because his divorced mom can't afford them. As the child is now growing up, I can see how distant he feels from these relatives...there is definitely tension among them, and I blame the other families for ignoring the need that is there under their noses. Do I have a right to feel this?...should I say something, or should I not get involved..do you feel that families should be there for one another, including the children?
4 responses
@thea09 (18329)
• Greece
13 Oct 09
Hi sweetchariot, well I'm in the same position as your friend minus any support with money which is the bit I need. I don't have any family in this country apart from the ones who've adopted us but it's a small community and everone knows us and looks out for us. There are plenty of Greeks who are or have been divorced but I think I'm the only one with a school age child but he's accepted and loved everywhere. It's very usual for him to be asked along to go somewhere with a friend plus Dad, and it's not out of any sense of duty on their part, he's just considered part of the family. I didn't see him on Sunday as he was at a car racing thing somewhere with his friend and his Dad. When I was in hospital I had people offering to have him to stay and he was at his Greek godmothers for 10 days with male figures around to. He gets on with my man really well and loves it when we go up to stay, but I think the main attraction there is getting to go out with the 19 year old son who he now counts as his 3rd best friend. As far as I can see my main worry about him is how is he going to learn to fix things as men do, he's worked out things which are beyond me like assembling a computer chair but he'll need to know about plumbing and all those other male mystery things. I'd say he's got a lot of balance in his life and he's top in the school so it hasn't affected him there at all. I'd say in fact that he's one of the most loved children by others in the area, maybe because he's so confident and never been shy to speak to anyone, and always shows respect for everyone.
@thea09 (18329)
• Greece
13 Oct 09
I hope thats not some kind of analogy between ciminals and children being raised by a single parent. The key is a responsible parent who teaches the right values and respect to the child.
@debrakcarey (19925)
• United States
15 Oct 09
The chief need of a human being is love & acceptance. When a child begins to mature into an adult...and pull away (naturally) from the parent/parents, that is when the love and acceptance of role models steps in to guide. It is a critical time, to know that you are accepted as part of the 'whole'. It is my opinion, that if the correct 'acceptance' is not there, then a child will turn to unacceptable sources.
• United States
16 Oct 09
Thea...whether or not someone is jail, they still should not be deprived of the love of their family. And if they don't get that love, then they will feel not worthy of anything...
@debrakcarey (19925)
• United States
13 Oct 09
It would be nice if the world really worked the way it should. I think that more people should get involved, especially family members and leave adult arguments and bad feelings out of it. I was partially raised by my older sister...when my parents divorced. I feel she is more of a mother figure to me, than my real mother was. She made a difference in my life. I will never forget that.
• United States
13 Oct 09
Yup, and what makes me sad, is that they don't see it at all...they just don't get it. I always felt that cousins should be close to one another, after all, the parents are the sisters and brothers of these children. But it seems I am the only one in the family that sees it this way. Our kids may be cousins, but they are far from being close, because the parents don't extend themselves to create that bond. They are too self absorbed in their own little world, with their own children...and don't extend their love out of that box. How sad! Thanks
@debrakcarey (19925)
• United States
15 Oct 09
I am convinced that 'civilization' has ruined the human race. I think that is why I love to read historical novels set in more primitive times....when it truly did take a village to raise a child. Where familial ties were strong and everyone really cooperated to survive. We have lost so much to being 'modern' in our thinking.
• United States
16 Oct 09
Yup, and modern technology is not going to stop...we will become like robots with no human emotions
@bird123 (10319)
• United States
16 Oct 09
You are right. All children do need a male influence in their lives.Should you get the rest of the family involved? You bet! Communication is key in families and relationships. When it is lacking or when people assume things, that's when the trouble begins. Besides, what is the worst that could happen? Drama? Great! Maybe they need a little drama to light up their life. If you can't get the family to help, a close friend could help. It doesn't always take a lot of time to get the job done, just a bit of quality time. Later, there are sports, maybe a few good coaches, maybe a priest, minister, or teacher. Volunteer work can maybe get you close to the right men. You get the idea.
• United States
16 Oct 09
Yes, I agree...I just have a heard time saying it without anger, so I have to find the right opportunity to bring it up. Thanks
@bodhisatya (2384)
• India
13 Oct 09
Ummm Interesting post. Well if I were to voice my opinion on this maybe I feel like this. First of all the worst possible thing for the child now is artificial love. Let me ellaborate. If there is a neighbor or any other relative in the vicinity who volounteers to help and support the child and take the kid along with his own kids but he doesn't really want to do it from his inside. Then I believe that would be detremental for the child in the long run. "Love and affection" has to be true for any human being and especially for a child cause his love towards any person is always unadultrated. If a person really loves him, man or woman for that sake, and treat him as one of their own that would be a blessing for the young angel. Have a beautiful day!