It Takes a Village

Just this morning I came across a blog post about a woman who was arrested for letting her 9-year old play unsupervised at the park… a public park.  The charge was “unlawful conduct towards a child,” and really all the facts surrounding it are not really needed to be said such as the mother’s color, job, social class… however, in the articles, all of that is mentioned.

What is important is this… an adult approached this 9-year old child, asked where her mother is, found out her mother was at work, and then deemed it appropriate to call the police resulting in the end result of her child be taken into custody into the department of social services.

I am a father of just 2-months now.  I have no extensive background on the whole picture of parenting.  I don’t claim to be an expert when it comes to raising children.  In fact I bite my tongue often when I think that “someone’s doing it wrong,” because it’s not my place to say anything… unless that child is in eminent danger.  But you know what I am… a human being.

That’s right.  I’m a 32-year-old human being.  I was a child once.  I learned to ride bikes, and was aloud a ride bike down the street and in our cul-de-sac unsupervised.  Then I met up friends, and we climbed trees, and went to the park.  I had a skateboard, which I  rode by myself to a friend’s house… or just to get an ice cream cone from Thrifty’s, maybe to a comic book store.  Or maybe I’d take my basketball to the court… by myself.  I hung out late, and went to the creek, and to the store, and to a movie… sometimes that all happened, by myself.

But so did a lot of us.  Have we forgotten?

There was a time where parents were able to parent their kids and allow them to do what they thought was best for their child without you butting your nose in their business…  as long as that child wasn’t in eminent danger.  There was a time you could tell your child “no,” or swat their bottom, without another person screaming “child abuse.”  There was a time that parents weren’t afraid to parent their child, but that time has gone.

In this world we have taken away so much, even though we claim we’ve given it all.  We may have freedoms of press, and speech, but the freedom to parent is slowly dissipating.  When a woman who feels that her daughter is responsible enough to go to the park, allows her daughter to go to the park to play… and in this case, with a cell phone in case of emergency, where do you as a parent feel the need to step in and play super hero to have her daughter taken away?

I’m studying to be a school counselor right now, and I’ve thought about what I want my platform for my career to be once I start.  I’m sure I’ve settled on one, because I think this is near and dear to my heart…

It Takes a Village.

Remember that old saying?  It takes a village…?  Back in the day when people lived in huts, and clay cabins, they depended on each other to help keep the kids in line.  To help make sure all the kids were fed, and bathed.  Some women taught the kids how to make clothes, and some taught them how to cook.  The men taught them to build and fight as well as farm and hunt.  The village took care of its own and was the sole responsible party in whether or not that village would survive.  Well that still holds true to this day.  It takes a village to protect the village.  It takes a village to raise and protect the children.  It takes a village to help build the community, and teach our children manners, and professionalism, as well as leadership and responsibility.  It takes a village to mold our youth into responsible citizens of the world.


We’re not supposed to hurt each other and put each other in these positions.  We’re supposed to pick each other up and support one another.  We’re supposed to see that this little girl is at the playground by herself, and introduce her to other little children, and instead of asking where her mother is and taking the law into your own hands… why not make sure she gets home safely?  Let her mother know you made sure she got home safely and make a new friend.  Create a village where you can depend on one another instead of create fear for parents everywhere.


Parents… don’t forget where you came from.  You were children once too.  Understand that with today’s technology victims of kidnappings are more likely in favor to come back home.  We get amber alerts sent directly to our phones.  We have GPS on everything we buy our kids.  It wasn’t like that when we were younger.  We used to have to find out little Timmy went missing off of the back milk cartons… STOP HARRASSING OTHER PARENTS.

I really have so much more to say… so much more.  But I’ll try to keep it brief.

It’s parents like this parent who called the police that are destroying America.

Yeah. I said it.

This is the type of mother side-eyeing you for giving your kid kool-aid.  This is the father talking about you to his friend’s at the father meet-up because you get a little to into the children’s sports.  These are the parents who are surprised you didn’t breastfeed, or are appalled you gave your kids shots, or feel sad for your kids cause they don’t have their own smart phone… these are the destroyers of society.

They talk down to you.  They hover over their children at times they don’t need to, and then shove them in front of electronics at their convenience.  They talk about you.  They talk about your child.  They talk about your parenting skills.  And in their eyes, they’re better than you and have justification.

Meanwhile behind closed doors, that’s the kid telling his mother to shut-up.  That’s the kid having a fit he can’t have his iPad right now spitting in mommy’s face. That’s the kid who gets to run all over their parents, slams doors, stomps feet, and is allowed to watch tv no more than 10 minutes later after a fierce session of “timeout.”

My older friends like to say, “babies having babies.” This is the generation of the privileged.  And I think this is the ultimate cause of the downfall of society.  And seriously… think about this… the younger they get… even YOU say the more privileged they feel they are.  You can’t deny that you’ve every said that.

This was true in my Marine Corps… we used to say that the “Mother’s of America” were making our Corps soft.  With all the rules and regulations that were getting put on generations of traditions, taking away the shine, for a lot of us, right out of the Corps.  All because the younger generation of privileged kids were coming in complaining about how hard it was.  Kinda like every kid getting a trophy now for participating.

In youth sports, we didn’t get trophies if you lost.  Now there’s a trophy for everyone, and a ribbon for “the biggest supporter” in case your kid didn’t play.  I’ve actually had to explain to a few parents why their child didn’t play…  and after finding out that they were lazy at practice and weren’t acting like team players, I got a nice, “so what… every child should play, this isn’t the pro’s.”

Ahhhh THERE IT IS!!!  I knew it’ll come to me… That’s how I’ll rap this up.

“…this isn’t the pro’s…”

That must be the mentality of parents like the parent who called the cops.  If you ever played sport’s you may have heard your coach say practice how you’ll play on game day.  Parenting is the same.  Again–I’m no “expert” but I do know this… We need to raise our kids, how we will expect them to act as adults, which to go along with my simile, adulthood is game day.  We need to understand that kids need to learn manners, and outside behavior, but also responsibility like walking to and from the park by themselves… and be ok.  We need to give our children the tools for success, so that they can build upon the feeling of independence and trust.  For me I couldn’t be out by myself unless I knew my address and telephone number.  We need to understand that not every household is privileged to have two parents, two cars, grandparents, or other family in the area.  Some people have parents working two jobs, and go to school just to put food on the table and pay rent, but dammit if their kid isn’t on the honor roll.

…Some kids are capable of doing what you think your kid isn’t.

I have been so upset about this all day.  And I sincerely feel horrible that Miss Debra Harrell has to go through this… because… well… because it takes a village… and her village let her down.

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Posted in Dissapointment, Parenthoodwith 18 comments.


  • Haven says:

    I’m amazed at what humanity is coming to.

    I grew up in Italy, and one of my earliest memories was sitting on the terrace during a particularly hot afternoon. Most families were indoors enjoying the afternoon siesta. I noticed a boy from a couple piazzas over walking along and looking in windows. It wasn’t too long before a woman from across the street rushed out of the house and started smacking him upside the head! She chased him out of our piazza, yelling at him the entire time!

    A couple hours later it had cooled asks everyone was outside again. We see the peeper and his mother, she has a hold of his ear and is bringing him to every house on street level so he can apologize.

    It’s no wonder why most European countries have better behaving and more respectful (and quieter) children than those here in America.

    ‘We’ are raising a generation of softies.

    My then 12 yo daughter had a great year in school. She was involved in community action, helped at the shelter kitchen, and even accrued $12 K in scholarships and grants from her extracurriculars. Towards the end of the school year this boyasked her for a date for the 8th time. She refused, again, stating she didn’t have time, she was focused on her GPA, plus she was going on a Marine Biology trip for most of the summer. He said ‘that’s ok, I’ll just rape you and be done with you.’ She came home in tears and I sped to the school. The principal told me ‘this isn’t the first time he has threatened rape this year, but I can assure you he has never attacked a girl’

    I was going to pull Karma out, but she insisted there’s only 3 weeks left and she wanted to finish, that she would be fine. I knew many of the teachers there, so they kept an eye on her.

    That following week, that boy got his popular little friends to start bullying her. Slanderous things were even spraypainted at the park because Karma had told on him.

    Then during history class, she was attacked in her desk by 3 students. All while the substitute looked on, doing nothing.

    My daughter was given two weeks suspension for defending herself…

    That was when we decided to home school, and have not regretted it once, especially with the preposterous common core.

    It’s all falling apart, and getting worse. Where is the light?

    What’s going to happen when our Armed Forces are overrun by these kids who can’t even defend themselves, much less defend a Nation?

    I have no worries when my kids go out to play. Of course they use the buddy system cuz there are crazies in this world, but I have given them a good foundation. I’d rather then be out there than glued to a play station.

    • Haven,

      Holy Hell… First and foremost I am extremely glad to hear that Karma is ok. What a f*cked up thing for any child, let alone human being to say to another person, and I wonder where he is now.

      Secondly, thanks for reading and replying. And I whole-heartedly agree with your point of view of where we’re headed. Things are diffeent today because parenting is different. My mother used to have me write apology letters to my teachers when I acted out in class, and hand it to them while she stood next to me. I was held accountable for my misbehavior… just like that little boy in Italy.

      Respond anytime… I loved reading what you had to say.


  • do i have to say? says:

    i understand you and believe it’s actually worse than you think.
    I’m 59y.o. and still remember my address and phone # when I was 6y.o.
    I was allowed to wait for the bus for the 2nd grade and walked to school and back from the 4th thru 8th grades(over 2 miles each way).
    went to parks and friends homes from that age too, just had to be home when the street lights came on. when I did something wrong an adult close to me meted out justice and when I got home I got it again from my own parents. I raised my kids the same way. (I’d be in jail now if I did it today). ANYWAY….. good job

    • Thanks for responding.

      It pains me to know that parents who care to raise their children with ways they know are effective, have their hands tied because of political correctness, or even disagreeable parents. It’s the downfall of society.


  • Calvin says:

    Man, I feel ya. This overly sensitized society we live in is f’ing sickening man. Like you, when I was growing up, I had to learn my phone number and address in order to be out alone and I had to learn it early because my mother had to work and there were no babysitters to look after me. I was a latch-key kid. So the neighborhood was responsible for me when my mother was at work and I was home from school. What happened to instilling that sense of responsibility in our youth is the question I ask. I made it and as an adult, my independence and life knowledge is the product of my “village”. I grew up in a time where if you didn’t win, you got nothing. I never exepcted anything if I didn’t earn it. What in the world happened to people? Are these parents the kids of our generation that didn’t get picked for the basketball game at the park, or the cheerleading squad? I think so! LOL!! So they create this fantasy world for their children so they can vicariously live through their empty achievements. That’s sad man. So you have kids coming into the Marine Corps and for me The Navy who are making it soft because they think it’s too hard. And now the rules are being geared towards these kind of people making hard for old salts like me to get the mission accomplished because I have to take into account thier “feelings”. Man, what’s the world coming to? I agree with you. It’s the villages job to protect the village and we as a people are doing a poor job at it. But it can change back. One kid at a time who’s being raised by parents who are conscience of the disparity between what the world is, and what kind of world some people are portraying can change the status quo.


    • “my independence and life knowledge is the product of my ‘village'”

      No truer words spoken. It’s pretty bad now, and I think you’re right. All the kids who figured out they didn’t have a voice socially got in just at the right time during the electronics age and decided they can get their way via the “social” “media.”

      But one kid at a time. It sounds nice. Maybe it can work, but I actually think laziness is a disease that spreads faster than the gratifying feeling of sense of pride and accomplishment.

      Who knows. All I know is that my son… children if I’m lucky, won’t be one of those kids, because I won’t be one of those parents.

      this seriously is a sore subject that angers me every time it’s brought up…. Thanks a lot Cal… ha


  • Oh man, I’m right there with you, stuff like that pisses me off. Who are these random people to approach a child who is in no danger and showing no signs of distress and try to act like they are doing a good deed? BS!

    Great post, and sadly, we live in a village-less society….at least most places.

    • Thanks RC for reading!

      Coming across your comment is making me remember the situation and it’s angering me all over again! ha… Seriously, I just can’t get over it. And not to mention, I saw a clip of the news report, and the lady felt completely justified for her actions.

      HULK SMASH….

  • Lorenzo says:

    If you know me as a parent, you have heard me say “I’m everyone’s dad”. Before you get all “you ain’t my daddy” on me, let me explain or better yet follow up on an already very well-composed write-up by Gravey1.

    I grew up in that same level of accountability where if I was doing anything wrong, I needed to make sure that NO one was watching. Not to say I wasn’t a good kid, but lets face it.. kids do dumb shit sometimes. (Can I say “shit” on here?)

    Chances are that if I see your kid, I’m parenting them. I understand the overused line that “the children are our future”. They indeed are and we are raising a bunch of uncooperative, insubordinate, individualized assholes who will one day run this country.

    I was speaking to one of my buddies who is a teacher and they are saying the same thing and guess why.. the type of parents we have today are breeding them this way. They want to control the way everyone else parents and lack control of their own homes. He was telling me that now, when the kid is falling behind, its the teacher’s fault. No matter what. One instance to where all the kid had to do was take a paper home, write his name on it, and then bring it back to turn in for some obviously well-deserved extra credit to pass the grade. The kid did neither and when the parents came in to understand why he was failing, they attacked the teacher with blame.

    Where is the parental accountability? They’re obviously not involved with their child’s education. Had they been, they would have known well before the kid was failing that he had not turned in ONE single piece of homework all year. Really? You haven’t parented all year?? What happens when he has to be accountable in the very real world around him and you have taught him zero foundation to do so competently? Yet you side-eye me when I’m about to push my kid to the floor (not literally unless its necessary) if I smell the scent of disrespect on them or parent my kid publicly or allow them to solve problems on their own?

    This village is broken. The parents are perpetuating the brokenness and they are somehow feeling as if they have a right to do so.

    I’ll stop here..

    • “Chances are that if I see your kid, I’m parenting them. I understand the overused line that “the children are our future”. They indeed are and we are raising a bunch of uncooperative, insubordinate, individualized assholes who will one day run this country.”

      that was like Mozart to my soul…

      The problem with this is that there are some of us who are passionate and see the difference, and are willing to voice our opinions… but the more we do it the more it turns into a rant.

      I could’ve “ranted” for another 5 blogs worth of where we’ve gone wrong, why we’ve gone wrong, and what we’ve done to the youth and why it’s our fault.

      I remember I had a BBQ at the pad in 29 palms once, and friends brought their girls. One of them was sit spread legs wide open, and I simply tell her, ladies sit with their legs closed. The parents didn’t mind, but someone else spoke up and told me that wasn’t my place.

      It’s shit like that (I just said shit too) that makes Wayne Brady wanna choke-a-b*tch

  • Lorenzo says:

    Wow.. well written sir. I’m commenting on the FB post tho lol

  • Tatiana says:

    Just recently I took the kids to the park. Nico fell asleep in the stroller. I let ellie go to the playground by herself as I sat at a bench watching her within very close distance. At least two parents came up to her and asked her where her mommy was. Mind you, she was playing with other kids, she didn’t look lost, she was having a great time. And good, I am glad to see parents that are legitimately concerned abt the well being of a 3 yr old but I couldn’t help being judged for sitting instead of being out there playing until I heard ellie respond to one of the moms, “She’s sitting there because my brother is sleeping and the stroller can’t come in the sand.” Ha! at least Ellie got it and was ok with it.
    The punishment for this mother was beyond extreme. But aside from the parent that called the cops on a mom for sending her 9 yr old to a park, unsupervised, the problem is that society feels it is too dangerous, too inappropriate, too negligent and too careless for a parent to send their kid to a park without adult supervision.

    • This makes me mad all over again. In fact aren’t you the sketchy adult going up to all the little kids asking where their parents are? Shouldn’t I worry about that person? Sit down and eat you gluten-free breakfast bars and read your yoga blogs… UNGH….

  • My friend…. That is the problem within itself. We have outgrown having a village and lost our roots. Great read.

  • Kristi says:

    YES!! You just said everything that I thought after I read the news report about this poor lady. Excellent post.

    • Thank you Kristi for 1) reading, and 2) completely getting me. I told my wife today that I have so much more to say about this, but at that point it would’ve just been a rant!

      Thanks again for reading!


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