“It takes a village to raise a kid.”
Or so goes an old African proverb.
Sure, I agree to this to a certain extent. My “village” is a network of grandparents, aunties, and trusted friends who help to care for my sons when the hubs or I can’t. They help to provide a loving, safe environment for my kids, and I unreservedly trust the kids into their care.
When it comes to discipline however, it is a whole different ballgame.
The village is susceptible to the charms of these two boys. Making discipline a good thought but one that is often not carried out.
So as parents, we accept that responsibility for disciplining the kids falls squarely on our shoulders. And certainly not strangers.
A couple of weeks back, I ranted on my personal Facebook account about how rude a taxi driver was when I took his taxi from my work place to home. My younger boy was with me, and we were on our way to pick up Jay from his childcare centre, and then make our way back home. This is my almost daily routine, as I prefer not to stress myself with public transport and having to juggle a heavy toddler while also lugging a big belly around.
That particular evening, I was especially ticked off by the driver.
Shortly after we got on, he made a very loud noise clearing his throat. Which would be nothing except it was in the middle of Xavier trying to express something to me in his usual baby voice. But maybe it was an isolated incident. Not so a couple of minutes later when he loudly told my 20-month-old that “Can’t you understand simple English ah? Your mummy say ‘No’ already’ and Xavier was so stunned cos very few people are so loudly rude to him. The driver continued, “Wait I take out the cane then you know.”
Seething. Glared at the cab driver, but held my tongue as he was driving on the expressway and I valued the lives sitting in his cab. And was more than thankful to get out of the cab at our destination.
But I was seriously irate at the driver. A stranger, who barely knew my 20-month-old toddler for more than 2 minutes, to feel that just because we were in his “space” that he somehow earned the right to threaten my boy with a cane.
Maybe as parents, we are naturally defensive of our kids. I don’t have any illusions about them being the best-behaved kid in the neighbourhood, but yet I am also aware that the bad behaviour is not the only aspect of them. And so when someone who doesn’t know them well passes judgment on them, I don’t feel good. Haha… it goes both ways, cos I also take compliments with a huge pinch of salt.
What is your take, and has your point of view changed once you became a parent yourself?