It takes a village to raise a child, they say. But today, in the midst of our busy life, do we still have villages to surround, teach and protect our children?
And if we want to build them, who should we bring in?
I looked back at my childhood and tried to remember who influenced me the most and what kind of grown-ups I used to look up to. It might be a good starting point for me, as a parent, to look back and choose wisely a village for my own children.
So here is my (subjective) list:
1. The Storyteller
There’s something that always fascinated me about storytellers. I imagine that in an end-of-the-world situation if we would be stripped of all the comforts we have today, after satisfying our basic needs for food, safety and shelter we would slowly gather around storytellers. We would turn to them so they can remind us who we are and help us keep the hope alive.
I am sure we all loved stories as children, but here I’m talking about something a little different – the magical stories from the adult wonderland. The ones that gave us glimpses from the lives of the grown-ups around us and that didn’t involve Snow White or Cinderella.
Remember the uncle who used to tell incredible stories from his youth, or the traveler and adventurer who visited exotic places? Having them join a family party was thrilling.
I think that kids see a lot of the not-so-exciting part of adulthood. Children are wide-eyed and observant and I remember knowing a lot about my parents’ bills, work, worries. I think that I knew a lot more than anyone guessed.
And someone just lifting a veil and showing such an exciting part of being a grown-up and of being able to take risks go on adventures was uplifting. Hey, maybe growing up wasn’t going to be so bad after all.
2. The Passionate Teacher
Or the artist, writer, professional or whatever else. Passion was the key.
I remember that I loved meeting passionate grown-ups, it was very inspiring and gave me hope for the own future, especially when I was a teenager.
The sparkle in the eyes, the eagerness to share, the vivid interest and curiosity are traits that children can relate to because that’s how they live every day. The world is a wonderful place with so many things waiting to be discovered.
And children need to know that that doesn’t have to go away, that the world doesn’t become dull unless we allow it to. The passionate teacher assured me that there will always be something new to discover, enjoy, and get excited about.
3. The Strict Teacher
When I think of strict teachers, I remember my high school Biology teacher. He was an older gentleman, very strict and with high expectations from us. And all his students appreciated and respected him.
I guess we appreciated the fact that he was expecting a lot from us and we felt that we wanted to raise up to the challenge. Also, a word of praise from him meant a lot.
As a child, I liked to be challenged, to do well and to see that someone had enough faith in me to set high standards. And this is where the strict teacher came in, to help me strive for more and teach me that hard work is worth it.
4. The Sensei
I don’t know about kids today, but apparently I was really into discipline.
I was part of a martial arts club for a few years and I am so grateful that I had that experience.
Now that I look back, it’s interesting to remember how all the kids belonging to my club enjoyed the discipline. Even the wildest ones seemed to transform during our training.
Again, I think we loved the challenge and the fact that someone expected a lot from us. That we had rules and that it felt rewarding to go by them, to do well, feel like we belong, and be encouraged.
5. The Child at Heart
Probably we all know at least one adult who is still a child at heart. The one who has never forgotten how to play and takes life in with a light heart.
Kids just seem to want to gravitate around these children at heart and I remember that I was fascinated every time I met one. And the best part is that as a child I trusted them because they were still adults. They were still supposed to have all the answers due to their advanced age. As a note – anything over 20 years old used to qualify as advanced age. Those were the days, my friend, those were the days.
I think it’s an incredible blend and an incredible treat for your kids if you bring a child at heart into their lives. They might even want to share their little secrets with him or her.
So this is my list. It’s probably not final and it might not be the same as yours. Who had an impact on you when you were a child and what types of grown-ups would you like to bring into your children’s lives?
This post was originally published at www.sweetdailiness.com.