By Shon Mack | UAB Community Health & Human Services Intern
I’m sure there are parents out there (like me) who have concerns about being a good parent. We as parents put way too much pressure on ourselves when it comes to raising our kids. It’s tough enough carrying our babies for 9 months, introducing them to the world, and guiding them until they are old enough to spread their wings on their own.
Surprisingly, our primary concern is encouraging emotional development and making sure that we instill love, validation, protection, a sense of self-worth, and positivity into them. Let’s be honest, it’s kind of challenging to do so when we already have the weight of the world on our shoulders. It is also common for parents to lose sight of who they are as individuals. Constantly working to make ends meet, worrying about when our next bills are due, or even completely giving up on our dreams just to give our offspring the life we never had can negatively affect our mental health.
“It takes a village to raise children” is a popular expression that originates from an African proverb and conveys the message that it takes many people to provide safe, healthy environments for children, where children are given the security they need to develop and flourish (Reupert et al., 2022). This requires an environment where multiple people including siblings, extended family and friends, neighbors, teachers, etc. care for a child, and we as parents need all of the help we can get. We also need to realize that asking for help is okay. It doesn’t t make you weak, in fact, it exudes strength.
Despite many parenting hardships, sitting and watching our children grow into beautiful young adults is very rewarding. It is a major accomplishment and every parent deserves a huge pat on the back! We must keep loving and nurturing our kids and reminding ourselves that the village is the notion that caring for children is a shared responsibility amongst many (Reupert et al., 2022).
Reupert, A., Straussner, S. L., Weimand, B., & Maybery, D. (2022, February 11). It takes a village to raise a child: Understanding and expanding the concept of the “village”. Frontiers. Retrieved December 12, 2022, from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2022.756066/full#:~:text=The%20phrase%20%E2%80%9Cit%20takes%20a%20village%20to%20raise,be%20able%20to%20realize%20their%20hopes%20and%20dreams.