Tuesday, December 08, 2009

It Takes a Village of Eyes to Keep Watch Over the Kids


After morning service, many of my fellow congregants stick around in our fellowship hall for snacks and conversation. One table is reserved for the little ones, and it quickly becomes a riot of animal crackers, juice, and wriggly bodies. I do all I can at the end of the morning service to hold Aaron and Jada back until they can be excused to the fellowship hall, so much do they enjoy this snack time.

Yesterday, I quickly got Aaron and Jada set up with food and beverage. Two other kids were jawing at each other from across the table, employing an escalation of clever name-calling to make fun of each other. I asked them both to stop, and when they reluctantly did, I then asked them to apologize to each other. One apologized in a very fake way, while the other refused. They looked at me with a bemused look, thinking I had no leverage over them because I wasn't their parent.

I smiled back. I looked at one of the kids and said, "You know, I know your mother, and if you don't apologize, I will tell your mother about every single one of the names you just used." I then looked at the other child and said, "I know your mother, too, and if you don't apologize, I will tell your mother about every single one of the names you just used."

Not surprisingly, apologies followed. We parents may have our hands full with our kids, but we do stick together. If it takes a village to raise a child, part of the villageness is many more eyes than just my own keeping watch over my kids. I would expect the other parents to do the same thing I did if it was Aaron or Jada acting up. And I know that they will.
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