It takes a village to raise a child - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-31-2009, 06:11 PM
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What do you think of the idea that the community as a whole should be responsible for a child's upbringing/well-being rather than his or her parents alone? Communal rearing of children is common among some-non-human animals, like elephants.



I would love to live in a society where everyone on the block was an aunty, uncle, cousin, brother, sister, grandmother etc. and the distinctions between separate families were less important than they are today.
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#2 Old 08-31-2009, 06:20 PM
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Nice idea in theory. But, in many countries it's not possible. We're too busy/advanced for that. Hundreds of years ago that was great. If advanced people went back to farming and small communities, sure.

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#3 Old 08-31-2009, 06:24 PM
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Nice idea in theory. But, in many countries it's not possible. We're too busy/advanced for that. Hundreds of years ago that was great. If advanced people went back to farming and small communities, sure.



Yes, I was thinking more along the lines of small, closely knit communities. Not somewhere like Manhattan, lol.
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#4 Old 08-31-2009, 06:27 PM
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Yes, I was thinking more along the lines of small, closely knit communities. Not somewhere like Manhattan, lol.



Even there, it would be tough. Jobs are very different than they used to be. People work longer hours, drive further, etc. Modern life would impede it for the most part.

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#5 Old 08-31-2009, 06:31 PM
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Even there, it would be tough. Jobs are very different than they used to be. People work longer hours, drive further, etc. Modern life would impede it for the most part.



The kind of society I'm envisioning is one without a state, private ownership of capital or even free market enterprise. A lot of the things we produce and consume would go the way of the dinosaur. We might not even use cars anymore, at least not to the extent we do now. Communities would be self-sufficient and life would be simpler.
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#6 Old 08-31-2009, 06:33 PM
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Nice idea in theory. But, in many countries it's not possible. We're too busy/advanced for that. Hundreds of years ago that was great. If advanced people went back to farming and small communities, sure.



"Advanced"? Why do you think being too busy to know our extended family is "advanced"? Why on earth would "advanced" people going back to farming and small communites (because, you know, people living in a small community are always so backward, and we all know farmers are so much more backward and less "advanced" than bankers) suddenly make them care about kids more? People only work longer hours because they want to. Frankly, I think insanely long working hours is a sign of backwardness, more than being "advanced".

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#7 Old 08-31-2009, 06:35 PM
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The workday has gotten shorter considerably in the past two centuries, due in part to technological advances and labor unions.

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#8 Old 08-31-2009, 06:36 PM
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"Advanced"? Why do you think being too busy to know our extended family is "advanced"? Why on earth would "advanced" people going back to farming and small communites (because, you know, people living in a small community are always so backward, and we all know farmers are so much more backward and less "advanced" than bankers) suddenly make them care about kids more? People only work longer hours because they want to. Frankly, I think insanely long working hours is a sign of backwardness, more than being "advanced".



I'm talking about advanced technologically. Currently, I don't see people reversing their ways.



i never said our current state of society is ideal. I'd love to see us go back to some of the old ways and slow down.

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#9 Old 08-31-2009, 06:37 PM
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The workday has gotten shorter considerably in the past two centuries, due in part to technological advances and labor unions.



It's a whole lot longer than it was back in hunter/gatherer days, though.

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#10 Old 08-31-2009, 06:38 PM
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The workday has gotten shorter considerably in the past two centuries, due in part to technological advances and labor unions.



In which countries? I know in the US the workdays have gotten longer. Labor unions aren't as strong as they used to be, say 30-80 years ago.

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#11 Old 08-31-2009, 06:40 PM
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They have been getting longer here, too, over the last decade. In the past two centuries, on the whole, maybe. Last decade or so full time work demanding, often unpaid, over time of it's workers.

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#12 Old 08-31-2009, 06:40 PM
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Weird.... "It takes a village" was the name of an article I had to read recently!
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#13 Old 08-31-2009, 06:44 PM
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It would really help families with young ones cope better with childraising, I think.



However, I think a lot of people have very specific ideas about how they would like their children raised, and would therefore never want anyone else to even help them raise their children.



I don't know how we would get back to a system like this. I think that even when people ask extended family to help them raise their kids, they often feel a lot of judgment from them (from horror stories I have heard) or they feel like their family and neighbours do a lot of parenting that makes them cringe!



I think it could work if we were willing to let go of a lot of judgment.



What if those people wanted to use corporal punishment on my child or animal? I would be effing livid!



I do think that babysitting, group homes, and daycares help with this mentality. They help parents take care of their kids. If it could be more affordable, that would be great.



Oh, and one more thing -- most people I know aren't particularly friends with people in their neighbourhoods. A community does not always guarantee a communal attitude, which is too bad.



Generally though, we have become more obsessed with individuality and the nuclear family. I wonder how many of us feel connected to community, extended family or even immediate family.
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#14 Old 08-31-2009, 06:53 PM
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I would love to live in a society where everyone on the block was an aunty, uncle, cousin, brother, sister, grandmother etc. and the distinctions between separate families were less important than they are today.



I prefer a highly intimate connection to a handful people over a less intimate relationship with an extended community.
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#15 Old 08-31-2009, 07:11 PM
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Not everyone wants to, is capable of, or even should look after children.

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#16 Old 08-31-2009, 07:20 PM
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I don't want to deal with other people's little brats.
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#17 Old 08-31-2009, 07:54 PM
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People who have chosen not to have kids and think they have managed to avoid the burden of raising kids should not have that burden forced on them by other parents. That being said, I think when kids break some important moral norms, the whole community should interfere -- the parents don't always do so, and the very fact of a kid breaking those norms is already evidence that the parents have not done their job.

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#18 Old 08-31-2009, 08:06 PM
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People who have chosen not to have kids and think they have managed to avoid the burden of raising kids should not have that burden forced on them by other parents. That being said, I think when kids break some important moral norms, the whole community should interfere -- the parents don't always do so, and the very fact of a kid breaking those norms is already evidence that the parents have not done their job.



Since that's currently not realistic, what do you propose in it's place?

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#19 Old 08-31-2009, 08:12 PM
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What is not realistic?

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#20 Old 08-31-2009, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by African_Prince View Post

What do you think of the idea that the community as a whole should be responsible for a child's upbringing/well-being rather than his or her parents alone? Communal rearing of children is common among some-non-human animals, like elephants.



I would love to live in a society where everyone on the block was an aunty, uncle, cousin, brother, sister, grandmother etc. and the distinctions between separate families were less important than they are today.



This is a great issue. I've always marveled over how many people I have met who think that socialism is the ideal when it comes to health care (a basic human right, right?) but, then, think they should should be able to escape other social interactions or responsibilties simply because they can't be bothered with contributing to other types of responsibility on the collective.
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#21 Old 08-31-2009, 09:22 PM
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if i had a kid i doubt i'd want them interacting on too deep a level with the weirdos who happen to live near me. especially if they were helpfully sharing responsibility for 'educating' and punishing my child. the thought of it is enough to make me want to cross my legs, lock myself in a cupboard, and never come out. now, people whom i chose as being members of my own personal village- thats slightly more considerable. it'd be more like a hamlet though, i think.
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#22 Old 08-31-2009, 11:01 PM
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Sounds nice. I don't think it's unachievable in modern society, but a matter of culture.
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#23 Old 09-01-2009, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by unovegan View Post

Nice idea in theory. But, in many countries it's not possible. We're too busy/advanced for that. Hundreds of years ago that was great. If advanced people went back to farming and small communities, sure.

I believe it's how it shoud be, but like unovegan said it's not really possible in many places!

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#24 Old 09-01-2009, 09:21 AM
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I believe that community rearing of children is kind of a natural choice for human beings as social animals (to a point - that community would have to be very close-knit and small, more like a family than a neighborhood) but modern society obviously does not allow for it.



But I have read about many intentional communities (aka communes) who use this method, and it seems to work out pretty well for them.
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#25 Old 11-08-2009, 09:53 PM
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well, not all intentional communities are communes. Communes, technically speaking, are intentional communities in which the idea is to have basic things be communally shared, like income, food, and shelter. But there are lots of intentional communities, esp. the co-housing ones, where none of those things are shared, with the exception maybe of having optional potlucks once a week. Most co-housing communities just share the idea that they don't want to ignore their neighbors.



For communities that have shared child-rearing, there are some that have been around for a long time.

I'd like to post the links to them for you, but a friend of mine was banned from this forum forever about a year ago for posting a link once when she was just trying to give information and answer someone's question, so I don't know if I should risk it until I'm more known here.



I will say that The Farm in Tennessee used to be all about that, among other things, and have numerous vegans and vegetarians there, though my understanding is that not everyone who lives there is. Ina Mae Gaskin, who is the unofficial matriarch, became famous for her midwifery skill and courses in that subject. They took in lots of unmarried,single pregnant women and girls in the 70's and agreed to adopt their babies if the mothers didn't want them. THey don't do that anymore, but the classes in midwifery are still taught last time I checked.



THey also make excellent vegan ice creams there, btw.
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#26 Old 11-08-2009, 10:00 PM
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I think kids see and imitate more than we think they do. When I hear the phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child" I think of how they see me interacting with them and others, how I treat people, being honest and fair, helping others. It is all these things that kids observe and integrate. Its not an active role, its my everyday behavior that teaches a child about how to act in our culture.



The statement is as true today as when it was first uttered.
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#27 Old 11-08-2009, 10:13 PM
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I won't supply links, but I found over 100 communities (138, to be exact) listed when I did a search for "child-rearing" on a site that lists all the intentional communities in the world. I also did a search for "vegan child-rearing" but got even more....over 300. I think it might be that communities having any of those words came up. I don't have time to go through them all to find out which ones do what so that I can give names here, but if the original poster, or anyone else wants a link, PM me.
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#28 Old 11-08-2009, 10:37 PM
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To quote Bill Maher:



The rest of the village is busy. They don't want to raise your child.
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