Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Communal parenting

We visited some friends this weekend. It was their youngest’s 1st birthday. Other friends were there with their kids also. We have all known each other since before our kids were born. When we are together we are all equally in charge of the kids.

If the actual parent isn’t around & a child is acting up, one of the rest of us intervenes. Not just an “Oh honey I’m not sure your mommy would want you doing that.” but “Stop that! You know better!” in true parent form. Actual discipline is left to the parents but immediate intervention & correction is done by whoever is handy. And we back each other up, like parents. “If she tells you to stop it, you know you are supposed to stop it.”

It’s very relaxing actually. We can go off & talk or look at something or go do something sure in knowledge that our kids are not running wild & being menaces to others.

I feel for the kids though.

I grew up in a neighborhood just like this. My kids have eyes on them everywhere & the knowledge of immediate correction of the actions, only on certain occasions & are generally too busy having fun in the new place to notice much yet. But I had it all day,every day. There was no where to hide you wouldn’t been seen and ratted out, if not actually intervened on.

Not that we were bad kids or that our kids are bad kids, but at that age where throwing dirt at one another seems fun. Except there are rocks in that dirt and you are whipping it as hard as you can because dirt doesn't fly far. Or you have been told & told to stop swinging on the gate & even after someone gets clobbered with it you all are still swinging on the gate, because the gate is fun and he should have gotten out of the way

Intervention is needed.

But it was sort of oppressive knowing you are always being watched.

Good for the parents & good for the kids, though any of my childhood friends would admit we disagreed wholeheartedly at the time


._. said...

hey that's great imo :] kids need eyes on them

Kresta said...

I think that's great! You have friends you can trust to watch your kids. And your kids learn to listen to and respect other adults besides you.

Jenni Jiggety said...

I love being together with people who feel comfortable correcting my kids! It is very freeing!

Too Many Hats said...

That is awesome. I would be getting together with those friends all the time.

Eve said...

I grew up the same way, but now I live in a big city so things are different for my kids. It makes me sad sometimes!

Creative Junkie said...

I can't wait until kids are born with a sensor thingy that automatically notifies the parents immediately upon any misbehavior.

I would have paid big money for that when my kids were little.

Aunt Becky said...

I love that. We had a neighborhood like that too. And it's sort of like that now (save for the Old Bag that hates me).