Originally Posted by Natja
I am a great believe in the 'It takes a village' and I prefer to have a lot of loving people in the life of my children, that is one of my motivations for living Poly in the first place.
I think that, more than anything, is what I was trying to get at.
It takes not one person, not two people, but a whole bunch of people in a community working together to raise kids to live up to their full potential. I think a lot of that is lost in our isolated modern society. The rule of the day is "butt out, they're my kids, don't tell me how to raise them." Some parents freak right out if you so much as "shh" their (old enough to know better) kids for yelling on the bus. And don't get me started on what happens if you dare ask those parents to stop screaming at the kids...
So I think it's bad enough that even with two-parent households, we've lost so much of that wisdom and experience from all the other parents around us, then to suggest that one single person could be all things to their kids, could single-handedly fill every possible role... just seems ludicrous to me.
I've been misunderstood before for saying that I think kids need strong male and female role models. Boys need to learn the right way to treat and be treated by girls. Girls need to learn the right way to treat and be treated by boys. A single mom, superhero that she is, simply can't be a male role model. I'm not saying the father has to live with you or even be involved at all. But if he's completely MIA, or if he's going to set a negative role model, then it's your parental duty to find some other man to model appropriate male behaviour. It doesn't have to be a man that you're romantically involved with. A friend, brother, grandfather, uncle, cousin, etc. will do just fine. The more the merrier, because all kids click with some people better than others.
And it doesn't just stop at gender. Kids should meet scientists, artists, business professionals, stay at home parents, disabled people, people with different ethnicities... Because the only way to learn about something is to be exposed to it.
Again, none of this means you're "doing it wrong" if you can't provide each and every one of those pieces. I acknowledge that it's a question of privilege for some people and you do the best you can with what life hands you. But it doesn't change the fact that the more exposure you have and the more you learn when you're a child, the better your chances of being successful as an adult. If your childhood consists of waking yourself up, taking the bus to school, coming home and watching tv until your mom gets home just in time to tuck you in... you're just not going to have all the opportunities that some other kids will have.