Hi J. Stokes it has been a while. Thanks for reading and checking in. I’ve been working and taking care of family so I’ve been MIA on Medium for a while. I’m back trying to get into my rhythm.

I have three theories about the village framework. One is for us, we have been taught we need to do everything ourselves and asking for help is a sign of weakness, especially a lot of single Black moms. They feel as though they made a mistake (with choosing the wrong man to get impregnated by), and the way to right the ship (or to live with themselves) is to not ask anyone for help. Sometimes we warn each other about men, and women choose to go on and procreate with men who aren’t capable of caring for anyone, not even themselves. After the humiliation of the bad choice and all the drama some men bring with the announcement of a new kid after they’ve gotten what they wanted (sex) and moved on, the mom’s just go it alone. The experience is traumatic and going it alone is far less traumatic than asking for help and being rejected.

I understand parents not feeling comfortable with the village framework, but you need to be able to pop-in and check on your kids. You should have open conversations about good and bad touches, bribes, and other things predators do to bait victims. There are lots of people who would love to help out, but don’t want to risk being accused of something like child molestation. Fear stops us from helping our brothers and sisters out. Children miss out on much needed playtime, social interactions, and learning how to deal with people outside of their family network.

Another theory I have is the past sexual abuse or fear. Sometimes stranger danger is the worst thing ever. Not all people are bad, and not all parenting/mentoring methods are bad, they may be different from yours but not bad. The government drilled stranger danger into our heads when it comes to child abuse, without addressing the elephant in the room. The majority of sexual abuse allegations come from close family members and friends. So yes, there are a number of children who are deprived because parents have fears for no good reason. Other times, parents/families do know of a family members predatory backgrounds and instead of removing this person from the family circle, they punish the child by depriving them of family connections by allowing the perp/predator to remain in the family with access to kids. It’s a huge issues and many families don’t talk about it. If you can’t trust your family, who can you trust?

Lastly, I would say families have to work more because we all are chasing stuff. Name brand this, we’re house poor, rent is high, and people need to take on extra jobs just to survive. The “village” is at work trying to survive and there are no extra hands on deck to help with child rearing or extra eyes and ears on the streets to watch children. The cost of living is so that we two incomes to survive and a few gigs to be comfortable in many cases.

We lose without the village.

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