The phrase it takes a village to raise a child has always fascinated me. Through my journey of adulthood and parenthood, I have realized how true this is. It isn't because we can't raise our own children, but because there are so many factors outside of your home that will ultimately impact you and your children.
Over the past few years as our children get older and are becoming more social and independent, it has interested me how the parents communicate (or don't) with each other. When I was younger, I was not allowed to go to any one's house unless my parents had spoken with theirs. Of course there were no cell phones so when you called someones home, you knew they were there. There was no texting, no email. You had to speak with someone if you wanted information.
There are days now where I feel it is almost a losing battle to get to know the parents of who my children are hanging out with, socializing with, dating. Becoming Facebook friends with them does not count. I don't need to know them intimately but I would like to be able to recognize them in a room. I would like to have a conversation without feeling as though I am intruding when I ask if they will be home or what time we should arrange a pick-up/drop off. It is almost as though with our cell phones and text and oh-so important lives now, we are relying on our kids to arrange all the details parents used to. With that, comes the non-socialization of parents and our kids controlling factors we should be with curfews, where they will be, etc.. I can't even count how many times our children have tried to negotiate arrangements on our behalf and details are either not true or were so much simpler when we directly speak with the other parent.
Additionally, when something does happen when our children are with another child and their parents suspect wrong doing, it is our responsibility to speak with each other. If we choose to ignore the 'village' support we have and instead use that to spread gossip, untrue accounts, suspicions, etc... it can have disastrous effects. It is a shame, especially coming from adults that this path is chosen.
It does take a village, including the good and the bad of it. For those that choose to chatter vs. confirm, I can only hope my "village" will see it for what it is. And while I will embrace the benefits of technology, I am still going to trust and use old-fashioned parent to parent communication.