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January 23rd, 2017

Reiss’s Pieces

When Hillary Clinton wrote a book about a village raising a Child, people thought that this was a new way of thinking. Well, it wasn’t! What Hillary did was remind us that this way of raising a child was not just a good idea but one that had worked for a million years.

Think back. I know that many of you can really relate to that thought, primarily because that is how we all were raised. In fact, here in Vermont, my children were brought up by many of my neighbors and I never gave it a thought. Just ask my oldest, Tobi, and he will tell you how our neighbor, Sally, used to catch him riding his bike towards a friend’s house without his shoes on, and she always, always came out and sent him home for his sneakers. He would cry and complain that she had no right to send him home, but he always came home and put his shoes on! When he got a little older she told him that she knew of some children who had ridden their bike without shoes and had cut off some toes. I don’t know if that was true or not, but it did make her intervention into his bike riding a little easier. And Sally wasn’t the only one who stepped up and told one of my children what to do and how to behave. Because we lived in what was “the country” I like to think that was the reason that my children were lucky enough to be brought up by this village! It never, ever even crossed my mind that I should call a neighbor and tell them to mind their own business. And of course, I didn’t even consider or know that a threat to sue one of them if they involved themselves into our lives was even possible.

Think about it, things have certainly changed.

Of course, Hillary and everyone else was right. Without the village helping to raise a child, the parent has to try and raise them without the input of friends and neighbors who know what is actually going on with your children. The little angel at home can be a nightmare when they are beyond their parents’ control.

And of course, we all know devils who are quite lovely when Mom and Dad aren’t in the picture. And I personally think that it is time to go back to the good old days where parents not only tolerate their neighbors but welcome their help and input. I hate to point to my own children and their friends, but as a rule, they all turned out wonderfully well! (Of course, they got spanked when they were young too, as did my grandsons, and no one could be better!) I am afraid that the children of today are raised by parents who are quite insular and when or if confronted, can’t believe that their child could be misbehaving in any way at all. And if a neighbor or a friend interferes, a lawyer is standing right at the parents elbow, making plans on how to stop them.

Well, now that we had solved all the parenting problems of our day, let’s think about the holiday season! I hope that all of you have taken my advice about playing, singing and enjoying every single Christmas carol that you hear. And instead of wishing those that you meet and greet “Happy Holidays” take a deep breath and say “Merry Christmas”. After all, it is the Christmas season and if we are going to celebrate it, let’s just do it!

Have you gotten all your gifts either made or bought? And do you have them wrapped yet? Well, time’s a wasting, so it is time to finish what you have to do. Keep in mind, once you have all the gifts and stuff finished, you can sit down, hum a few carols and really enjoy the season. Oh, and it isn’t too early to say Merry Christmas!

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