Friday, May 29, 2015

Raising adults

We often hear it said that it takes a village to raise a child. I completely agree; it does. Children can't have too many of us loving them and supporting them. That's why I take my role as grandma seriously. I think I provide something that's different from what parents can provide. I remember as a parent being so focused on the daily details of my children's lives; but now as a grandparent, I can enjoy my grandchildren relatively free of the care and detail to which their parents need to pay attention.

But I'd like to take that maxim even further and suggest that it also takes a village to raise each of us. I firmly believe that we each need as many loving, supportive individuals in our lives as is possible to cheer us on when we're doing well and to help pick us up when we stumble or fall.

Because I believe that, it hurts deeply when I see that sometimes we women cut each other down in our efforts to get to the top. It's sort of the "let's see who can get the best date to the prom" syndrome except that it's decades after proms! We don't need to compete with each other, whether it's for career advancement or for the attention of a specific male—or whatever we see as the desired goal. How much better off we all are when we walk shoulder to shoulder or hand in hand, working toward the well-being of us all.

Close friendships with other women provide a good place in which to practice that supportive behavior. If you have such friendships, be grateful—and nurture them. If you don't, perhaps you'd like to find such a caring, supportive friend.

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