I have noticed a trend of parents calling out other people’s kids on social media for doing something wrong. I know we can’t just let kids get away with everything, but the use of social media to shame a child doesn’t seem like it would be effective. Is this the new norm or am I justified in feeling like this is the wrong way to handle a situation?
Sincerely, Village Mother
Dear Village Mother,
The other day, one of the young elk calves that hangs out in front of my burrow was bugling pretty loudly and being a nuisance. I’m pretty grumpy (all badgers are), so I waddled over to tell it to stop. As I approached, the older elk scattered. They left this loud little guy all by himself with me, a pretty vicious creature to be honest. I just hissed and it ran away in the direction of the herd. Adult elk are weird. They will abandon a baby elk if they think they are in danger. Every elk for themselves.
From what I know of humans, they don’t leave their little humans when they are in trouble. They stay there and protect them. They bring their herd around and make sure the little human is safe. Big Sky is a small town and I think that the best thing about it is that everyone knows each other (that’s how they find out about where my cete of badgers hang out). That elk mother who left her kid to bugle loudly on his own is a lot like the human posting videos on social media.
The calves behaving badly shouldn’t be left to fend for themselves. They should have a herd sticking around to snort and make sure they stop making bad choices. If you just leave a young one out there exposed to the elements, who knows what wolf is going to come along and hurt them?
I would remind humans who post these things that we are lucky to live in a place where other parents step in and help out little humans—who aren’t even their own—when it comes to bad decision making. It takes a village, or a cete in my case, to raise good little humans.
I’m about to take a 29-hour nap after eating a marmot,