Get involved in your child's life
Dr Patrice Charles-Freeman, executive director of the National Parenting Support Commission (NPSCO), says the way to a better nation is better parenting, which can only be achieved through closer involvement in our children's lives.
"We are now calling out to parents to look at your roles and responsibilities and get more involved in your children's lives, in their schools. Parental involvement in schools equals better school and better outcome. There is no other way," Charles-Freeman told over 500 parents who gathered at the Jamaica College auditorium for commission's recent annual conference and expo.
"Long gone are the days when we say we pay good money to send our children to school so the teachers must teach them. No! We now need to change that whole mindset and say, 'Listen, we are the first teachers in our children's lives; we are the most important teachers in our children's lives, and the teaching has to begin at home first."
Charles-Freeman explained a teacher's role is to act as enforcer of what is being taught by parents.
"Better parenting will lead to better children. And we have been saying all along that our children are the future. So what will happen is better parenting, better children, and ultimately a better nation," she said.
She encouraged parents to speak about their experiences with each other so that they will empower one another.
She said if parents take control of what they are teaching their children, what they are passing on to them, what is being demonstrated to them and show more positive parenting, then better children will be produced.
"If that happens then we are looking at children who will respect each other, children who are compassionate, responsible and honest," she said.
Charles-Freeman said creating a framework of discipline around the child is important. However, this does not mean beating up the child, but a structured way of discipline.