Poor parenting blamed for children's behavioural problems

Poor parenting blamed for children's behavioural problems

Sunday, November 01, 2015

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A parenting assessment tool developed and being tested by the National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) is proving that lack of effective parenting is responsible for many of the behavioural problems being exhibited by children.

Executive director of the NPSC Dr Patrece Charles-Freeman said the data show that many parents "are not creating structures at home for their children, they are not very involved in the lives of their children, and it is demonstrating that parents are not nurturing their children".

She was speaking at the press launch of Parents' Month 2015 held on October 30 at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston. The NPSC is spearheading activities for the month.

The National Risk Assessment Tool, which was developed to evaluate parenting needs and provide support at home, school, and within the community, is now being tested in several areas in Kingston and St Andrew.

Among these are the communities of Mountain View, Oliver Road, Almond Road, Hanna Town, Nelson Street, Penn Street, and Slipe Road.

The tool is being administered through the commission's Parent Support Managers, and with the assistance of Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) and Child Guidance Clinics.

Dr Charles-Freeman said the data show that over 52 per cent of parents employ the authoritarian, manipulative style, while 63 per cent employ a critical and aggressive style of parenting. "That is not good, so we have our work cut out for us," she said.

For Parents' Month 2015, the NPSC will be creating awareness about the four elements of effective parenting -- nurturance, structure, recognition, and empowerment.

Already, the Commission has undertaken a number of initiatives, including the 'Parents, Take the Time' campaign, aimed at educating parents on the critical role they play in their children's development.

"It encourages parents to take the time to help guide their children through homework, to set up a routine at home so that they are used to getting up at a certain time, going to bed at a certain time... and also to [keep in contact] with their teachers," Dr Charles-Freeman said.

"Also, that they take the time to say 'I love you', take the time to read with their children, hug your children, and take the time to stay involved," she added.

She noted that the commission is receiving a lot of support from several Government and private sector entities, including the Heart Trust/NTA, Child Development Agency, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and the Bank of Nova Scotia, among others.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education Elaine Foster-Allen, in her remarks, urged parents to become actively involved in their children's education in order to ensure their academic success.

"We [at the ministry] regard parents as a critical stakeholder group in the education process. Research bears out the point that children who enjoy the interest and support of parents do better in their academic performance compared to children who don't have these supporting networks," she argued.

The NPSC is an agency under the Ministry of Education, with the mandate to assist parents in developing positive parenting skills.

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