Terrelonge urges parents to allow children to play

Observer staff reporter

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!

WITH the increased incidence of obesity among children and adults, minister of state in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Alando Terrelonge on Tuesday urged parents, guardians and caregivers to engage in play to fight the lifestyle disease.

“Play is very important... because it gets you to be physical. When children are physical, they are physically better, as in they are healthier, so play is also an important way to combat obesity.

“What research has shown is that persons have become very passive, so a lot of children are on the tablets, they are on the cellphones, they are on the computer, and all they want to do is play... on the TV, they want to... watch TV for the whole day,” Terrelonge said. “Watching TV for the whole day is not very good. Yes, we have educational programmes, but it is better to go outside, explore and play together.”

Terrelonge was speaking at a stakeholders' forum which focused on the importance of play for children at the Maxfield Park Children's Home in Kingston on Tuesday.

A partnership with Talk Up Yout and Seprod Foundation, the forum signalled the launch of 'Month of Play', which is being celebrated this month.

In addition to the physical benefits that are associated with play, Terrelonge said cognitive, social and emotional skills are also developed when children frolic.

Students from preparatory and primary schools in the Corporate Area, as well as wards of the State, had a blast Tuesday morning as they they played with puppets as well as played basketball and football, among other activities.

Minister Terrelonge, after singing “my head, my knees, my toes, and tummy” while the children touched their body parts, based on his instructions, he explained that it was one of the games he played with his sons when they were babies.

“It also goes to highlight that when parents get involved and play with their children, it provides a wonderful opportunity for you to interact with your children in a very unstructured way, in a very playful way, and also to use the opportunity to teach your children. Play can take many, many different forms, but I will repeat this — we want our teachers to understand this as well — play is important to the positive physical, social, and emotional well-being of our children,” he said.

Insisting that play is important to the holistic development of children and youths, he said the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights has said that every single child must have the right to play.

“So, for the babies, when you sing songs with them and play with them, you can teach them all their body parts, you can teach them the things around you. You can teach them about the sky and the bird and the bees and the trees. You can tell them about lizards; you can tell them every single thing through play, through song,” Terrelonge said, adding that play allows children to use their imagination.

“When I was a child growing up I used to run outside and play and play... and I don't think I am a dunce person. Parents, allow the children to play, allow them to express themselves, allow them to interact with other children as well. You have some parents, sometimes they don't want their children to play with other children... Allow them to play, interact, to develop their own emotional well-being, build social skills and leadership skills,” he added.

Last November a video of a mother mercilessly beating her child, believed to be no more than five years old, went viral across the Internet.

In the video that had tongues wagging, the woman was captured flogging the child — whose screams of horror were too much for some to bear — with what appeared to be a belt.

“Wah mi tell yuh seh? Lef outta company, lef outta company. A day time mi send yuh guh school fi do yuh work; work mi send yuh guh a school fi do... Yuh hear wah mi seh? Stop play wid him,” the enraged mother declared.

Having thrown the child to the ground, the woman continued her assault, saying to the child: “Yuh naah go mek dem shoot mi... Next time a di buckle mi a use,” the woman added, while hitting the child repeatedly in her face.

Desperate for the abuse to stop, the little girl screamed: “Mi a guh stop mommy; mi a guh stop.”

The 10-minute-long video appeared to have been recorded by the child's older sibling, who at times had to answer questions about her behaviour at school.

As part of 'Month of Play, November 20 will be observed as Play Day.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon