Poor parenting is at the heart of Jamaica's problemsMonday, August 23, 2021
Poor parenting skills have contributed to the damaged people our children become in later years, resulting in the weakening of our societal values and putting a strain on our judicial system.
Even our prime minister, Andrew Holness, believes that “the effects of poor parenting is a social cost to the society”.
As minister of education he opined back in 2011 that, “Poor parenting could be at the root of social problems being experienced in the education sector and Jamaica by large.”
Mostly affected are youngsters ranging in ages between 15 and 24 years, who are turning to a life of crime and losing their youth as they head to juvenile detention centres, places of safety, or our penile institutions.
While parents alone should not be blamed, strategies employed in educating children over the years must be revised.
As a parent and an educator I strongly believe the home is the first institution and, therefore, the basic foundations are to and must be set as grounded principles before the child interfaces with society.
Another great institution is the Church. It is my belief that all children need a spiritual root — any religion of choice and any day of worship. And I also believe that rooted and positive principles must be taught and enforced very early.
Parenting is a national affair; therefore, a concerted effort must be made by all stakeholders to help the youth of today if we wish to realise our sustainable goals target in the race to Vision 2030.
I believe that a lot of the parents do not know how to parent their children as they, too, are children.
Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, in an article titled 'Poor parenting: The root of Ja's problems', stressed that “more must be done to assist those who are failing to become better caregivers and role models for their children”.
Government entities, the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), the police, the National Parenting Support Commission, Ministry of Education, and the Church must liaise for the common good of our children, youth, and future leaders to improve their quality of life and behaviour.
Most times the home is strained. The results are poor parenting skills, the common effects of which are our children and young people living with depression and low self-esteem, becoming susceptible to criminal activities, dropping out of school, teenaged pregnancy, being unemployable, and an inability to escape poverty. All these serve only destroy the youth and complicate society.
Karen R McFarlane
Career development counsellor/educator