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Pass on family values


Marcia Graham, Director of PAREDOS-Parent Education for Development in Barbados, says key sectors in Barbadian society must come together to decide on the core family values the society as a whole should embrace, and then find measures that will ensure that these core values are passed on to upcoming generations.

According to Graham, a number of the traditional values held dear by the older generation are not being reinforced, and as a result morality is on the decline in Barbados, as evidenced by the rise in the levels of violence amongst youth and the bad language that accompanies it; the viewing of sexually explicit materials in homes by young children; rising sibling rivalry and conflict; a prevalent gang culture and the ease of access to drugs and alcohol which youth are experiencing.

“Parents are worried about their children’s safety nowadays. The courts of Barbados are now saying that there are well organised gangs, with the members of particular groups having their own rituals. Children are now being attacked in schools and then in order for them to join the particular gang, they have got to harm their parents, harm their siblings, harm their friends. In order to belong, they rob, they steal, they stab and they show inordinate amounts of disrespect. All of this is leading to the decline in morality in our country,” Graham suggested.

While parents need to get more actively involved in their children’s lives for better outcomes, Graham has also recommended that all sectors of society must join forces to treat to the issue.

“We now need family members, the church, the society, Government and the business sector of our community to agree to support each other and to agree on the values that are necessary. The National Initiative for Service Excellence (NISE) in January rolled out five values that they though were important for Barbados. If our society is going to do exceptionally well and continue to do well, we have to agree on those values that are necessary and start to build them in each family. We need to teach the tenets of good discipline. Discipline meaning teaching persons what to do and how to do it, when to do it and for whatever reason it is necessary. We also need the loving support of each other – the church, the home, the school, the community and the government” she stated.

“If were are going to ensure that morality and values are practised in our homes, then we need to support each other to transfer all the theories that we know into the practice of every day living,” Graham added. (RSM)

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