Parents have crucial role to play

Media has long been blamed for a lot of the violence in our societies. Over the years, advancements in technology have meant that traditional media has morphed into more personal social media, which too has been condemned as the basis for most of society’s negative and deviant behaviour.

Though research may show some correlation between the consumption of violent imagery, lyrics and text to the levels of aggression in a person, there is no exact study to prove that these mediums are solely responsible for the outcome of behaviour, since people do not exist in a vacuum and other stimuli can affect thought patterns and actions.

One such factor which can have an effect on an individual’s behaviour is socialisation within a family setting. This is much more impactful, as it moulds the foundation of an individual’s character and morality.

With this being the case, parents need to realise their crucial role in their children’s lives. Providing food, shelter, clothing and access to healthcare and education are essential, but care must also be given to the psychological and emotional development of a child. Too many parents are letting their children simply grow up instead of taking an active role in raising them to be positive, productive citizens of this country.

Children need quality time with parents and guardians to help them develop into quality individuals, and for this to be successful these parents must have the correct information and skills to impart this knowledge to their offspring.

To this end, numerous national, community and Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) groups offer parenting programmes to help educate and train mothers and fathers for the most important job they will ever have. Groups like Parents Education for Development in Barbados (PAREDOS), Men’s Educational Support Association (MESA), the Kiwanis Club, the Child Care Board, the Anglican Church, and the Mother’s Union all provide assistance and advice to parents.

It is evident then that with such a wealth of opportunity out there, parents can be better equipped to raise well-adjusted young adults who contribute meaningfully to this society.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. In too many instances parents do not make use of the opportunities provided. They are too focused on the basic needs of the youngsters and are satisfied to see school as a day care and for teachers to raise their children.

This needs to stop. Parents need to take their role seriously, especially as youngsters grow into those tricky adolescent years. Take responsibility for your child and stop putting the blame on teachers and technology. Parenting is the most important job in the world. Just as you strive to accomplish and excel in your chosen career field, do so in your role as a parent. If you do not put in the added effort, do not be surprised when you reap what you sow.

Barbados Advocate

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