Parents play an important role

In a few weeks, on June 1, The Global Day of Parents will be celebrated around the world as one of the United Nations’ internationally observed days. At that time, people will get the “opportunity to appreciate all parents in all parts of the world for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship”.

Parents are committed to their roles 24/7. Conversely, for children, the time for showing their affection is usually reserved for special occasions like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, birthdays or even Christmas. It is hoped that on June 1st, parents will be acknowledged for the simple fact that most people, particularly children, do not know about the day’s significance.

Nevertheless, for those who are aware, the expectation is that parents continue to provide a nurturing, protected environment for their children in which they can develop into thoughtful, loving, compassionate, resourceful and beneficial members of society in the future.

Yet, in doing so, it is also crucial that parents acknowledge their own efforts in that essential role. Mothers of young children often receive the common advice to “take care of yourself first so that you are then able to take care of someone else”. In essence, this means that if you keep giving of yourself without replenishing, then eventually you will be drained with nothing to give. No one wants this for their child. Hence, on Global Day of Parents, take a moment to acknowledge your efforts as parents as a method of self-gratification and self-motivation to continue in a similar or better vein.

In considering any improvements to present practices, think on the relationship that you as parents have between yourselves. Animosity, distrust, disrespect and other negative attitudes, no matter if you attempt to conceal them, will be detected by sensitive youths and these will impact their lives. Therefore, resolve your issues promptly and do not let negativity fester within a family.

Children deserve to be raised within the care of a mother figure as well as a father figure. There are scenarios that males will have different perspectives on and advice that they can give that a female will not simply because she has not lived from that perspective. Likewise, men will not be able to advise on certain situations like a woman would. However, situations may not always be ideal and a mother and father may not live together as a family as mentioned above, but may be separated, or may be on their own. Regardless, compromise is necessary to ensure a stable, fulfilling atmosphere is created for the child. Shared custody is one such way, or simply ensuring that a positive male role model is available through social circles.

In all of this, parents should remember that they are not in this alone. Support is often available through extended family and there are also several groups like UNICEF or church groups that offer counselling services or parenting training.

It is often said that being a parent is the most difficult job in the world, but it is the most rewarding and the most important one in the world as well; for not only are you raising younger versions of yourselves, you are also shaping brand new citizens of the world who will be integral to the future of this planet as we know it.

Barbados Advocate

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