Parents challenged to strengthen family ties

Parents are being encouraged to strengthen their relationships with their children.

Principal of the Government Industrial School, Erwin Leacock, extended this challenge during a discussion on ‘Youth Violence: The Barbados Experience’ at the Whim playing field on Tuesday night.

Admitting that he knows there will be challenges, he strongly encouraged parents to fight to start strengthening their relationships with their children.

He reminded persons that everything they were going through today was experienced by their parents in the ’50s and ’60s, however they had the support of an extended family unit.

In today’s society, this extended family unit seems to be non-existent and it is for this reason he stressed the importance of building great relationships with their children.

He did not believe it was solely the job of the parents to raise a child, but the community had a part to play. However, he believed that based on the lack of community spirit, the community had some work to do in order to assist in raising positive children.

Leacock candidly stated he believed if Barbados were to export a commodity that Barbadians were good at and perfected, it would be telling children what was wrong with them; and he believed it was time for this narrative to change.

He highlighted that as a community, it seemed as if they were struggling to give young people hope, and stated that this current standard was unacceptable as it played a part in the negative outlook children had for themselves.

“We have to start looking at and rethink how we do things here in Barbados. We have to start acting like a community, we are going to have to start recognising that every child in our community and neighbourhood is a part of us,” he said.

“We are going to have to start appreciating some of the challenges that some parents and some single mothers are going through. We need to start recognising some of the challenges that they are going through; and we have to start, as a community, recognising the root causes of some of these problems and behaviours, because for too long we have been polite and for too long we have had these unrealistic expectations.”

Leacock stressed that too many people in Barbados spend much of their time criticising persons who have made mistakes in parenting and not enough time trying to see how they could help, adding that he believed it was time to get back to communities raising children.

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