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let us move beyond thought and talk to action and preserve our beautiful country
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Let us move beyond thought and talk to action and preserve our beautiful country

Let us move beyond thought and talk to action and preserve our beautiful country May 15, 2024 Letters Dear Editor, I am writing to express my deep concern over the growing violent behaviour of our young people, in particular, that is gradually and tragically escalating into robberies, murders and other criminal acts on our streets. Sociologists will tell you that many factors contribute to this heartbreaking situation. They will also tell youth at a critical aspect that demands our attention in addressing this problem is the role of parenting. I have noted that some are attempting to place this scourge at the doorsteps of other institutions without even considering one iota of the fact that children do not produce themselves. And bringing them into this world is a tremendous responsibility that cannot be abandoned. In recent times, we have witnessed an increase in violent incidents among youth, pointing to a significant crisis in their upbringing and moral guidance. As a community and nation, we must recognise the indispensable role parents and guardians play in shaping the minds and behaviours of young individuals. The literature is pellucid that when children lack proper guidance, support, and supervision at home, they are at a greater risk of engaging in destructive behaviours. The consequences of inadequate parenting are not confined to the home but spill over into schools and, ultimately, into society. Educators are increasingly burdened with behavioural issues that stem from problems that begin at home. These unwanted behaviours affect the learning environment and place enormous pressure on our educational system to address the issues rooted in the family as we seek solutions. We must invest in comprehensive support systems for parents and guardians. I propose some ideas that may help address targeted families at this juncture. Parenting Workshops and Support Groups: Teaching effective parenting strategies can be beneficial. These workshops can cover topics like setting boundaries, positive reinforcement, understanding child development, and managing stress. Support groups allow parents to share experiences and learn from each other. Family Counseling and Intervention Services: Professional counselling can help families address underlying issues that affect discipline, such as marital problems, mental health issues, or past traumas. Intervention services can provide targeted support to prevent the escalation of discipline issues into abuse or neglect. School and Community Collaboration: Schools can play a critical role by identifying struggling families early and linking them with necessary resources. This might include hosting family nights, sending newsletters home with tips on discipline, or having social workers engage with families directly. Access to Child Care and Respite Services: Sometimes, parents need a break. Access to affordable child care can provide parents time to manage stress, attend to personal matters, or rest, which can improve their overall ability to discipline effectively. Mentoring Programmes: Connecting parents with more experienced mentors who can provide guidance and support can be incredibly empowering and reassuring. It is critical to note that notwithstanding all the systems that might be put in place, the onus is on the parents to access them for intentional transformation. We must act swiftly and decisively. By strengthening the family unit and ensuring that parents have the tools and support they need, we can significantly impact the escalation of youth violence. Let us unite as a community and nation to foster an environment where every child can grow up in a stable, nurturing home and where our streets are safe. Let us rekindle the community spirit of watching out for each other and our families. Let us move beyond thought and talk to action and preserve our beautiful country. abandoned, beautiful, children, Criminal, Dr Marcel Hutson

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