Campbell: Parents must help children in decision making
Minister of Social Services Frankie Campbell yesterday linked the level of violent crime among young people in the country to a lack of proper parenting skills.
“There have been many instances of violence, fights, within or around schools that have resulted in serious harm and in one case, even death to a student,” Campbell said.
“One of the things I would like to [emphasize] is that we as parents and guardians help our children in the area of critical thinking, in the area of consequential decision making.
“It is those skills and tools that will help our child to decide, ‘Yes, I have been offended. Yes, I have been aggressively approached by another individual, but returning the favor, what is the consequence?’”
He made the comments at a Child Protection Month press conference after being asked about the murder of a 15-year-old boy who was stabbed to death Tuesday.
The teen died in hospital Tuesday afternoon after he was stabbed around 3 p.m. during a brawl with another high school student on Pitt Road in the Chippingham area.
The minister said, “I believe that statistics might suggest that we are both angry in many instances and impatient in many other instances, and theses characteristics or attributes contribute to our actions or reactions.
“I believe that there has always been this trend where an older generation speaks to these shortcomings in the younger generation without acknowledging some responsibility for not having imparted the necessary lifestyle, skills, the necessary attributes and characteristics that would lead to better socialization.”
Campbell added, “More is caught than is taught. We speak around our children without realizing that they are clinging onto every word, and, so, we speak ill of certain persons in authority and then we act surprised when we find out that our children have disrespected authority.
“So there is enough blame to share around, but we must see it as a collective responsibility that we all must come together as a people.”
Asked what the ministry is doing to address these issues, Campbell highlighted the National Parenting Programme as well as the importance of the role of education.
“We have the National Parenting Programme, because we are aware that many circumstances have resulted in parents being younger in this day and age than they used to be,” he said.
“Grandparents who once provided that extended family support are also becoming younger, and they are still involved in their professions.
“They are still involved in work and trying to make a dollar, and so many of the parenting skills have not trickled down.”
He added, “We are involved and committed to our partnerships with a number of non-governmental organizations, and we are involved with law enforcement.
“We are involved in preventative measures relative to child abuse, relative to the prevention of child pregnancy.
“We are involved in the empowerment of our young persons to ensure that there is a serious value placed on education.
“Education in and of itself won’t solve all of these problems, but it helps drive us towards the art of critical thinking. It helps drive us towards being able to be more rational. it helps drive us towards greater possibilities for conflict resolution.
“And, so, we believe that it is the foundation.”