JIS News

Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry Wilson has emphasized that the country should celebrate those parents who continued to make sacrifices for their children.
She said that as the nation celebrated November as Parents Month, it was critical to not only place emphasis on the importance of parents being responsible, but give recognition to caring parents and guardians.
Mrs. Henry Wilson was speaking at the launch of Parents Month 2005 at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle offices, today (November 2).
“In public and private conversations these days there is a recurrent theme – that of parenting. The absence of good parenting is blamed for almost everything that occurs, from maladjusted children to crime, to even disasters, and while we may not agree with every single pronouncement, what it underlines is the critical role that parenting plays and the overwhelming responsibility that it is,” she told the gathering.
“We celebrate those parents who have selflessly brought up children who make a contribution to our society. Too often we are caught up with those who may have become deviants, those parents who may have been negligent and we forget to celebrate those who have made such a wonderful contribution towards society,” she added.
The Minister said that unfortunately, there were still too many parents who did not view parenting as a part of their responsibility. “I frequently encounter those who describe it as ‘getting’ a child, and what it connotes is that they are sort of passive victims of something that they may not have had a hand in and then they approach parenting in that respect.that it is coincidental, that it was not planned and not deliberate,” the Minister said.
“While we encounter those who ‘get’ the children and leave them there, all too often.we also need during this month to celebrate that average mother who in the mornings we see struggling with that child and the lunch pan to catch the bus, the personal sacrifice that she makes on a daily basis to do two, sometimes three jobs, to throw a ‘partner’, to go home and wash, cook and make sure that that child becomes a well adjusted citizen. We need more parents to step up to the plate,” Mrs. Henry Wilson said.
Commenting on on-going plans to form a National Parent-Teachers Association, the Minister said the Ministry’s aim was to tighten the nexus between home and school, as “we have repeatedly confirmed that parents who are involved in their children’s school life tend to increase the potential of those children’s success. Parents Month will sharpen our focus on this responsibility; it will allow us to learn, to reflect and ultimately to know what it is to be better parents”.
In her address, Executive Director of the Early Childhood Commission, Merris Murray said the Commission could not over-emphasize the importance of parenting, as this was critical to ensuring successful social programmes.
“If we are to build social capital, then we must as a nation practise effective parenting practices.
Research has shown that parenting can mitigate the devastating effects of poverty. It is indeed important that we engage children as part of families in meaningful dialogue as we seek to build a better nation, better families and to create a safer Jamaica,” she said.
Representative of the Coalition for Better Parenting, Richard Troup said this year’s theme – ‘Effective Parenting: Key to Stronger Families, Safer Schools and Communities’ – was very important to the Coalition and its partners in the context of what was happening to the nation’s children.
“We have to understand that families must play an integral role in creating the nurturing environment for our children, the kind of love, the kind of stability and the kind of protection, so that our children can grow up and be productive members of society. Parents Month is a recognition that as parents, as organizations committed to empower parents, this is to celebrate the resources that we bring to national development,” he said.
A number of activities have been planned for the month, including a national church service at the William Knibb Memorial Baptist Church in Trelawny on November 6; a Safe Schools Exposition on November 19; the National Parent Teachers Association (soft launch) and Regional Registrations of PTAs; and a National Parent award ceremony on November 30.

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