JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, says good parenting must become a national priority.
  • He argued that since the family is the first agent of socialisation, when the leadership through parents or surrogates is weak, the society suffers the consequences.
  • The Governor-General was addressing the launch of a new multimedia campaign aimed at transmitting positive, values-based parenting messages.

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, says good parenting must become a national priority, if the country is to rid itself of many of its current social problems.

“There is general agreement that many of the problems we face in our nation have their roots in weak parenting,” the Governor-General remarked.

He argued that since the family is the first agent of socialisation, when the leadership through parents or surrogates is weak, the society suffers the consequences.

The Governor-General was addressing the launch of a new multimedia campaign aimed at transmitting positive, values-based parenting messages, in an effort to improve the skills of the nation’s parents and caregivers.

The initiative, which is dubbed ‘Parenting Jamaica’, was conceptualized by Family Life Directors, Dr. Barry Davidson and Dr. Faith Linton, in collaboration with the Governor-General’s ‘I Believe Initiative’.

The project will also work closely with the National Parenting Support Commission to reach parents.

According to the Governor-General, the campaign will use as its primary source, the book, “Answers to Questions Parents Ask”, as a guide to address the issue of faulty parenting.

Other features of the initiative include the transmission of daily parenting nuggets and messages on several radio stations. The first will be a 30-minute segment on RJR to be aired April 6 on the programme, ‘Palav’, hosted by IBI Ambassador, Gerry McDaniel. On April 9, ‘The Barry G Show’ on Mello FM will broadcast a similar segment. Thereafter, parenting messages will be aired on LOVE 101, NCU Radio and TBC Radio.

“The dialogue goes on and so we will be involved with other radio stations with a view to blanketing Jamaica with tips on good parenting,” the Governor-General said.

He noted that while the programme is not a quick fix for all of the nation’s problems, it is a start and a step in the right direction.

“We are not saying that this will be the panacea for all the ills that we have; but like a mustard seed, we hope that it will grow and make Jamaica a place that is peaceful and where we can play and have fun,” he stated.

In an interview with JIS News, Dr. Barry Davidson, pointed out that parenting is a skill that must be learned like any other job.

“We train people to become almost everything – doctors, lawyers, mechanics, carpenters – every single occupation involves some level of training. Yet parenting, which is the most important occupation in the world, nobody trains you for it,” he argued.

Dr. Davidson noted that many people enter parenting thinking it’s an instinct and that good parenting habits will be developed naturally. He argued however, that parenting is more than an instinct; it is a skill that must be learned and developed.

“As a result of not being properly prepared for the parenting job, we find a number of poor parenting styles, poor parenting behaviour and our children have suffered tremendously as a result of this,” he lamented.

Dr. Davidson noted that ‘Parenting Jamaica’ aims to help Jamaicans to move from parenting by just instinct, towards developing more healthy and important skills that will help their children to be far better human beings.

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