- Centre Manager at the Teen Hub located at the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre in St. Andrew, Nicola Walker, speaks to JIS News, recently.
Parents are being encouraged to not give up on teens, who display behavioural problems, but instead, spend quality time with them and seek professional help if necessary.
Centre Manager at the Teen Hub based at the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre in St. Andrew, Nicola Walker, in making the appeal, said that many of the issues, which cause difficulties between parents and their teenage children can be resolved through counselling.
“Counselling does help, counselling does work. Sometimes it is a mental issue that the child is dealing with, or some other issue that is happening out there,” she said during an interview with JIS News, noting that entities such as the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) can assist.
She said that some children, who are labelled “bad”, may have learning difficulties and will need professional help.
“Sometimes the parents don’t know how to get the help, and that’s why we (teen hub) are here. Come and talk to us; we will see how best we can get help for your child,” she noted.
Mrs. Walker, who interacts with scores of youngsters daily at the hub, told JIS News that they need the support of their parents to navigate the difficult teen years.
As such, she is advising parents to sit and talk to their children, noting that such interaction helps to build harmonious relationships.
“Explain to them why ‘I don’t want you to go to that party, why I don’t want you out late at nights.’ Just explain your fears so that they can understand that you are not being rigid, or don’t want them to have fun; but that some of their actions may have consequences that they are not ready to deal with. Just spend some quality time with our teen,” she stressed.
Mrs. Walker noted too that some parents may be overwhelmed with the pressures of work and making ends meet, which may cause them to neglect their parenting role.
“Just get your emotional and mental state straightened out and then help the child. They can be better children, they can do right, they will make mistakes, but it is not the end of the world, and the child is not bad. Don’t throw them on the streets. Your efforts will one day pay off when that child will be able to turn around and be of assistance to you,” she said.
The Teen Hub was established in 2017 to offer services such as conselling, career guidance and support to youngsters, and their parents where necessary.
It is a partnership involving the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AFH).