JIS News

Chairman of the National Child Month Committee (NCMC), Dr. Pauline Mullings is urging parents to be more protective of their children, especially in light of the current wave of violence sweeping the society.
She said, if possible, parents should shield children from crime scenes and also the violent images carried on the nightly newscasts and television programmes. “In other words, do not expose them too much to all that is happening around. Know your child and be aware of how much your child can take in terms of these images,” Dr. Mullings told JIS News in an interview. The Chairman said such exposure helped to create a spirit of fear in the nation’s children. Children, she added, needed to be given every assurance that they were safe and protected by their parents. “You are living in a society where children are very fearful and the least thing we can do is give them some kind of hope and confidence, so that when they are with us as parents, they can feel a little more secure,” Dr. Mullings asserted.
She reminded that effective parenting entailed setting limits for children. “You cannot allow your children to do anything that they want to do because it means that they will be out of control after a while. You need to have limitations for them in order for them to grow into productive citizens,” she added.
Discipline, Dr. Mullings pointed out, was also a part of the package of being a parent. There has to be a balance between love and discipline, she said. “One without the other does not make sense,” she emphasized, adding that parents should provide supervision and not “snoopervision”.
The Chairman also implored parents to listen to their children. “Sometimes the conversation may be very simple, but it is important that you listen,” she said.
Most importantly, Dr. Mullings said that parents should not compare their children with others because each and every child was unique and special, requiring unconditional love.
“Please do not spoil them. Remember that anything that is spoilt usually meets rejection,” she explained.
Dr. Mullings was providing encouraging tips for parents within the context of Parents Month, which was observed in November.
The NCMC organized the first child month programme in 1953, and was comprised then of representatives from the Voluntary Organisation for the Upliftment of Children (VOUCH) and Jamaica Save the Children Fund.The Committee has since expanded since its inception, to include representatives of government and non-government institutions, working in the interest of the children of Jamaica.