- Pornography websites are the number one most visited internet sites worldwide and they are easily accessible to children
- Parents should keep close tabs on what their children are doing in a bid to shield and protect them.
- The Government has increased the budgetary allocation of the CDA and OCR.
Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, is urging parents to be vigilant in monitoring their children and know what they are doing on social media.
“Know who your child’s friends are. Know what they are doing on Facebook, know what they are doing on BB, know what they are doing on Skype, know what they are doing on Whatsapp,” she advised, noting that this does not only apply to the teenagers, but the “six, seven, eight, nine and 10 year old” children as well.
She noted that pornography websites are the number one most visited internet sites worldwide and they are easily accessible to children, so parents should keep close tabs on what their children are doing in a bid to shield and protect them.
The Minister was addressing parents at a Child Development Agency (CDA)-organised community forum held on September 25, at the Allman Town Primary School under the theme: ‘Parenting for Positive Change in Jamaica’.
She said that the Ministry and the CDA, fell it is important to hold the sessions around the country to reinforce good values “but also to motivate you on how best to become better parents.”
She informed that the Office of the Children’s Registry has been reporting increased incidents of child abuse, with 3,000 cases recorded between January and May this year.
She noted that the Government has increased the budgetary allocation of the CDA and OCR, because of its commitment in ensuring “that the work we do on behalf of children is sound.”
The Youth Minister urged the parents to love, hug and laugh with their children. “Hugging your child is important because if you don’t hug them they are going to go in someone else’s arms to find that love and sometimes, they are the wrong arms. It is the arms of a don, it is the arms of another man, and believe me, the boys are also seeking to find the arms of another man as well,” the Minister said.
She further advised the parents to listen to their children and do not shut them down, no matter how hurt they might feel by what the child is saying. She also urged the parents to put ego aside in dealing with their children and recognise that they are their number one responsibility.
The Minister pointed out that children live what they learn so parents need to set positive examples for them. She said that children must be given a chance to live their lives. “Give them the sensitivity to feel, to be a child… It’s so important for them to be children,” she said.
The expo and public forum is the sixth since last year. The CDA has held five major community meetings in Kingston and St. Andrew; St. James; Westmoreland; Manchester and St. Elizabeth.
Among the other agencies participating in the event were the National Parenting Support Commission; the OCR; Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse(CISOCA); HEART Trust/NTA; National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA); Office of the Children’s Advocate; and the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).