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JIS News

In light of recent violent attacks on children, Assistant Chief Education Officer in the Guidance and Counselling Unit of the Ministry of Education, Mary Nichols, is appealing to parents to get their children acquainted with self-defense techniques.
“We should start teaching our children self defense. We have to really get into some serious self defense techniques and allow our children to practice it at home and when they practice, it will become perfect because children actually do live what they learn,” she explained during an interview with JIS News.
“We don’t really want to get into this fear factor where we are so fearful that the fear cripples us as parents and it transcends right to our children that they know what to do and they can’t move because they are paralyzed with this fear, so self defense is right now, the emergency mode that we have to get into with our children,” Mrs. Nichols emphasised.
She added that the threat of abductions is not new but has been around for a long time.
“They [parents] need to get them to do basic self defense. It is not now that we have this threat of abductions, at one time it was the ‘black heart man’ and my mother sent me to a karate class and I practiced it.but I really do think that [self defense is] one of the things that parents need to get into now and they [children] are not too young because we have a lot of self defense clubs around,” the Assistant Education Officer informed.
On the issue of effective parenting, Mrs. Nichols outlined a variety of strategies that parents can utilise.
“Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Never speak disrespectfully about the child’s mother or father …we have to be consistent with what we do because consistency for me brings control,” she noted, while explaining that parents need to be good role models.
“I am talking about being who you want your child to become and do, that at all times so if you are the mother or father, you behave likewise. Encourage your child through family discussions and when you travel.use travel time to talk about issues affecting the child, [and the] family,” she explained, while emphasising that parents must make family time available.
“A good way to do that at home is at meal time. Have a family time where you eat once a day, I know parents are going to say I am busy, I have to go here and there…find the time, stop, think about it and find the time to have family discussions,” she pointed out.
According to Mrs. Nichols another strategy is for parents to give their children chores.
“Give your children chores to do, I am not talking about adult work that you are asking them to help you with. Children have specific chores they can volunteer to do, and then it becomes the norm and the training ground for responsibility, decision making, critical thinking, and respect for property,” she explained.
She also urged parents to have discussions with their children who are of secondary school age.
“For the secondary level, have discussions with your children at all times, not talk to [them], but talk with [them]. Another important thing is for parents, especially as it relates to secondary children, to listen to our children’s emotions …listen to what they are feeling and feel it with them, talk with them about it and prepare them to deal with the feelings, and name them, these things are some of what we have to go back to basic for,” she emphasised.