JIS News

Parents in St. Elizabeth were recently exposed to information and strategies to better guide their children’s development at a seminar held at the Cambridge United Church in Brompton in the parish.

The mothers and fathers in attendance were provided with useful skills and resources to improve their parenting and instil positive values and attitudes within their children from an early age.

The event was organised by the Kiwanis Clubs of St. Bess and Greater Portmore in partnership with the church’s Women’s Ministry.

It included presentations on good parenting practices by representatives from the National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC), Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), St. Elizabeth Health Department and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

President of the Kiwanis Club of St. Bess, Ornella Lewis, told JIS News that the objective of the seminar was to strengthen the parent-child relationship, which, she noted, “is quite critical for healthy development”.

“We had a number of speakers from various backgrounds to highlight how this can be possible. The Kiwanis Club, by virtue of our mandate, is to serve the children of the world, and we were happy to partner with all the agencies,” she said.

Ms. Lewis said that the Club will continue to add value to the lives of children through initiatives such as a blood drive, which is held every fourth Saturday at the Black River Health Centre in partnership with the Cornwall Regional Hospital.

Parent, Teresa Brackett, told JIS News that the seminar helped her to understand that children copy the behaviours that they see in the home and wider community, and as such, she has a duty to set good examples and instil the right behaviours that her children can carry throughout their lives.

Ms. Brackett said the parents appreciated the support provided through the staging of the seminar. “The Ministry of Education gave us numbers that we can reach out to at any time [for assistance]”, she noted.

Another parent, Sophia Forbes, said her main takeaway from the seminar was the need for parents to love, motivate, respect and build the self-esteem of their children.

Ms. Forbes, who is a grandmother, pointed out that while she falters at times in her parenting duties, she always welcomes support to do better.

“Sometimes, we get [mad] at our children when we are stressed, but today we learnt how to take it easy, relax and interact with our own children and those in the community at large because it’s not our children alone,” she said.

“We have to learn how to react to other children because the children are our future. So, we have to learn to love and respect them and then the respect will come back to us,” she contended.

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