Two top probations officers say that when children misbehave parents must take the blame.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY yesterday Chief Dorita Lovell and her deputy, Angela Odle said that among some of the challenges the Probation Department faced was the general attitudes of adults.
Odle stated that in to many instances the calibre of parents today could not be compared to those of days gone by, who she believed were more focussed and children oriented.
Too many of today’s parents, she said, have a fix-my-child perspective, but did not recognised that they sometimes were their children’s problem. Some of their habits contribute to the same conduct they are desirous of changing.
That was why, they explained, programmes effected by the department were not only established to “fix” the child but geared as well toward parents and guardians “to help make up the slack”.
Society generally too received scolding from the CPO. She stressed even though the old adage “It takes a whole village to raise a child” may be a clich√, she was of the opinion that Barbadians still do not understand the true significance of that statement.
And it was her belief that in spite of society’s outcry about the transgressions of the youth, adults were still permissive when particular offences were committed.
“They will make excuses and they will tolerate certain things, that is why there is a market for stolen goods. I’ve heard Prime Minister Fruendal Stuart say bad wins when good does nothing and the behaviour is embedded in the attitudes of adults.
“The aggressive behaviour … that is the type of behaviour they nurture because they see it on the streets, in their environment, the homes, schools and on their way to and from. Why would we expect them to be so different? That is what they see, that is what they know, that is what they experience,” said Lovell.
“I am saying that a lot of the behaviour the children are exhibiting is a result in the kind of attitude to crime and lawlessness…, traffic offences. The type of things that make them believe this behaviour is acceptable. In a way they are [tolerating it] until it comes home to them, then it becomes a big issue. When those things creep into a society and pervade what do you expect from children who see it from the time they are babies?” (KC)