There has been an increase in the number of parents turning to the Probation Department for assistance in raising their children.
And while Chief Probation Officer Dorita Lovell did not readily have statistics to hand, she told Barbados TODAY, over the past year the department was seeing more parents who were willingly coming forward because they were in need of help with raising their teenagers.
Lovell made the comments on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of the department’s Parenting Of Tomorrow’s Adults and As Man programmes at the Ministry of Education conference room yesterday.
“We find a lot of parents who come for assistance. Some cases are referred from the court but there are other persons out there in the community who seek the assistance of the Probation Department because sometimes they feel that they really can’t deal with the challenges on their own,” said Lovell.
“We are able then to introduce them to other persons who share similar situations and to provide information . . . because the truth about it is that some people are not able,” added Lovell.
She said many parents were “not able to understand the sudden changes” their children would experience during their transition from primary to secondary school.
“Some people say things like ‘I do not recognize that child.’ So those are the areas that we look at and we try and encourage persons to be responsible . . . so we want responsibility and accountability from both parents and child,” said Lovell.
In addition, Lovell said conflicting parent/ child relationships were responsible for a breakdown in some homes. Saying cultural penetration was a factor in how some children were being raised, Lovell said too many children were left unsupervised and developed habits from spending time with people who exhibited bad behaviours.
Adding that “that village life does not exist like it did before where persons will look out for each other children”, Lovell said people have become too distracted and materialistic.
The Parenting Of Tomorrow’s Adults is an annual one-month programme. Among other things, that programme sought to equip parents who needed help with raising their children with skills and various techniques relating to parenting.
Lovell said at the end of each programme an assessment would be done and the department would make necessary changes. (MM)