The inability of some parents to properly discipline their children has prompted calls for specialized training programmes to be made available to them.
The suggestion was made during a panel discussion held at UN House, entitled ‘Perspectives on Positive Disciplinary Practices in Schools and Christian Doctrine’.
In recommending the initiative to the panel of Peter Wickham, Faith Marshall-Harris and Reverends John Rogers and Kenroy Burke, Reverend Lemuel Rawlins of Faith Temple Ministries International said he believed it was the right approach to tackle the growing levels of indiscipline among the island’s young people.
He argued that it should be mandatory for expecting parents to attend these classes.
“If I was Minister of Health for a day, I would make it mandatory that when these young girls or even older ones come to the polyclinics, that it would be mandatory for them to have parent classes, not by themselves, but with the guy who impregnated them.
“Because we have a society where parents do not know how to parent and that is a problem, because the real problem is the parents and not the children,” Rawlins argued.
“When you know how to parent a child, you know the emphasis is on disciplining the child and I am one who supports the whole battery of things that can be done to discipline a child; not to beat the child, or not to punish the child, because the role of the parent is not really to punish the child, it is to guide that child, bring discipline and bring training to the child.”
Rogers, the rector of the St George Parish Church and Rural Dean of St John, also agreed with the idea.
He said a similar initiative had already been started at his church and they had seen positive results.
“Actually one of the things we have started at church now is called Parent Support Ministry because I recognize we can talk as much as we like about how bad society is, but if we don’t assist parents in dealing with the challenges that they are facing with their children, we will be as much a problem as they are,” he told Barbados TODAY.
“I think the training with parents is essential.”
Rogers acknowledged, though, that because of the diverse cultures in Barbados, it would be challenging to implement a blanket project.
“How we are going to go about it, and what programmes we are going to use is going to be a bit challenging, because it also has to do with the fact that we are not a homogenous society.
“We are different ethnicities, different backgrounds, different social backgrounds, so we will have to devise a value system that will fit the entire gamut of who society is and I think that will take a long time and a lot of effort,” he admitted.