There is the call for parents and guardians to create that environment in which all their children would shine in every aspect of their lives.
This from Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development Steve Blackett as he addressed the opening gala for Child Month 2016 Friday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Blackett questioned whether parents and guardians were doing enough to children to shine as gems in their homes, schools and communities, and advised that it was the family who helped to shape a child’s personality.
“I believe that parents, guardians and adults have a responsibility to raise children in a manner that facilitates the transmission of positive values and ethics. It is the child’s interactions and experiences within his/her family that determine what he/she becomes in life and how he/she responds to the various occurrences within his/her lifetime.
“The relationship among members of the family, including children, is a very special one, even if at times, parents, guardians and children themselves don’t feel special to each other. Desmond Tutu described this relationship so aptly when he said, ‘You don’t choose your family, because they are God’s gift to you as you are to them’,” Blackett told the gathering.
Speaking under the theme for Child Month, Celebrate Children: The Gems Of Our Nation, he further urged parents and guardians to recognize their children were gems and to treat them as such.
“Too often our children are seen in a negative light. This is not a true picture of our children, as there are so many positive children in this nation that do positive things and contribute to their communities, schools, churches and homes. We need to take time out and celebrate their positive contributions.
“This year’s theme has at its core how we should view our children and the value that we should place on them. This year we are saying to our children: ‘You are our gems, our precious stones and our treasures,” he added.
He further urged the parents and guardians to renew their commitment towards the welfare and betterment of the children to teach them to live by ideals that were positive and productive to their families, communities, schools and societies.
“Children live what they see and hear. Therefore, let our children hear that we celebrate them and that they are the gems of our nation. Just as we would secure our precious jewellery, cars, and homes, we need to ensure that our children are kept safe and are treated as gems, for they are more precious than fine jewellery,” he added.
The gala was attended by students from various schools across the island. They were entertained by many talented youths from across the island, including The St Leonard’s Boys Choir, Tahirah Gibbons, Kayla Alleyne, Dynamo, and others.
Reverend John Rogers and Monsignor Vincent Blackett gave blessings to and said prayers for the children during ceremony.