Tag Archive: parenting


The twenty-first century has seen a disturbingly regrettable trend of more and more parents of academically average children playing less and less active role in their children’s education during the school year here in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). Every year, even before students can get into their summer flow, the back-to-school hype literally invades their minds via radio, television, and now the internet and telephone advertising. Parents are enthusiastically busy getting their children registered into new schools, buying books, uniforms and paying other preparatory expenses. But where do these parents disappear to after day one of the new school year?

A successful education system, such as we allege to have in SVG depends on the collaboration of the student, teacher, school, home and community. Learning is indeed a partnership. But partners in this education process are becoming woefully negligent and even uncaring. Years ago, it was the norm to find that parents would make it their business to know their children’s teachers, to keep in continuous contact with the school and to reinforce education policies and school decisions at home.

But today, the environment and world of learning that schools offer students in the classroom is tantamount to a fleeting fairy-tale feeling of bliss while at the movies, because after the school bell rings, many children are returning to homes and communities with very contrasting views on schooling and life values.

It is a reality we cannot afford to ignore much longer.

Generally speaking, the education policies, from the Ministry of Education to the individual school regulations, have been doing their fair share of keeping students on task and actively involved in their learning. But there is very little structure and support for the students outside their classrooms. As it is now, far too many children, some as young as those in primary schools, are being just left on their own to literally become young independents. They are home alone after school, they have no set bed time hour, they go wherever they want, they do whatever they want, and on mornings they are told by their parents who go to work and leave them at home, to get themselves ready for school ad go to school.

Of course, many of them don’t habitually go to school, or they go to school regularly late.

So the question is: Why is this generation of parents neglecting their most vital parenting responsibilities as regards their children’s education during the school year? Well, perhaps the following real-life incident might shed light on the causes.

When summer was ending in 2014 I was making my way through the market when some parents began talking about the reopening of school. “Let school hurry up open,” the first parent said. “Yes,” was the quick reply of a second parent. “I can’t keep any food in the fridge for this whole month of August.” A third parent then said, “My electricity bill went sky high because the children home watching TV every day.” Then a fourth parent said: “The other day I go home and meet the water hose turned on. The water run whole day because the child at home and been playing with the hose.”

The above comments suggest to me that the primary function of school for the average parent is to give them a relief from the “burden” of looking after their own children on a daily basis. Something is causing a paradigm shift in local parenting. This is evident from incidents when a parent is highly upset that she has to report to her child’s school because he or she was suspended. Long ago the anger would have been focused on the reason the child was suspended in the first place. Now it is aimed at the school for disrupting the parent’s “vacation” from life without the child around.

This parenting shift is also real when a parent can also declare in front of their child that they don’t love or care about that child; that their money, attention and love is going to the brother or sister at another school. That’s an actual development.

The time has come for parental courses, tutorials, help-a-thons or the like, to be made available for many parents. Many of them are proving unable–or unwilling–to cope with their basic responsibilities of parenting their school-going children.

No child asked to be born, so when that child is born it is the duty of the parent to start living a sacrificial life for the child; however, what is happening is that many parents wish to continue living as though they have no children. That is a recipe for the failure of the child.

Yes, parents may have to work, but they should not just accept that they leave home before the child wake up, or that they come home late at nights hours after the child reached home from school. Parents, you have an equal responsibility to make sure some mature adult is there before and after school.

Children are also  leaving home and returning from school with no adult to inspect or monitor the contents of their bags or pockets. The moral straying in this area is infinite. From not taking books to school to bringing back books, cell phone, drugs or money that does not belong to them, are all possible results because children are unsupervised at home or left unchecked.

When a child can buy their own uniform, stitch in the pants, or wear multiple pieces to school–something is wrong with the way parenting is done. When a child’s report from December is still uncollected in June–something is wrong with the way parenting is done.

Has the time come for parents of school-going children to sign a legal parenting contract which spells out specific things that they must do after registering their child, or getting the new bag, books and uniform for September?

Could it be that the twenty-first century parents are having children as a consequence of sexual activity, rather than having intercourse because they genuinely want to have children?

The answers to  those questions are critically important if schooling has to once again become the noble and proven way of giving indigent children an escape from poverty.

In too many instances, school is being reduced to a mere baby-sitting hub where children only give priority to the after-school lime with their fellow students from across the island when they gather in the capital city and stand at the bus stop for hours each and every evening.

Education is still a valuable asset, and schooling is still a fundamental necessity but we are fooling ourselves if we only make back-to-school an emotional hype of making a social statement and then abandon the children to sink in the academic seas of actual reading, studying and doing home-work. We should really not celebrate back to school without prioritizing going back to parenting.

 

 

 

 

save the future

“School shootings are in the news again. An Ohio teenager opened fire on five classmates, killing three students and injuring two others (see raw video from scene at Chardon High School). In Seattle, the 9-year-old boy who brought a gun to school and seriously injured a classmate when it accidentally discharged in his backpack was released on bail, after he appeared in court wearing an orange jumpsuit, in tears.

Children are injured and murdered every day, but school violence carries a symbolic potency because we like to think of schools as safe havens from the harshness of adult life. It’s horrifying to think that the institutions to which we entrust our children for hours every day could be a place of injury or even death.

(MORE: A Parent’s Perspective on the Ohio Shootings: All About Gun Safety in the Home)

But our focus on the word school — and even on whether the shooter was bullied by classmates, as it appears was the case in Ohio — obscures a key issue. The shooters didn’t get their guns at school. The guns weren’t fashioned in wood shop. The guns came from home, and they were obtained by adults.

Politicians and taxpayers like to hold teachers accountable for their students’ failures. Most of the public’s dissatisfaction with education seems to circle back to what’s wrong with teachers, and the assumption that drives our endless rounds of flagellation and reform is the belief that a child’s fate rests largely in the hands of the teacher in whose care he or she spends approximately 1,000 hours per year.

Yet the remaining 7,760 hours are on someone else’s watch: the parents. That’s right, children spend on average only about 11% of their childhood lives in school.

But we rarely talk honestly about what can happen during the other eight-ninths of their waking and even sleeping hours. Children arrive at school poorly nourished and too fatigued to work. They spend too much time on television and too little on exercise. They are poorly socialized in ways that inhibit learning and kindness. They also bring unsecured weapons to school and use them on innocent people, including, sometimes, themselves.

(MORE: Eighth-Grader Killed by Police: What Went Wrong)

There’s an eerie void in our discussions of school violence. Where are the adults? Where is the same cry for accountability in parents when things go wrong at home that we have for teachers when things go wrong at school? We aren’t suggesting that one human being can be responsible for every misstep a child makes. Nor are we suggesting that parents shouldn’t be allowed to make their own, often serious mistakes without fear of being criminalized.

But children are being injured and killed through the shameful negligence of the adults who are responsible for them. Roughly one-third of households with children report owning at least one gun. Forty-three percent of these homes report keeping firearms in an unlocked place, while only 39% of these homes keep the guns locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition, as recommended by the American Academy of Paediatrics and many gun-safety advocates.”

To read this article in its entirety, click on the link below. It is an article you should read as you empower your critical thinking skills.

School Shootings: Do We Blame Parents When Kids Have Guns? | TIME Ideas | TIME.com

Several end point situations in the human existence are deemed a cycle: crime, unemployment, poverty, just to name a few. As many young ladies innocently attempt to fulfil their dream of having a stable family with a permanent partner, they are often landed on the merry-go-round, visiting relationships ride.

It seems that as men we just want to “sow our royal oats”. Guys will meet on the block and brag about their sexual conquests; indeed, we are raised to believe that as men it is the hunt and the thrill of the journey of getting a  woman  is the important thing.

The truth is, many women are left alone to suffer and struggle with their children simply because the objectives of both genders are way different. While a woman is looking forward to a safe, reassuring, complementary relationship that is conducive to family growth, the typical man is looking for a woman’s ability to sexually tame the ravenous carnivore in him.

It is unfortunate that men these days do not recognize the reproductive and paternal costs necessary for a pleasurable and enduring relationship. A man will friend with a woman until such times as talk of taking the relationship to the “next level”.

It is interesting to note that even this expression is interpreted differently by man and woman. To a man, the next level he hopes is having sex while the woman is hoping the next level is some security measures such as engagement, marriage, getting a house, or something like that.

Men abandon their women at pregnancy or after attending day 1 of the “next level” relationship summit. You can validate what I am saying by the use of the popular terms baby mama, baby daddy.

I am saddened that a person’s worth or significance is just being the parent of one’s child. There was a time when one’s partner was called honey, dear, sweetheart, etc.

The result is that our well-intentioned “baby mamas” begin to knock from pillar to post to secure a father figure and financial input for their beloved children.

It is my opinion that more and more of our “baby daddies” do not want to be a functional father; they are looking only for the next available vagina. The children in particular are seen by these  ‘baby daddies” as an unwelcome and unwanted bother and hindrance.

The “baby daddies” do not really love the children, but in an attempt to please the “baby mammas”  who they love and want to make happy for a bright sexual future, the try to be a daddy; however, when the realities of the permanent non-stop responsibilities of fatherhood kicks in they use their back up parachute and abandon the aircraft in mid-air turbulence.

look at so many of our children are growing up without the intimacy and input of their fathers. Is it possible that these children—particularly our boys—will come of age and say, “I made it without a daddy, so my children can make it, too?”

And the ladies who are becoming empowered through education and decision-making positions are beginning to see all of this and are getting to the point of only wanting a man as a “sperm donor.

What is to become of our Caribbean families in the future? I propose that unless we re-educate and re-socialize our males, the human family in the Caribbean and quite possibly among all black communities will very well become like that of the animals, such as what occurs with dogs, goats, etc.

The old saying of bam, slam, thank you madam has never been more practised.

It is time to begin to pay the price to move our men from “baby daddy” to “father.”

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