Thu | Aug 18, 2022

Set good examples for our children

Published:Monday | May 23, 2022 | 12:05 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Since the physical return to the classrooms, there have been numerous reports of fights, bullying, extortion, serious injuries and even deaths. This is a reality that we as parents need to take meticulous and concerted efforts to eradicate from our schools, communities, and the society. The effectiveness of school principals and other administrators is being called into question by parents. Truth be told, this is much bigger than the schools. We would like to borrow the adage that says, “It takes a village.” It is a cry for parents to step up! For us to regain control! For us to enforce Godly principles! For us to live a disciplined life as an example for our children to be guided by.

Our students are under severe attack from a force that is very contrary to that of the Most High God. This is very evident in the high frequency of unfortunate and disturbing incidents of violence in our schools since we resumed the face-to-face modality. We’ve been lamenting for things to return to normal for quite some time now, but this isn’t the normal that we anticipated.

Recently, there was an exchange in a school Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) WhatsApp group, in which parents chose to resort to disrespect and personal attack on each other. Even members of the PTA executive were not spared; members of the team were verbally assaulted. These behaviours should never be something we should have to contend with in a group of mature adults. The PTA executives have selflessly availed themselves to serve all our children through their parents. While this isn’t a paid job, this isn’t the thanks they’re looking for. When we as adults behave in such a manner, how much better should we expect our children to treat their classmates and even their teachers? By our own behaviours and attitudes, we are training them in the way they should NOT go. It has now become a song of no value, hearing other parents chanting that “is suh dem parents raised dem”. Let’s not take the stance of pointing fingers.

EQUIPPED FOR THE TASK

A parent being a pastor, or a prime minister does not guarantee that a child will never trek the dark side or be enticed by it. The good book admonishes us to “Train up a child in the way he should go…” But that is not equal to mind control. We can’t control their minds; we can only influence it. That scripture encourages us as parents to do our part to the best of our abilities, to show our children the way. If we continue without ceasing to show them the way, there’s a reasonable chance of them staying on the right course. The solution is within our grasp. Only we can stop it. The power is within us.

We’re equipped for this task. Let us do it for our children, for better schools, a better community, a better Jamaica – Land We Love. Let us not blithe their future. Allow them to grow up in a future of peace and love, laced with respect and discipline. Teach them respect by first showing respect. Remember, a child will, almost at all times, live what he/she learns. We implore you to set good examples for them to emulate.

DEVON MAXWELL

Chairman

National Parent Teachers

Association of Jamaica Region 4