Tue | Jul 27, 2021

Letter of the Day | Teach about parenting in schools

Published:Monday | June 14, 2021 | 12:06 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

The editorial of Saturday, June 12, on getting parenting right was very good and made a number of important and valid comments and suggestions. However, it did not mention something that I have tried to advocate for many years, but will take this opportunity arising from the editorial.

The editorial does express very strongly the need for some additional focus in this area and the changed circumstances over time in how children are, or not, being “brought up” currently. Of course, this has been the case for many years, and it has been getting worse every year.

Anyway, my suggestion is to introduce ‘parenting’ as a subject in our school curriculum. It should start at an early age and go on into secondary school, just like arithmetic or English, etc. I am not an educator, so I do not know exactly when it should start or stop to get maximum effect, but the experts can determine that. The bottom line is that parenting is something we have taken for granted, as it has been talked about out of school, in various ways, historically. However, as your editorial points out, those ways hardly exist any longer.

We have to find a substitute quickly, and teaching parenting at school seems to me to be the only answer. It is not a short-term solution, but the sooner we start the better, and it may even have the effect of the children themselves helping to teach their parent(s), as strange as this may seem.

I will not try and argue the case in favour of this possible means of help with the extremely serious problem that the editorial sets out clearly. I personally think that we have overlooked it, and it is the most serious long-term problem that we have in Jamaica, and anything that can be done to help solve it needs to be done.

My suggestion is one possible way of helping. Whenever we read of a successful person who has done extremely well, from school, university, etc, I think probably nine out of 10 credit their parents, or a substitute parent, for their success. Think of the many people who have not had the benefit of parent(s) or the equivalent in their lives, and what they may have achieved.

CHRIS BOVELL

Kingston