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A Government official has lamented that some adults are, too often, relinquishing their parental responsibilities, or are deliberately refusing to be present in their children’s lives.

As a result, said Permanent Secretary in the Division of Family and Youth, Irvine Best, some children were left to "fend for themselves" and he expressed concern that this situation could result in disastrous consequences for the children.

Mr. Best made the comments over the weekend while delivering remarks at the Positive Parenting in the Community Outreach Programme at the Checker Hall Community Pavilion in St. Lucy.

??He noted that Barbados, like other countries in the world, had been negatively impacted by the economic recession, and he opined that families and family life had being adversely affected.????????

However, he said this negative path could be reversed. "Positive parenting can be achieved if we are all willing to work together, not for our sake, but for our children’s sake. True development can only be measured as positive and sustainable if our people move in the same direction, when we work together to reform our society and when we strive to create an upswing in our economy," he stated.

Some of the parents picking up literature on how they can improve their parenting skills, last week at the??Community Outreach Parenting event. (Picture courtesy of the Division of Family)??

Acknowledging that parenting was no small task, since there was no manual to study, or degree course for one to discover all the answers, he continued: "However, what we have found to be effective, is the sharing of our experiences, the ability to talk openly about our concerns, fears and anxieties and the opportunity to interact with trained counsellors, psychologists and other competent persons. All this allows our burdens to be lightened."

The Parent Education and Support Programme was launched by the Division of Family in the Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth in 2009. Its overall aim is to interact with parents and caregivers; engaging them through various media so as to help them enhance their family life.

And, Mr. Best said that since the programme’s introduction, there was an increased interest in parenting by a number of stakeholders. "Today, we have a number of agencies offering or calling for parenting programmes. While this is good, there is, however, a need for us to work together to be able to offer a better quality of service to our parents," he argued.

The Permanent Secretary stressed that the private sector was willing to work with Government to address the various societal issues and commended the businesses for their support of the Positive Parenting Community Outreach event, which was the second of its kind.


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