Wed | Aug 16, 2017

‘My children will not become criminals’ - Clarendon mother vows to take strong action to keep her children on the right path

Published:Friday | January 13, 2017 | 1:00 AMLivern Barrett
Marisa Golding

Marisa Golding has seen too many 'good young boys' migrate to a life of crime and become part of the problem in Clarendon, and she is adamant that none of her children will take that path.

The mother of five is doing all she can to ensure that her children do not fall prey to the many distractions lurking in the troubled Clarendon community of Havana Heights, where they live.

The chubby, jovial woman, who recently lost her common-law husband, made it clear that she raises her children with love but uses methods that are sometimes harsh to try and keep them on the right path. She admitted that she had to give one of her teenage sons two hard slaps after he came home "an him colour did a fade", a reference to the skin-bleaching phenomenon.

"So me a seh, 'Youth, you see from you colour start fade, you a go start beg $20 bag (of ganja). Likkle bit from now you pants a go deh a yuh bottom (below the waist). And you see after that, a di gun next'," Golding recalled of her conversation with her son.

"So choose from now. Either you stay inna me yard black ... ," she continued, without spelling out his other options.

Keeping grades up

And when her 13-year-old daughter's grades started to slip, Golding said that she took back a Samsung smartphone she had bought for this child.

The teenager is also on the verge of losing a $6,000 pair of Nike sneakers if her grades do not improve within the next month.

"Wha day me go fi her report card, girl come 12th (out a 37 students). Dat a fi har choice, not mine. If she come inna the first 10, then that's OK, but when you pass 11, 12, no sah," declared Golding.

"When me go collect the next report inna February, if she fall back inna di first 10, she get it (phone) back, but if she no fall in deh, me a go tek the shoes.

"Cause you see how me fat? A tin mackerel a me best friend just fi dem go school. You see schoolwork? Me tek it serious," added Golding.

'Sweet sex' was obstacle to her education

Marisa Golding, mother of five, who dropped out of school early, is determined to ensure that her children do not make the mistakes she made.

"Because me did a idiot. Me did bright, but me mek one thing name sweet sex get me out, so me nuh get the chance fi further my education."

The long-time Havana Heights, Clarendon, resident, who has seen crime transform her once-peaceful community, is unapologetic about the methods she employs to keep her children in line and suggests that the area would be better if more parents were strict with their children.

"You have to curb them the way you want them 'cause, you see, if you nuh curb dem the way you want dem, you can't manage it because dem a go tek up the knife, den dem lef the knife gone to the cutlass, den dem lef the cutlass gone to the gun," reasoned Golding.

"You have to instil positive things in your kids," she insisted.

Golding was also critical of the Child Care and Protection Act, which requires individuals to report suspected cases of child abuse to the authorities.

She argues that the legislation serves as a hindrance to solving the country's crime problem by not allowing parents to properly discipline their children.

"Gal a come from school 5 o'clock an you see him come in an shat him two box and neighbour call police. Dem a go lock you up. An when him ketch young belly pan you, dem same one come tell you fi sign paper," she argued.

"The Government nuh know when dem hungry, enuh, but dem know seh you lick dem wid piece a board," she added.

Golding said that after completing her children's education, she would focus on realising her dream of becoming a nurse. "Even if a one day before me dead," she vowed.