Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Frustration is no excuse to abuse nation's youth

Published:Friday | April 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Dr Pauline Mullings, chairman, National Child Month Committee, discusses ideas for Child Month with (from left) Gail Moss-Solomon: Craig Hendrickson, director, National Baking Company Foundation; and Nicole McLaren-Campbell, chief executive officer, AIM Educational Services, after the official launch of Child Month 2018, which was held at the Grace Kennedy offices in Kingston on Wednesday morning.

Two videos of mothers violently beating their young daughters that surfaced last year were brought back into perspective on Wednesday by Chairman of the National Child Month Committee Dr Pauline Mullings, who pointed out that frustration was no excuse to abuse Jamaica's children.

Mullings was speaking with The Gleaner at the launch of Child Month, which was held at GraceKennedy's headquarters in downtown Kingston.

"I am really very concerned about this kind of treatment we mete out to our children," said Mullings. "I am advising parents, in general, that when you feel highly stressed and realise life is getting the better of you, remember that there is hope in God and that today's Jamaica has agencies that can assist with your situation.

"There is no way I am going to agree with parents who use the excuse that it is because they are stressed, frustrated, and life is hard (why they abuse children). We don't accept that. Children must be loved, nurtured, and cared for.

"There is a counsellor, a school principal, or a friend that can always help. During Child Month, we will help parents understand that there is help available when they find they can't cope or manage," Mulling said.

Child month is celebrated in May, but Mullings explained that the launch usually takes place in early April to remind the nation ahead of time of the planned activities and also to encourage citizens to participate.

The theme for National Child Month is "Affirm Me", which encourages adults to acknowledge, friend, favour, influence, respect, and motivate the youth.

 

Extends beyond May

 

Child Month activities will extend beyond May.

On Sunday, May 6, there will be a national church service at the William Knibb Memorial Baptist Church in Falmouth, Trelawny, at 9:30 a.m. On May 18, National Children's Day activities will take place at the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre in St Andrew and in downtown Montego Bay. Persons are encouraged to wear yellow on this day to represent support for children.

A day of fasting and prayer will take centre stage on May 30 at the May Pen New Testament Church of God in Clarendon.

On June 27, there will be an awards ceremony to honour youth from non-traditional high schools who are good role models and are excelling academically, even though they face challenging circumstances.

A youth forum will take place on November 2 at the St. Andrew Parish Church Hall, 16 Ellesmere Road, Kingston 10.

Child Month sponsors are GraceKennedy, National Baking Company, RJRGLEANER Communications Group, Kingston Bookshop, the National Health Fund, and a few others.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com