Thu | Aug 24, 2017

Letter of the Day | Don't use kids as weapons of war

Published:Saturday | June 10, 2017 | 6:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I would like to address two articles published in The Sunday Gleaner of May 28, 2017, both of which speak to a common issue: the role of females in the abuse and neglect of our nation's children.

The article titled 'Desperate dad' highlights the predicament faced by many decent and upstanding Jamaican fathers who are devotedly trying to fulfil their roles as fathers and be involved in the lives of their children. Too often we decry the men and fathers in our society, often overlooking the decent, caring and hard-working ones. As a society, we need to do a better job of encouraging and supporting those men who work tirelessly, and often without recognition, to care for their families and children.

It is of significance that mothers take note and understand that children are the ones who suffer the most when they are prevented from spending time, and bonding, with their fathers. Granted, there are some situations where the threat of abuse and violence would warrant supervised visitation in the interest of the child's safety. However, for fathers who have not done any harm and desire only to see and care for their children, these dads should be applauded.

Children do best when they receive nurturance from both parents, even if both do not live in the same home. The vengeance that some mothers attempt to inflict on their ex-partners invariably causes more harm to the child than the adult male.

Many men are vilified as absentee and deadbeat dads while the women are too often the true villains who, in their attempts to get revenge or control the behaviours of their exes, compromise their children's development.

 

IGNORANCE ABOUT ABUSE

 

The other article, 'Rent-a-girl', further highlights the role and the lack of understanding on the part of some females on the short- and long-term impact of abuse and maltreatment on our children and, by extension, the society.

Studies clearly link the way we treat our young to devastating impacts on society. Children who are neglected and/or abused often grow up to wreak havoc on others.

It is, therefore, important that each well-meaning adult stand up and speak out on the behalf of our children. For too long we have lamented the injury and harm perpetrated on them, sometimes with impunity. These injustices must be addressed with urgency.

To our all mothers and other females who are hurting our children, I beseech you to cease and desist that practice. The harm done to these children is sometimes not immediately observed, but the brokenness and pain that they endure and may scar their lives forever.

CHERIL THOMPSON (PhD)

Clinical Psychologist, Associate Professor

Northern Caribbean University