Mothers enlightened after CDA educational parenting expo
Mothers in Annotto Bay, St Mary, commended local educators and child protection specialists earlier last week for helping them improve their nurturing and childcare skills through an educational parenting expo.
The exhibition, which was held at Annotto Bay Primary School and hosted by the Child Development Agency (CDA), targeted parents in one of the parish's most underdeveloped areas with information focusing on the protection of children in the community and at home.
Local parents Beneta Graham and Seomar Reid hailed the event as enlightening and a great way to disseminate sensitive information to a large number of people. Reid told The Gleaner: "Today provided wonderful exposure for us as parents; it covered many issues and there is a lot for me to carry back home.
"I learned how you should react whenever a male is too close; and that we need to encourage our young daughters and teach them to be careful who they talk to on the street. But the main thing I took away is to communicate more with my children."
Graham added: "This event was very well organised and put together, informative and educational. I took away a lot of information; especially from the Office of the Children's Advocate, and thought the demonstrations on HIV and AIDS were very good.
"I learned to love my child more and not say certain things to her; and also, I had forgotten how to put on a condom, but they helped refresh my memory (laughs)".
The CDA's team leader for St Mary and Portland, Carlyn Stewart, noted: "The parenting expo is something we do every year to build the capacity of our parents because we find that parenting and the lack of sufficient skills in that area is linked to the root cause of many of the problems that come to us.
too much responsibility
"We have over 19 agencies here today to help send the message to parents about the services they offer and how they can help them to be self-sufficient, independent, and enhance their parenting capacity.
"If we don't have a set of parents in a country who are able to parent their children, then what we'll find is an overburdened social system, and a State that has too much responsibility."
Principal at Annotto Bay Primary School, Paulette McLennon, said: "Today went well; our parents warmed to the event and came out to get all the information they could. I think events like this are important because parents need to know all the services and resources that are available to them, and should be able to access them."