Parents should step up their game
As vice-president of the parent-teacher association (PTA) at Beecham Hill Primary and Infant School in Flint River, St Mary, Shamar Stona interacts with and observes mothers, fathers, and children on a daily basis.
Stona's role in the PTA, coupled with her personal experiences, has led the jovial mother of two to conclude that many of the issues affecting families in and around her central St Mary community are triggered by a lack of positive role models.
She told Family and Religion last week: "Kids nowadays don't have many role models to show or guide them in the right way, so they kinda drift along and do whatever they want. Lately, I don't think parents are being good role models. most of them are more interested in partying, and stuff like that, than being in their kids' life.
"We mostly have young parents these days, so I guess they are still trying to enjoy their youth. they want to do things now before they get old, so parenting takes a back seat. The type of parents I'm talking about are usually below the age of 30 years old.
"I find that parents of that age are not strict. they will say something, but they don't really care if the child does what they are told. I think it's because most of them had kids when they were young, so they don't know much about parenting. It's all new to them, so they just do whatever comes to mind," she said.
"They don't think anything is important anymore. And then the child says to himself, 'Mummy is not going to be strict or scold me for not doing my homework,' so they just do what they want. Then they stop advancing academically, and when that happens, it looks like the teacher is failing, and if that's the case, society is going to fail also."
WORSE WITH WOMEN
Usually, the males are blamed for failing to project enough positive images of good role models, but Stona has identified that modern-day mothers are just as guilty. She explained: "I don't think the saying 'man up' should only be used for men because a lot of the females need to step up their parenting game. I think it may be worse with women because in this society, a man can do anything, but there are certain things that most females won't do. It's different, so I give them less credit. I would just like to see parents getting more involved in their child's life. Be up-to-date with whoever is in contact with your child and help them with their homework because those are the things that help to develop their mind and give them self-control and motivation to push towards their goals."