Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Tell the Children the Truth

Published:Thursday | April 2, 2015 | 11:30 PMJody-Anne Lawrence

There is no rule book on parenting, and there are some obvious setbacks, which Tammy Hart and Nice Time Productions Limited, have highlighted in the documentary, Tell the Children the Truth.

The documentary was shown on Tuesday night at the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus. It was a representation of what is happening in Jamaica's inner cities. Participants in the documentary included psychiatrists, sociologist, entertainers, public figures and  members of the inner cities.

What was evident in the documentary, was that there is a complete breakdown in the family structure. There were women who were having children that they could not properly provide for with different men. These women were themselves raised in a similar environment, which perpetuates the cycle- a cycle that will continue if people do not tell their children the truth.

There were children who spoke about not knowing or having a relationship with one or any of their parent. One participant in the documentary went as far as to say, “I do not like to speak about my father.” Another, Cassandra Blake, told her heart wrenching tale of abandonment and expressed her fear of starting a family of her own. When she was three months old, she was left on the street in front of her father’s house and she grew up watched as he  abused his many partners. This experience have left her broken.

Psychiatrist Dr Fred Hickling, described the garrison as a modern day slave system, where the men after impregnating the women, leave them to take care of the family on their own - a structure that  needs to change.

Another issue that was raised in the film, was that  parents need to talk to their children about sex. Janet Silvera commented in the film that parents need to have that discussion, as many of the teenage mothers that she has interviewed,  never had the talk with a parent. She noted that its' the parent's responsibility to tell their children the truth about sex. 

After the 47 minutes documentary, members of the audience were allowed to comment on the issues raised in the film,  and there was unanimous commendation for Tammy Hart and the Nice Time Production team.