Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
PRIME MINISTER Portia Simpson Miller yesterday said the failures of parents are putting a burden on the state and support organisations such as the Church.
Simpson Miller, who was making her contribution to the debate on the National Parenting Support Commission Act in the House of Representatives yesterday, said the health, mental development and motivation of children are all impacted by positive parenting.
"With parenting comes responsibility," the prime minister said.
She added: "When parents fail in their responsibilities, it makes life difficult for the children. This places an added burden on Government and all institutions such as the Church and the school."
The National Parenting Support Commission bill serves to give teeth to the National Parenting Policy, which was tabled in Parliament last year by then Education Minister Andrew Holness.
The policy speaks to the role of parents and the powers given to state agencies to ensure that the rights of children are protected.
Make the preparation
The prime minister recalled a woman in her constituency who said she intended to have out her lot of children. She said having heard the woman's statement she spoke during a function in the constituency and declared that "when you are going to do that, you must make the preparation to be able to take care of those children".
Simpson Miller said because of the failure of many parents, institutions such as the school and the Church have to take on parental responsibility.
The prime minister said many young men are playing their roles as parents. She, however, said more needs to be done.
"The fathers need to step up now. They shared the enjoyment, they need to accept the responsibility," she said.
In the meantime, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites said the country should move beyond merely promoting condom use and seek instead to encourage persons to be responsible parents.