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Parents need to be ‘fixed’ first - Family therapist blames bad parenting for cycle of violence

Published:Thursday | October 15, 2015 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas
Dr Beverley Scott

Western Bureau:

Western Jamaica-based family therapist Dr Beverley Scott believes the key to rescuing young people from a life of lawlessness lies in addressing parenting issues first.

"Parents need to deal with themselves first ... . I was speaking to a group of young people, and the atrocities they said come from their parents is unbelievable - the way their parents treat them and handle them and the things they tell them," Scott told The Gleaner yesterday.

"So parents need to be fixed as well. We need a national parenting programme to go to every nook and cranny, every community, because when you talk to them and hear them tell you the things they do and

say to their children, and you tell them, 'No, you have alternatives and you can do this instead', you would be surprised to know how much they receive the new message and the positive ways to deal with their children," continued Scott.

The police say the vast majority of the cold-blooded killers in western Jamaica are young males, some as young as 14 years old.

Scott believes the antisocial behaviour being displayed by some of these youngsters can be linked to how their parents treat them, which is influenced by factors affecting the parents themselves.

"They (parents) do not have the requisite parenting skills, and they are frustrated. Some of them are not employed, they do not have the money, and they take out a lot of their frustration on their children," continued Scott.


"We cannot leave out the parents, because then you have a vicious cycle of children coming out with the same attitudes and behaviour because we have not dealt with their parents."

Scott also noted that persons deemed as upper-class or who are in influential positions are not exempt from the negative effects of poor parenting.

"There are educated people who beat their wives. Where did they get that from? Yes, you might come out with some amount of education, but you come out wounded and scarred, and you pass it on - even in Parliament. Have you heard them in Parliament? Where do you think that happened? That is how they were brought up," Scott said.