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Concerns over yawning gap between moms, daughters

Published:Wednesday | March 27, 2019 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer
Akeano Thelwell

Jamaican girls are holding back important information from their mothers, which threatens their relationships and makes it harder for them to bond.

That’s the observation of Glenmuir High School teacher Akeano Thelwell, who is hoping to bridge the gap in mother-daughter relationships through an upcoming brunch.

Thelwell, who is also the founder of Shades of Consciousness, a programme geared towards removing some of the negatives associated with skin colour, said that her conversations with young girls have given her insight into a missing link in the family. Many girls, said Thelwell, are not sharing important experiences and opinions with their mothers.

“I interact with a lot of the girls. They are basically saying they don’t want to talk to mommy. ‘Mommy doesn’t understand. Mommy is from a different era, and Mommy would just embarrass us, and Mommy is just miserable,’ she said, highlighting some of the feedback she has received.

Thelwell said that even when she encourages girls to share their thoughts with their moms, they are still unwilling to open up on many issues.

“Some of them have so many issues that they will talk about; they will open up, and they will tell you so many things,” she said, pointing out that girls were grappling with biological and psychological change amid puberty and adolescence.


Referring to the April 26 event that is slated to take place at Clarendon Park Mignotts Lawn, Thelwell said that mothers are excited about it and that some have even confessed that they are looking forward to bonding with their daughters.

“A lot of us have husbands, and we remember to send them text messages during the day, but we don’t do that with our daughters,” she said.

Thelwell said that social media and the heavy amount of European and American content that youths consume has begun to erode Jamaica’s culture and values and that there is often a disconnect across generations.

“So it is a different era, and we want the daughters to understand that mommies were once daughters, and we want the mothers to understand that these children are different from who they were, and so we want to bring them together,” Thelwell said.

The guest speaker at the event will be motivational speaker Krystal Tomlinson.