All efforts should be made to strengthen and maintain the family as it is the bedrock of a country, said Vaughn Miller, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development in his remarks to graduates of a National Parenting Programme. “I believe that your participation in the Parenting Education classes and the Parents Support Group, have prepared you to avoid some of the pitfalls of poor parenting challenges and becoming a ‘statistic.’ Be reminded that you are the first teachers for your children and you’re vitally important to influencing healthy and productive citizens for The Bahamas,” said Mr. Miller.
Thirty-one students graduated from the programme on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. The Parenting Programme hosted by the Department of Rehabilitative Welfare Services National, a division of the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development. Its purpose is to prepare persons for parenting roles and responsibilities, and, to train them to have “stronger” families.
Mr. Miller told the parents that it is hoped that the information they received will result in their being better armed to raise their children in a healthy, happy and wholesome environment.
“Many persons are of the opinion that once they become parents they automatically develop the inherent capacity to perform the responsibilities of a parent. Some aspects of parenting can be performed through instinct, and while this is good to a point, instinct alone cannot do it; you still need to learn good parenting skills.
“Then there are those persons who rely on personal experience to raise their children but not all personal experiences are positive ones and many parents will readily admit that they do not want to rear their children in the same way in which they were raised.
“While both instinct and experience play a part in child rearing, being a parent is a hard job and it is now widely accepted that like other life skills, there are some skills that must be acquired in order for one to effectively fulfill the role of parents,” he said.
The Parenting Programme was launched in August 1994 to prepare and train parents for their parental roles and responsibilities.
The goals and objectives of the programme are: to equip parents, guardians/caregivers with the necessary skills and training in order to rear healthy, well-adjusted children; to identify other providers of parent education programmes and develop formal linkages to improve programme delivery; to provide the necessary training, facilities and mechanisms to deliver parenting classes and other interventions to achieve the desired results; to create support network for parents by offering encouragement, information and referrals and to review legislation and policies affecting children and families.