NATION

EDITORIAL : Words Of Wisdom From Education Minister On How To Handle Children

Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy has given useful advice on how to handle children facing personal trials and challenges. He says parental engagement is mandatory to eliminate
28 Jul 2016 10:02
EDITORIAL : Words Of Wisdom From Education Minister On How To Handle Children
Editorial

Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy has given useful advice on how to handle children facing personal trials and challenges.

He says parental engagement is mandatory to eliminate children’s issues.

Mr Reddy is calling upon all parents to relook at their approach of handling their children and develop a more accommodating approach. He says this will enable the children to freely confide in them. Dr. Reddy made this call in the wake of a student trying to commit suicide at one of the Suva schools.

“We have noted in a number of cases that parental engagement is a big issue. Some parents tend to threaten students or become violent or abusive if they find a simple mistake. We are dealing with the 21st Century students who are facing numerous challenges which never existed before. We cannot adopt a confrontational and aggressive approach in this era,” he adds.

Mr Reddy has highlighted a very important issue for all parents and guardians raising children. The use of violence as a form of discipline in the modern world is frowned upon and totally unacceptable.

The biblical reference of “spare the rod and spoil a child” has been misconstrued to mean violence. This has led to many forms of violence and physical and psychological  abuse on the pretext of discipline. The rod is not necessarily a stick but the word of God. There is no violence or abuse but a holistic approach to teaching where there is love not hatred.

In homes where violence is part of the norm, children live in fear and become used to doing things out of fear. Mr Reddy talks about the culture of silence in some families where children are afraid to speak out.

He says this becomes a hindrance to open communication which is needed between the children and the parents.

Parents should seriously take note of Mr Reddy’s advice. He says: “As parents, we have to talk to our children, we have to discuss their problems with them and help the child get out of a behavior which is not good for them. Threatening them will lead to more repulsive and violent behavior,” he said.

“The increasing issues faced by our children is becoming a major worry for us now and we will spend some time and resources to educate parents on how they should engage with their children. Parents need to be firm but at the same time they need to understand that the children will experiment with life.

“The schools are doing all it can in regards to the safety and welfare of the children. However, we need greater parental involvement to fight present day issues affecting our children. Nowadays, we adults get too engrossed in our work and as such, do not spend quality time with our children at all times, so when problems happen, we cannot entirely blame the children.

“Parental engagement is mandatory in the overall growth and development of the child. Our children must have the faith and the trust in us to share their feelings and thoughts. Moral education, religious education and good mannerisms all begin at home and therefore, parents must take responsibility for this.”

These are genuine words of wisdom.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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