Categorized | National News

National Parenting Programme Helping To Reduce ‘Parental Abuse’

The National Parenting Programme (NPP) is reportedly reaping some positive results.

According to Social Services and Community Development Minister, Melanie Griffin, the progamme is helping to reduce parental abuse, a growing concern in The Bahamas.

“Often times, the mistreatment or abuse of children results from parents and guardians not being fully aware of their responsibilities to nurture and protect their children and this is a growing concern particularly with younger parents,” Mrs. Griffin said.

“Unfortunately, our children are the ones who suffer when parents or guardians fail to properly fulfil their role and the feelings of anger and resentment in their children are often unleashed on society when they get older, which in turn makes our communities and our society more dangerous.

“The fact is that we need to provide support for parents and guardians with raising their children, which will lead to a better and safer nation.”

Mrs. Griffin said the NPP does just that and more as it facilitates workshops and provides counselling to assist parents in examining and sharpening their parenting and communication skills “so that they can work more effectively with their families and members of the community.”

The counselling and parenting workshops and sessions are provided free of charge as the Unit has partnered with professionals from various backgrounds and careers to conduct the sessions on a volunteer basis. The NPP hosts a minimum of 21 workshops on an annual basis consisting of eight and 12-week sessions.

Classes are held at the Abaco Markets Building, Thompson Boulevard on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 11:00a.m.-1:00p.m. and 5:00p.m. -7:00p.m.

Parent Support Group Sessions are held the first Thursday in each month from 11:00a.m.- noon during the day and 5:30p.m.-6:30p.m during the evening sessions. Individual, family, marital, group and grief counselling sessions are also held. While a significant number of the unit’s clientele are referred to the NPP through the criminal justice system, officials said parents and/or guardians needing assistance can gain that assistance by walking through the doors of the Department of Rehabilitative/Welfare Services located in the former Abaco Markets Building, Thompson Boulevard, or by calling the unit.

“There is an overwhelming belief that parenting is a skill that comes naturally to everyone, but this is not the case,” Mrs. Griffin said. “While most parents and guardians tend to rely on the way they were brought up to shape their parenting skills, there is a very real need to educate parents and guardians about their role and responsibilities.

“Persons have differing views on parenting. There are those who adhere to a very strict approach and are inflexible in dealing with their children. Others may take a more liberal or relaxed approach; yet others are inconsistent and send mixed messages to their children through their words and actions.

“In other instances, some may determine that the responsibility of parenting is too great and ‘give’ their children away to relatives or friends or simply abandon them by leaving them on the street or in the hospital or elsewhere. We have had cases of babies being left of the steps of churches.

“As a mother, I know how challenging it can be at times to raise a child, but I also know the many joys that children bring to our lives that far outweigh the challenges. As parents, we need to find the right balance in raising our children and when necessary, utilise the services that are available to assist us in better fulfilling our roles.

“Those services are available at the Department of Rehabilitative/Welfare Services through the National Parenting Programme, a Unit, I might say, that while being small, is growing and making its presence felt here in New Providence and some of our other Family Islands.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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