Children’s Advocate, Diahann Gordon Harrison, is encouraging parents to become familiar with their children’s various developmental stages in order to better understand what they are going through and to be more patient with them.
“We need to be guided by what is normal at different stages of our children’s development and try to put ourselves in his or her shoes. This will cut down on the harsh words that come to our mouths, sometimes, and the blows that we see our children being scarred by,” she said.
“So let us take a step back, remember when we were at those stages, and the patience will help us through those times,” Mrs. Gordon Harrison implored.
She was addressing a virtual parenting seminar hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Providence in Montego Bay, St. James, on Tuesday (July 27).
The Children’s Advocate further urged parents to make themselves available to their children. This, she noted, will help to build the relationship between parent and child and also assure children that they can always go to their parents for advice.
“We need to be available for our children when they need us, or when they don’t even need us, but they just want us. Sometimes, they just want us to be attentive to them a little bit. They want us to play a game with them, they want to show us something very silly, they want to show a funny face and they want you to make it back,” she said.
“If our children are confused about something, or are in trouble, or need help, will they turn to us as parents or will they go to others who may not give them the best advice? Are we accessible and available for our children to come to? When they do reach out to us, we must be attentive.
“Stop listening with one ear [or] texting and ignoring the child so they do not feel as important; give them your undivided attention. This validates our children that they are worth our time, that we are not bothered by them, and by extension, this builds on their self-esteem and their confidence,” Mrs. Gordon Harrison said, noting that children with low self-esteem are at risk of persons preying on them.
Mrs. Gordon Harrison lauded the Kiwanis Club of Providence for putting on the seminar and other efforts “into making the lives of children in [Montego Bay] that much more bearable and safer”.
The seminar, which was held under the theme ‘Our children, our legacy, our future’, highlighted the importance of good parenting as well as the importance of nurturing children, how to ensure that they have proper nutrition and securing their future.