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Police Advice: Proper Parenting Will Help Prevent Crime

By SERGEANT 3150 NATHALIE RANGERS

IF we want to stop violence, we need to understand what causes it in the first place. Young men and women who carry out acts of serious violence are often experiencing deep-rooted problems. The majority of youths in custody are themselves victims of abuse. Some experience suffering and violence at home; the struggle many of these children have experienced so early in their short lives is a key factor in their violent criminal behaviour.

Children start developing their sense of self as babies, when they see themselves through their parents’ eyes. Your tone of voice, your body language and your every expression are absorbed by your children. Your words and action as a parent affect their self-esteem more than anything else.

PARENTS how involved are you in your children’s lives?

How well do you think you know them? Do you attend regular parent teacher association (PTA) meetings? Or better yet do you know the names of your children’s teachers? How about their friends and their friends’ parents?

Do you know what your kids are doing after school?

We have been hooked on to our phones, or social media or somewhere else while we should have been paying attention to our children.

Parenting is a skill which must be practised diligently – it is one of the most challenging jobs in the world to raise a problem-free child who is a proper balance of morals, values and discipline. Each child is different and so is the parent. The idea of rearing a child differs from parent to parent.

Are you too carefree as a parent, giving your children the power to decide everything?

In such cases, kids become their own masters, going to bed late, getting up late, and doing absolutely everything at their own will. Owing to hectic lifestyles and both parents working, no one does the work of disciplining the kids as life is already chaotic.

If this is how your kids live their lives, this is what they will do when they visit their aunt or cousin. They simply would not know how to behave appropriately. Discipline is the only way your kids grow up knowing right from wrong. Parents need to do some real hard work to raise kids who know how to behave properly. There will be times when kids will test their parents, by breaking rules, hence parents need to establish and clearly communicate the consequences of breaking those rules.

PARENTS are you giving your children any of your time?

Guilty of being glued to your phone’s screen when your child is demanding you play with him/ her? Got an official call and cannot listen to your child telling you about his/her day? Stop! Your children do not just need food or money from you, they want to speak to you, share their experiences and sometimes need to hear your comforting words.

Communication is the only thing that will strengthen your bond, not expensive gifts. The deal should be to be the parent your children want to hug and spend time with, not the ones who are like ATM machines. Kids may inadvertently perform odd behaviour to attract parent’s attention.

At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents

Put your children on a schedule!

Kids are more likely to pick up negative activities or fall into the wrong crowd when they are not on a schedule. After school programmes such as subject lessons is a great option to ensure your child has an advantage in class.

Other options such as sporting teams, music and band participation are also great options.

I know as parents you get so busy trying to provide the best for your children that you just do not view these things as important, but an involved parent is a more informed parent and it lessens your children’s chances to succumbing to peer pressure, experimenting with drugs, becoming teen mothers and getting involved with gang activities.

Children who are properly cared for become more competent and independent adults.

Speak life into your children!

Labelling children as lazy or dumb and using these words in public can significantly hurt a child and lower his/her self-esteem. Likewise, if you criticise your kids’ efforts or look down upon him/her by comparing with others achievements, then your child may develop feelings of jealousy and resentment.

PARENTS let us raise good productive children

• Do not turn a blind eye when your child is doing wrong

• Do not start disciplining your children at the adolescent stage. At this stage, their mind-set is already developed and is open to peer pressure.

• Start disciplining at the toddler stage

• Have structure in your child’s life

• Know their whereabouts at all times

• Do not leave your children uncared for to be at risk. Get involved with every aspect of their lives.

• Give your children a strong foundation of discipline and godliness.

• Boost their self-esteem

• Set limits and be consistent with your discipline

• Make communication a priority

• Tell your children that you love them and show that your love is unconditional

• Teach them that manners, respect for themselves and others will take them through the world

• Be more aware, attentive and alert, get more involved.

Let us make the Bahamas a safer place to live, work, visit and play!

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