Supervise them – Don’t ‘snoopervise’ the children …

 With her expertise, she had strangers speaking to each other like they were old friends. These individuals were brought together by the common need to find solutions for the issues they have with their teenagers and to know how to instill old values in modern times.

 Dr Melrose Rattray, director of Help for Parents Jamaica and Help for Parents and Families in New York, had a word of advice for them. “If we try to parent alone, we lose the support of those around us. We are not alone.”

At a recent seminar at the Knutsford Court Hotel, Rattray used interactive role playing to address the concerns of these parents. She said this method has worked in the other Caribbean islands, as well as in countries like England and America, regardless of background.

So, at the start of the workshop, she told the gathering of parents and guardians to stand beside some tags that were posted on the walls. There were more than 10 of the tags, but it was obvious that these strangers had a lot in common as three of them chose to stand by the tags which read: ‘Not enough time’ and ‘They don’t listen’. One parent chose ‘Tired’ and another ‘Don’t seem to be getting the results that I want’.

 A hearty discussion followed when the group was divided into two groups – ‘C’ and ‘D’ – and told to write a letter to an alien telling it about Earth. They were to use descriptions based on the letter of the group to tell about the problems with teenagers. Many concerns were brought to the fore, with Dr Rattray intervening at different stages to make recommendations. “What we put in them (children) determines the output so we, as parents, have power,” she declared.

 She suggested that in dealing with the issues, parents should separate the deed from the doer. Speaking about the bad habits rather than critising the child is more effective in dealing with teenagers, she said. Another point she stressed is that parents should supervise and not ‘snoopervise’. However, she said if parents have suspicions, they should make checks and do follow-ups to stay on top of each situation.

 Rattray said the parents need to know how to do their job and this can be done with a combination of methods. Modelling is important, and parents need to portray behaviours that they want to see the child reflecting. Additionally, teach the child how to behave appropriately and responsibly. She said coaching is also important and parents need to provide guidance. She noted that parents should encourage their children and give reminders to express confidence.

 Mould them

 The audience was asked to play with play doughs that she provided, while delivering the lesson. “We have been given the task while they are in our hands to mould them (children) and prepare them for life,” she said while explaining that parents have a job to ensure their children are brought up with responsibility and sensitivity towards others.

 It was at this point that Lloyd, a participant in the programme, blurted out: “Sometimes I have to take my teenager around the back of the house and say, ‘You see those trees? You see money growing on them?’ Everything they see on the TV they want.”

 There was much laughter, but the audience agreed that it was the reality as today’s teenagers generally ‘want everything and want it now’.

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One Response to “Supervise them – Don’t ‘snoopervise’ the children …”

  1. Dj Rohan says:

    Parents and Guardians are the ones who should mold their children and prepare them for the turbulent society that we live in and have to face on a daily basis. Our society should ensure that our children, who are our future, must be protected and be guided in the right direction. I agree with Dr. Rattray and please keep up the good work in making us better parents. I hope everyone gets an opportunity to read this great and informative article.

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kimesha Posted by: kimesha December 21, 2009 at 11:17 am