THE OPEN HAVERSACK: Kids – our future

Rhonda A. Blackman,

Added 29 October 2012


What happens to children in their first days, months and years of life affects not only their development, but that of our society, and our world. Therefore the type of child we mould today will have a serious impact on the type of world we will have and live in tomorrow. We should never presume that children will learn from the good examples of their parents only. In the modern world, some parents only spend a limited amount of time with their children. Therefore it is left up to the school, the church and the wider community to help instil values and shape these children who will become the future world. Parents are the child’s first teacher. The child learns not only from books, but from his or her environment. A child will emulate the behaviours of his or her parents. Therefore, if the parent is vulgar, the child will want to strive to become as vulgar as the parent. In the same vein, displayed positive behaviours result in positive emulation. It is an undeniable fact that education is one of the most important cornerstones of all human societies. The way a society regards raising the next generation is reflected first and foremost in its educational system. The school plays a significant role, not only in terms of the academic development of the child, but in terms of providing a curriculum geared at the holistic development of the child. It also teaches values and morals along with other life skills that will help make or shape the child into a productive citizen. The school needs to develop children who have the ability to communicate, negotiate, and bring out ideas in others. Children who can “think outside the box” are flexible, creative and, above all, able to quickly absorb information and learn new skills. It is fair to say that society instils values and its ideologies in its children, influencing their behaviour. Society has therefore to be aware of the mixed messages being sent children via the electronic and printed media. Children are exposed to drugs, alcohol and sex. Television, the printed media and the Internet offer a mind-numbing array of explicit sexual images and present “sex appeal” drugs and alcohol as offers that each child should not resist. The church is a forum that keeps and reinforces strong Christian values and teaches Christian principles. It plays a significant role in the spiritual development of the child and should be one of the strong voices speaking out against the ills in society. It should be the common thread running through the home, school and community. The type of world we have tomorrow will depend on the kind of child we rear today. Therefore there should be greater collaboration and consistency between the home, school, church and the wider community in trying to build, shape and guide our children, knowing they are the ones who will be the leaders of tomorrow’s world. We must strive now to mould children to think correctly, to judge rightly, and to have the heroism to live up to their positive convictions. If children are moulded in their attitudes, values and ideas, we can expect a better and more organized world of tomorrow, knowing that it is in safe hands. • Rhonda A. Blackman is an educator, a National Development Scholar and former president of the Early Childhood Association Of Barbados Inc.

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