Parents are being encouraged to practise and teach proper conflict resolution methods to their children, to help prevent violent behavioural outcomes.
The call came from Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, as she addressed a virtual Dress and Grooming Consultation Session with parents on Tuesday, October 4.
“What we are seeing playing out in our schools is just the behaviour that they have absorbed in the homes and in the communities… and when they come to school, they don’t have a sense of how [to] interact with other students [during a disagreement],” she said.
The Minister pointed out that too often children are exposed to violence within their homes and communities.
“Violence has been perpetrated on them. We really need to stop as a society and understand the negative impact of that, and to know that there are boundaries and rules,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Williams noted that a study conducted on four-year-old students from the Early Childhood sector three years ago showed that “maybe 20 per cent or so, by the time they get to [age] four, have behavioural and early literacy and numeracy issues”.
She argued that the results indicate that many of those children faced physical and verbal abuse within the home.
“We need to stop as a society and understand that we are really damaging the heart [and] the minds of our children by the things we do and how we relate to them,” the Minister said.
“We interact with them in a very rough way. There’s plenty of research that is telling us that we are damaging the psyche of our children when we hit them, yell, or hurl expletives at them,” she added.
Persons are encouraged to report child abuse to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) by calling the 24-hour helpline, 2-1-1.