Advocating for the development of better parenting skills

Parents and guardians in south-west Trinidad, are ready and excited to begin the 2018/2019 academic year with their loved ones, due in part to the continued work and advocacy by the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services. The latter continues to promote the need for more enabled and functional families, as a way to improve resilience, innovation and discipline in our society.

Through the National Family Services Division of the Ministry, two cycles of parenting workshops were hosted in Point Fortin and Penal, respectively during July/August and were fully subscribed to, in each district. Sessions were conducted by trained and experienced facilitators, who were able to give relevant advice on topics such as child development and sexuality, treating with physical and cyber bullying, discipline and punishment, as well as, the impact of social media on communication and safety.

While the Ministry noted that women continued to comprise the greater percentage of participants, staff were also able to observe that there is a growing interest and involvement by men, who are fathers and leaders within the community. This was particularly evident in the Point Fortin cycle, where the male participants were extremely interactive in the sessions. One father, Mr. Ray St. Louis, praised the Ministry for its timely initiative, at a time when a number of families in the southern oil belt, are being significantly impacted by the global downturn in energy prices.

In Penal, residents also thanked the Ministry and facilitators for helping them to cope with feelings of aggression towards their loved ones, and enabling them as parents, to communicate more openly and positively. At the end of the cycle, parents were awarded certificates of participation.

About the Parenting Workshops of the NFSD

The National Family Services Division Parenting Workshops aim to strengthen existing parenting abilities and to equip parents and guardians with the necessary resources that would promote child learning and development. The Parenting Workshops encompassed a variety of parenting activities and topics, including, but not limited to; The Parent – Self Awareness, The Stages of Child Development, Discipline vs. Punishment/Bullying and Cyber Bullying, Sexuality/Teenage Pregnancy and Communication/ Impact of Social Media.

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