Be good examples to children


IN a society where much emphasis is placed on the family, clan and tribe, Papua New Guinea has managed to keep a conservative approach to many issues that are a result of the meeting of modern with traditional ideals.
But one thing remains constant and is therefore universal, is that a parent is the foremost educator and example giver to his or her child.
Parents should teach their children about ways of stopping or preventing gender-based violence.
Cases on violence against women and children continue to increase across the country.
This trend seems to be increasing, as evident by court records.
Authorities most times have pointed the finger at parents that it is their primary responsibility to teach their children good values and instil proper attitudes towards women. We cannot stop the problem (gender-based violence) now, but we can stop it from happening in the future by educating our children about what is right.
Domestic violence, which accounts for a good portion of the cases of assault and coercion against women, is largely preventable if the people (men) committing these acts had had the grounding in their formative years by caring parents or at the very least, guardians who had the sense to teach them acceptable behaviour and unacceptable behaviour.
It is not just the boys who need to be taught how to respect and properly treat their womenfolk, but the girls should also be aware of what good behaviour is and what is unacceptable.
Parents have a moral responsibility to teach their children so that we would have a better Papua New Guinea tomorrow. The saying, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”, is fitting in PNG society because as much as we hate to deny it, women are not given their proper respect and consideration in many sectors of society.
Parliament, for instance, provides a clear example of the bias in numbers of women representatives – there are no female parliamentarians.
Hopefully, it changes after this election. If it seems the playing field (across all areas of society) is tipped in the favour of men, that’s because it is.
But in urban areas where parents have to work long hours to sustain their families, getting that one-on-one attention a child needs are not always possible or easy.
This is where schools and other institutions such as the church and recreational pursuits such as sports can help build and mould good character and other positive traits.
There has to be a holistic approach.
Schools, parents and the community should work together to promote the health, well-being, and learning of all students.
Family and community involvements foster partnerships among schools, family and community groups, and individuals.
These partnerships result in sharing and maximising resources.
And they help children and youth develop healthy behaviours and promote healthy families.
Research shows that students whose parents are involved in their education are more likely to: adapt well to school; attend school more regularly; complete homework more consistently; earn higher grades and test scores; graduate and go on to the tertiary level; have better social skills; show improved behaviour; have better relationships with their parents; and, have higher self-esteem.
While parents should bear the burden of raising their children up to be good citizens who contribute to their families and communities, they should not be alone in the task.