Values, discipline start at home


IN a society where much emphasis is placed on 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.
The saying that a child more often than not grows up acquiring the traits of the parent is true not just in a biological sense but also in terms of their attitudes and ideals.
It stands to reason that a parent’s attitude to a certain subject or issue is mirrored to some extent by their children.
With that, parents must teach their children about ways of stopping or preventing gender-based violence.
And if there are evident of parents’ slackness, then they must be held accountable for their actions.
Cases on violence against women and girls were on the increase across the country.
A magistrate (now a judge) years ago told his court room that around 66 per cent of women and children in PNG were the victims of violence.
And that trend seems to be increasing as evident by court records.
Parents have the 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, were 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.
This is where schools and other institutions like the church and recreational pursuits like 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, wellbeing, and learning of all students.
When schools actively involve parents and engage community resources they are able to respond more effectively to the needs of students.
Schools must also be firm with discipline on problem children.
If they are to be expelled, then let it be.
It takes only a few or just one child with a bad attitude to influence others.
The root must be dug out.
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 must 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.