Encourage young people to open up about their concerns

Dear Editor,
As a person who has been actively involved in education – especially of the young people of Guyana – in my long career as a teacher and a qualified counsellor: in schools, in seminars all over our country, and in my weekly columns as Uncle Roy, I now see the need for parents of young children, especially teenagers, to make a concerted effort to encourage their children to speak to them regularly about their personal problems.
We all know of the frequent incidents when our young people have committed suicide, or at least tried to end their lives. This is because by themselves they see no way out of their problems, except to end it all. This would certainly not be the case if they are assured of help by their parents, or others whom they can trust.
I believe that many parents feel they are not able to solve their children’s problems, and so hesitate to get involved; but they must appreciate that, as human beings, we are each endowed with an innate power to move towards the answers to the challenges that we encounter as we move through life. Most times, all it needs is for us to be able to confide in others and bring our troubles into the open.
I am now urging all parents and guardians of children to develop a routine, say weekly, in which they make a determined effort to gain the confidence of their children, and encourage them to open up about their concerns, and at least try to ease any problematic situation.

Yours sincerely,
Roy Paul