Importance of parents

Every year in June, United Nations General Assembly set aside a specific day recognized as Global Day of Parents, to honour parents throughout the world. In Guyana it is no different, there are a lot of parents who should be thanked for their unwavering commitment and non-ending sacrifice towards the good upbringing and development of their children.
On Wednesday, at the beginning of the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) there were a lot of heartwarming photos parents hugging and kissing their child/children as they spoke positive words of encouragement to them before the sitting of the examinations. The images showed genuine love and interest for the children and their welfare.
While there are a lot of children that have to be thankful in Guyana, there are many that have been left abandoned, neglected and forgotten about. Another militating factor which plagues not only Guyana but the Caribbean is the absent role of the father, the flip side of which invariably leads to increased cases of single parent mothers.
These dynamics, which some sociologists argue is a product of years of social and cultural degradation of the psyche of the slaves and indentured labourers at the hands of colonial masters so that they can effectively maintain control, have left an indelible mark on the characterization of our people.
While there is no recent local statistics go by, which is an indictment on our research and analytical institutions, the Guyana Bureau of Standards in collaboration with (The United Nations Children’s FUND) UNICEF had outlined some time ago in its Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) that “almost one third (29 percent) of all children under 5 years are living in a household without their biological father. One in three children (30 per cent) comes from the poorest quintile whereas one in eight (13 per cent) comes from the richest quintile.” Taking into consideration the prevalent cases of child neglect and proliferation of single mothers, it can be rationally construed that that figure has increased.
According to the United Nations “many men have difficulty assuming the responsibilities of fatherhood, often with damaging consequences to families, and inevitably, society at large. Some fathers inflict domestic violence or even sexual abuse, devastating families and creating profound physical and emotional scars in children. Others abandon their families outright and fail to provide support. Researchers continue to explore how the presence or absence of fathers can affect children, in areas such as school achievement and crime.”
Sadly, too many children in Guyana are left without the critical nurturing support of a wholesome family unit during the most crucial years of their upbringing, leading them down a narrow path of anger and self-denigration. The spin off effects of which leaves the young ones susceptible to negative influences such as gang related crimes, drug abuse and from a sociological perspective the perpetuation of the deserting cycle as the child becomes an adult.
There is no denying in recent years there has been an increase in crimes being carried out by juveniles.
In the crime waves of 2008 one can recall the names of young lads such Otis Fifee, Jermaine Charles, Robin Chung, among many others who were on the register of notorious criminals in Guyana.
Through the process of educating, we need to propel a greater awareness of just how important are the role both parent within the construct of the family.