Prime Minister Harris Leads Expansive Effort Designed to Bolster Youth, Parents and Families

Basseterre, St. Kitts, Monday, March 21st, 2016 – At his press conference on Tuesday, March 15th, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris made an appeal to parents, saying they should lead by example in their homes.

“Mothers and fathers must say no to drugs, guns, violence and crime. They must never spare the rod and spoil their children. They must never condone doing wrong. They must be examples for their children,” the Prime Minister said.

This sobering message forms part of a large educational effort by Team Unity aimed at building cooperation between government and the country’s parents, in recognition of their role as primary socializing agents.

Children model many of their parents’ behaviours and adopt a lot of their values and attitudes. The Team Unity administration therefore understands the importance of establishing partnerships, in particular with teenage parents who are charged with nurturing babies while they themselves are still growing up and developing into adults. These partnerships ought to continue as babies grow and develop into adolescence, a life stage that presents parents with increased competition from other socializing agents such as their children’s friends and the media.

In his official address to mark the occasion of the Team Unity Government’s first anniversary in office on Tuesday, February 16th, 2016, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris noted several “challenges requiring collective, national effort on a consistent basis.” Challenges relating to the country’s youth, parents and families are namely:

– Abatement of crime, especially homicides among our young men,
– Strengthening of families,
– Return to positive influences for young people,
– Parenting skills and responsibility, and
– Inculcation of life skills, anger management training, conflict resolution and diversion programs to bring about positive attitudinal and behavioural changes in our youth.

During the 2015 National Consultation on the Economy hosted by the Ministry of Finance under the theme “Changing Lives – A Fresh Start Towards Sustainable Development, Growth and Prosperity,” Prime Minister Harris said his Government “intends to examine in detail, with a view to enhancing in a significant way, parenting programs and the systems that are in place to reduce truancy.”

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