Jamaica Gleaner / The Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) III is looking to reduce the use of corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure by 10 per cent within one year, through its Parenting Education Programme. The initiative, rolled out in
mid-November, builds on a pilot programme that was implemented by the CSJP III in the western section of the island with positive results. The programme has been refined for delivery across CSJP’s three regions.
This intervention is aimed at equipping parents with the necessary tools to enable the use of non-coercive methods of disciplining children and managing conflicts in the home.
Regional Case Management Coordinator, CSJP Central Region, Alva Marie Graham, said research shows that adolescent pregnancy, unskilled parents, lack of adult supervision, heavy reliance on corporal punishment, and poor communication skills are major challenges to the parenting role, which, when coupled with the aggressive approach that parents use in treating with their children, contribute significantly to conflict within families and communities.
“The literature shows that harsh and conflictual parenting is a harvest factor for development of conduct disorder among children, and later antisocial behaviour.
“Children transfer learned behaviour to school, and over time to community … leading to violence becoming pervasive,” she said.
… Engage parents in in-home sessions The Parenting Education Programme provides a cadre of Community Parent Trainers (CPTs) in each region, who engage the selected parents in in-home sessions, and act as the resource persons at the community level.
The six-month training programme, which will use a range of strategies to give parents the capacity for effective parenting without the use of coercion, also seeks to promote positive communication as a tool for structure and nurturance in raising children.
Other objectives of the initiative include helping parents to establish effective rules as a strategy to monitor and supervise children; improving parental involvement in the lives of their children to reduce antisocial behaviour, and training parents in conflict-resolution techniques to correct attitudes that will help children manage conflict and stem the rise of violence.
One hundred parents are currently engaged in the intervention, which has a target of 600 in the first phase. A total of 112 CPTs have been trained across the Kingston and St Andrew Central and Western regions.