Our Readers' Opinions
June 23, 2017
Children of today need more discipline

EDITOR: There are expressions we use to express how we view life – “it is what it is”, “it is what we make it”, “it is what we make it out to be” – but I truly believe life is a challenge and only the fit will survive. Others may say life is a reflection of our culture and others who are Christians would have a different view of life. I am very mindful that one’s life is their own to live and he/she may do anything they choose, but that choice comes with responsibility.

Today, if one sits and looks at persons who were born in the ’60s and ’90s, it would puzzle the mind. Those of us who were born in the ’60s know that we came from a school where discipline by parents was a hallmark of our upbringing. Our parents were firm with their methods of disciplining us; at times I sit and reflect and some of it was abuse, but because of the level of respect we had for our parents, we took it. Today, our children have too much privilege, that in the name of love, would spoil them.

Sometimes I wonder if we are not to be blamed for the problems we face in today’s society. It’s a shame that values have disappeared, but whom should we blame? Is it poor parenting, bad communities, churches, lack of education, politicians, teenage pregnancy, social media, radio stations and the music they play?

We have become so selfish that we don’t care about anyone besides ourselves. What ever happened to “be your brother’s keeper? Carnival season is upon us; when one listens to the songs that are being produced, it’s all about rum or sexuality. Even the advertisements are sexual and filled with hidden messages. Our art form is very important and it should be displayed, but it must come at the heels of discipline.

Mass men and women should find ways to display our culture without selling sex and rum. Our calypsonians and soca artistes, when putting pen to paper, should write universal songs like Razum’s “Perseverance” and Becket’s “St Vincent, I love you”. Can one say today’s artistes produce songs of these stature?

We need to stop and think about our country, as disrespect seems to be the order of the day. Rum, sex, drug abuse, porn and homosexuality appear to be what drives poor people. How can we stop this menace that is destroying our blessed country? Parents should make time for their children; demolish some of the privileges that are not helpful to them, find out who their friends are; encourage them to get involved in meaningful organizations; insist that they use the Internet wisely. Fathers, put in valuable time with your children; get them involved in sensible conversation, especially young ladies.

Let them know that you are their parents and what you say goes. Insist on a time-limit when they go out; pay attention to their behaviour when questioning them.

You need to do what is right by teaching and insist that discipline is observed. Our young people are out of control and should be disciplined if they break the law. They can’t be hiding behind politicians, churches and leaders who don’t want to raise young children in the correct way. I’m extremely worried about the future of our society and we need to work together to fix this problem. Let’s start with young people, instil good values and set good examples for them, because they are the future of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Alfred Bernard