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Single parent homes at fault

A former chairman of the Child Care Board is calling on the authorities to make “a more serious effort” in finding out what is causing so many young girls to go missing.

So far this month, four teenaged girls were reported missing from their homes. At least two have since been found.

David ‘Joey’ Harper

David ‘Joey’ Harper

“It is always a great concern because of the fact that you’re dealing with young girls, and in many cases sometimes young boys as well, who are disappearing,” said social commentator David ‘Joey’ Harper.

“Well, not disappearing completely, because they are suddenly reappearing, and then you hear nothing about it after they reappear other than ‘Betty James has returned after being missing for three days’,” Harper told Barbados TODAY.

Police Public Relations Officer, Acting Superintendent David Welch, said authorities were concerned about the frequent reports of missing girls.

“People go missing generally obviously for different reasons, and we would hope that if the person was missing especially as a result of a dispute within the family home, or some other problem, they can have someone that instead of being able to go to a place where nobody knows, they can actually seek out that person that they can trust, to resolve the issue,” Welch told Barbados TODAY.

When asked what explanations were given when the teens were found, Welch stated that the reasons varied, “and some are quite personal.  I would not venture to discuss them at this stage”.

However Harper believes authorities need to get to the root of the problem if the teenagers are to be helped. “We can stop here and speculate for a long time but we will never get what the real reasons are.

“It can be just sex, it can be drugs, it can be a number of reasons, but we have to know what the source of the problem is if we are seriously going to look for the solution to the problem,” he said.

Harper also pointed to what he called the declining standard of parenting as a contributing factor to the issue of youth running away from home.

“I have been fighting on radio for the last couple of years now to say that unless we take away the PAR and put PAIR into (the word) parents, we will be having problems continuously, because we have to understand the importance of having two people being involved in the parenting concept – that is mummy and daddy.

“If we have the single parent homes, which is an American slang that they have single parenting and it caught on in the Caribbean, then we have a problem, because it is not important anymore to have a father and mother playing an active role in the development and bringing up of their children.

“The children themselves do not have a father concept which they can cling to. And believe me, children do need two parents to be able to deal with the problem that they are facing,” he stated.

Another area that needs to be addressed, Harper believes, is the custom of neighbours looking out for each other’s families.

“You had community efforts so that if a little girl walked away from home, you can rest assured that the next door neighbour will be able to say, ‘Ms Jones, Ms Williams I saw your daughter walking going down Government Hill’.

“But nowadays because of the non-interaction of the community family, you have a problem.  So we have to come back together and we have to seriously sit down, we have to once again incorporate the values that once existed and we have to be able to sit down and seriously try to find out the problems that we are now hearing about because of the fact that we are too occupied in all of the other things that are not as important as they should be,” he stressed, adding that the Church also has a role to play in children’s development.

Harper, who served as Child Care Board chairman until the 2008 general election, would also like society to help build up the youth and “stop trying to batter the youth on every occasion”.

“Because if you say it often enough, the youth themselves will begin to believe ‘hey we must be really ain’t nuh good fuh true’. And this is the worst thing to happen to a society, where you inject into a society a feeling of unimportance. And I believe that some of our children are beginning to face that challenge,” he said.

4 Responses to Single parent homes at fault

  1. Donna October 22, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Most young people are a normal mixture of good and bad. Most of those who are more inclined to be very bad have serious problems in the home. I have not met many who are determined to be totally wicked for no good reason. This is the normal way of society where most people are not a total menace but can at times be part of a problem that needs fixing.

  2. jrsmith October 22, 2015 at 9:39 am

    He is talking rubbish , about single parent families, I know some one very close to me who is a mentor, ages 13 to 18 and this person always say , in many cases , you cannot split the behavioural difference between , dual and single parents youngsters, but when it comes to being or needing to be taught, the single parent child , have a much higher learning attitude.

    As a parent , heading towards 80, the young people are lost, the older generation , partly myself , has allowed our culture to fail, to destroy without ceasing the heritage ,which should encourage our youngster to look at an ever changing future.

    look where we are at, always taking time from blacks @ Uncle Sam, drugs , guns , ghettos, youngsters from the hood, monkey see monkey do, a documentary on BBC2 in London, shows, blacks in the US, is worst off now than they were 50 years a go.

    For the blacks in the US its like starting all over again, holding hands and signing ,we shall over come ,some day, but overcome what , our politicians and others keeps reminding us of the pass slave history and the thoughts of reparation. which never seems to ask the right questions of the right people and also produce the back ground for a favourable settlement.

    Slavery we should never forget, but also not to allow our failed politicians to use this as a cover , which keeps us bog down, because the have nothing out of pure logic to move us through the future. our politicians are the ones squeezing us to death and

  3. nanci October 22, 2015 at 11:35 am

    politicians bad in big countries, but worse in third world countries, because they hold the position for about 6 years, and you only see them when voting time comes around. They come in the neigborhood shops and drink and make friends, and the neighbors go out in numbers to vote for them. In the US for instance, at least you can vote them out in 4 years sometimes 3, and they have to listen to us, because we can send emails, make calls and most of the time get hold of their secretary, or direct access or emails from these politicians. So although blacks in the US and other big countries are worse off than 50 years ago, it could be for many reasons, homes, cars, food, clothing , education is much higher, and all people are just trying to keep their heads above water. Also in barbados for instance, most politicians dont even come to the neighborhoods and find out whats going on, and how they can help, most of the voters are just a bunch of people looking for shot term help, and also some of them are functional retards, because they dont demand more from the politicians. Also the drug problem in many neighborhoods are the reason many children are out of minds and act out, because the parents the kids selling drugs, but they look the other way, because jobs is like winning the lottery.

  4. Sue Donym October 22, 2015 at 11:54 am

    “Absentee Parents at Fault” might be more accurate. Or non-participating parents. It is quality and not necessarily quantity that is a better predictor of the results of the parenting effort. It would be ideal if both parents fully undertook their responsibilities, for there are two parent households in disarray as much as there are one parent households producing fine citizens.


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