Educate parents on child abuse through teachers-parents meetings

Like many readers and netizens, I was very upset that a young crying child was beaten by her parents in Jurong West – as described in the report “Police called in over parents hitting child with cane and tree branch” (The New Paper, May 20, 2017). It was so pitiful seeing the young girl pleading with the parents not to beat her. As the mother hit her, the girl tried to snatch away the cane.

It is natural for parents to want their children to excel in their studies, but fear of failure should never be instilled in young minds as they will hate going to school.

Fortunately, the abuse of the young girl was captured on video and the matter brought to the attention of the police. But what would have happened if this incident was not highlighted on social media? Will the child have to suffer in silence?

The good news is that after the police spoke to her, the mother was remorseful.

Parents need to be mindful that the run-up to examinations often sees children getting little jittery, and some may fall into what is known as ‘test anxiety’. The chances of test anxiety can also be increased if the child already suffers from social anxiety. In this particular incident, the young girl must have felt all alone.

Parents must be made to understand that abuse of any sort can cause psychological problems for kids who cannot cope. As long as their kids study hard, do not neglect their homework and do their best, parents must show understanding and support.

I believe all schools have regular teachers-parents’ meetings, so this will be an opportune time to advise parents on disciplining their children in the right way. Counsellors and the police can also be invited at this platform to talk on the dangers of child abuse and give proper guidance on bringing out the best in children.

The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) is already treating young children who are unable to cope with their studies. Do we really want to increase the workload at IMH?

RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO

PROFILE OF THE WRITER

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Raymond Anthony Fernando is a motivational speaker, poet, author, trainer, songwriter, freelance television actor, ghostwriter, media celebrity, regular newspaper forum page writer and an advocate for the mentally ill.

He is a volunteer with the Institute of Mental Health. The author of 32 books was married to Doris Lau Siew Lang, herself an author of 8 books. Doris was called to the Lord in April 2014. This Model Caregiver 2007 and Mental Health Champion 2010, who is born on Valentine’s Day, has contributed 31 years of service to the public sector, 15 years of experience in public relations work, and received several awards and commendations from government organisations.

Raymond attributes his success to his beloved wife, Doris, who has always been his greatest inspiration.

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