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Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.


African Man Helping his Daughter with her Homework


A determinant force in establishing protective factors is the role models that parents represent. Role models are not only what the children and adolescents see, but also parental attitudes towards life.

The father having a positive attitude towards life provides his adolescent children with high expectations with respect to the future, as well as with the desire to participate in the family’s life and work.

Studies have been conducted among low-income families, showing that those parents who see a high potential in their children, and who—through their attitudes—convey to them the belief that they can achieve positive results, fulfill a very important role in the reduction of behavioral problems and substance abuse.

Last, but not least, faith and religiosity stand out as a family protection factor. This quality of families capable of recovering has been pointed out in the last decade as one of the three most important characteristics that such families exhibit and apply. As the old Proverb goes “The family that prays together stays together“.

This quality has also been observed in adolescents showing a capacity for self-recovery, and it’s stated that strong religious beliefs provide a sense of stability and meaning to the lives of adolescents. Also the participation in religious activities facilitates the formation of peer groups with positive characteristics, where there is an exchange of attitudes, beliefs, and values excluding the use of addictive substances.

To children and adolescents who possess the ability to recover from problematic situations, as well as to their caregivers, faith offers a sense of belonging and coherence. They develop the conviction that their lives have meaning, and that in spite of obstacles, things will turn out OK.

A church-based social environment in any family creates an atmosphere where the use of drugs and violence will be sharply limited or even non-existent.

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kids playingPhoto by Diego Cupolo

There are times on the weekends, when I just lounge lazily on the bed with my nephews and just abandon all my daily concerns, and just play.Or I’ll sit and just watch them play, pretending they’re superheros or shooting each other with stick guns.

It never fails to leave me with a sense of wonder, of pure joy, of a return to innocence and a simpler time. As grown ups, we’ve lost this childlike sense of life. And that’s actually a sad thing. As grown ups here in the nature isle, we’ve lost this childlike sense of life. And that’s actually a sad thing.

Being more childlike is not just about happiness and innocence, it helps us to be more creative, more imaginative, more innovative and open to worlds of possibilities. These are some of the qualities we need instilled in many of our Dominican leaders today.

We could learn a lot from children. Sure, they have qualities we might not want, but in my eyes, they are already perfect. We don’t need to mold them into people, nor shouldn’t we abandon our responsibilities as parents, but we can learn a lot from children and be more like them in some ways.

How to be more childlike

We must first acknowledge that no change is immediate, that any change worth keeping takes time. Start by deciding to ditch caution and to give this a try. Start by identifying the qualities of children you’d like to emulate: curiosity, play, living in the moment, abandoning worries, imagination, creativity, pure joy.

Q:Could it be that going back to innocent child like perception could once again make our leaders intelligent, honest and solution focused human beings instead of mindless fearful lemmings?

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baby owners manual

If we continue to pile the blame for rising crime in our society on parents; many are led to believe that babies come with manuals and that every parent should know how to raise the perfect child. But this is certainly not so.

Just about every parent of today is raising his/her child just how their parents raised them, merely leaving out the areas they did not appreciate their parents doing to them. Few of them have read widely on the matter; even less has taken any classes and none can teach their children what was not taught to them. Many leave the raising of their children to maids nannies, or teachers.

And if this applies to mothers, it applies even more so to fathers who are often not present and when present, they leave this role to the mothers almost entirely. When we consider that young mothers are trying so hard to raise children in an environment that has changed considerably from the one in which they were raised, it is not surprising that they are struggling. Many present day parents have grown up without a TV, a cell phone, designer sneakers, or even without electricity much less having a fridge in the house.

Without making excuses for any parents, we know the sense of guilt mothers feel when they have to be out working all day and find little time to spend with their children. When they do get home, they must also attend to cooking, washing and cleaning, what happens then? They try to overcompensate. They want their children to like them so they buy material things for them and attempt to buy their love.

Sadly, in many cases they bend over backwards to please their children, and in so doing the child finds ways of easily preying on the mother’s desire to please them – also compensating for the absence of a mother’s love.

Let us shift from the blaming each other and let’s see what we can do to create an ideal society for our children.

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