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Purely Dominica

Purely Dominica


Today you can travel around the world faster than it takes to visit the public library or the small bookshop around the corner. Ah – technology and the internet.

What a time-saver! But it has its drawback too. Like the many distractions that waste all the time we should be saying with modern technology; for example television, video grams, music, and of course we can’t forget the internet. I’m guessing – the average Dominican reads two chapters of a book per year. That’s right. Not even one whole book!

As a young lady growing up, my mom (Jennifer Daisy) had to walk for miles, just to borrow a good book, and she would stay up all night reading. To-this-day, I’m still amazed at the amount of information she retained just by reading. Growing up in a poor family, reading was one of the only ways I could travel the world in my own imaginative mind. It wasn’t until her late forties; when my mom received her Associates Degree in Tourism and Hospitality.

Education is more than a college degree. It is a life-long pursuit! As an adult, don’t be fooled into thinking everything worth reading should be read before graduation. And as a parent, don’t mortgage the future of your children by allowing them to waste their most critical years of development on trivialities. Create a reader-friendly environment in the home, and don’t just read – study.

In a way, it’s hard not to be a little envious of my mom, and the broad knowledge she have gain from reading. On the other hand, we’re a position where we can experience the best of both worlds. We can use technology to do greater things in shorter periods of time—and then dedicate free time to do more reading.

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What do you call it when an adult snatches a slender 10-year-old boy off his feet, slams the boy repeatedly onto a concrete pavement then punches the boy’s mouth knocking out teeth and leaving other embedded in the boy gums. It is child abuse, pain and simple.

Can you imaging this happening to your 10-your-old child? This was the heinous form of torture is what a man reportedly inflicted on somone else’s child in the heart or Roseau recently.

There is nothing this 10-year-old could have done or said could in any way justify such a sadistic beating at the hands of a full-grown adult. This particular incident might be beyond the pale, but the stunning reality is there are a number of incidents of uncalled-for brutality and abuse against children every day in our society go unreported.

What is especially striking about this incident is that it occurred in broad daylight around lunchtime in one of the most densely populated streets in Roseau (Dominica). Many onlookers just stood there instead of immediately rushing to stop the brutality.

In general, Dominican society seems to be tolerant to physical punishment to children. Many adult in Dominica, and indeed in some other parts of the Caribbean, especially parent who support the use of the proverbial ‘rod’ against wayward children. They see nothing wrong with inflicting physical and psychological violence to discipline children, when they get out of hand. I can openly confession that my mom too believed in the proverbial rod but there’s point where disciplining a child turns to abuse.
And it takes just a single act of physical or psychological violence to turn a child against parents, against adults, or society in general, with far-reaching negative consequences. Sometimes we wonder why our children behave the way they do.

If we continue to have this carelessness forwards all forms of child abuse will give sadists and perverts leeway to do much harm to our children. We in Dominica must strive to live up to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by investigating all cases of child abuse quickly and thoroughly, and by ensuring that all perpetrators feel the full hand f the law, otherwise I’m afraid that soon people might take the law into their own hands.

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Sometime ago, my friend and fellow blogger Dan Tanner shared his thoughts on the education system here in Dominica. While his thoughts were unique and were directed more towards how women – not get the same rights and opportunities as men in Dominica.

One thing I’ve learn about the whole education system here in Dominica, and in most Caribbean countries – that our school system (in general) is not giving kids the basic reading, writing, arithmetic and science skills needed to be competitive in the high-tech world out there (at least, that’s my general assumption, and let’s not argue it here).

Many kids enter primary and secondary schools were they’re taught these basic subjects, but we all know that there is much more to life that those basic subjects and unless you have an exceptional (thinking outside the box) teacher who is willing to break out of the mold, your child isn’t learning the crucial things he or she needs to learn in life. It’s a whole new ball game whenever you step out in the real world as an adult and if you’re not equipped, then you’re going to be left behind.

Think about your own personal experience for a moment. When you got out of high school, did you know everything you needed in order to survive in life, let alone succeed? If you were lucky, you knew how to read and had some basic history and math skills, and if you were even luckier, you had good study habits that would serve you well in college.

Most likely you were not prepared for life, unless you had parent who did you that favor. It’s a fact, many of us screwed up our early adult lives because we didn’t know those necessary skills – and we’re paying the consequences now.

That’s a part of life, you might say, learning these lessons. But it’s also possible to prepare your child a bit before they go out on their own, and if we can’t get the schools to teach these skills, then you should do it ourselves.

The following is a basic curriculum in life that a child should know before reaching adulthood. Probably there are many other skills you can add to this list, but at least it’s a starting point.

Also please note – that these subjects should not be taught by lectures or textbooks. They can only be taught by setting examples, by everyday conversations, by showing, and allowing the child (or teenage) to experience these things on their own (with you supervision at first). Once you’ve walked them through the skill a few times under your supervision, give you child the trust t it on his/her own and to let them learn from their own mistakes. Just be sure to check back every now and then.


  • Saving. Don’t spend more than what you earn, so simple and yet very few young adults understand it or know how to follow. Teach your child from a early age to put part of money he/she receives or earns in the bank. Teach them how to set a savings goal.

  • Credit. For many adults this is a major problem. Teach them how to avoid it when it’s not necessary, and how to avoid getting into too much debt, and how to use a credit card responsibly.

  • Retirement. It’s important to start investing in retirement when you’re young and should be aware of the different options available. Also know the pros and cons of each, and how to do each.

Thinking skills

  • Reading. Sure, kids are taught to read (well most of them), but school often make reading boring. Show your child the wonderful imaginative worlds there are out there. And show them how to find out about stuff in the world through the Internet, and how to evaluate what they read for credibility, and logic.

  • Critical Thinking. Nowadays, we are taught to be robots, to listen to the teacher and not to question, to accept what we are told and not to think, to be good employees and to shut up. Critical thinking is one of the most important skills not taught in school.


  • Motivation. Teach your child that discipline isn’t the key to achieving a goal, but its motivation and passion. Show them how great it feels to achieve a goal. Start them with small, easily achievable goals, and let them develop this skill.

  • Procrastination. It’s a problem we all deal with as adults (and even as kids). Now, I believe that there should be a time for goofing off, being lazy, and having fun. But when there’s something to do that we really need to do, how do we get ourselves to do it? Learn the reasons behind procrastination, and how to address them. How to beat procrastination?


  • Cleaning. Nowadays too many adults grow up without knowing how to do laundry, to clean a house properly and keeping it clean. Develop a weekly and monthly cleaning routine. Teach your child all these things instead of just telling her what to do.

  • Organization. How to keep things organized and in their place; to keep a to-do list, how to set routines, how to focus on the important tasks.


  • Enjoy life. Kids don’t have much of a problem with this, but some awareness of its importance and how to do it, even as an adult would be helpful. Set a good example of this, and your kids will follow.

  • Find purpose. Teach your children the importance of this and show how to do it yourself. Whether the purpose is making your family happy or the purpose of finding your calling, having a purpose in life is extremely important.

Do you have any skills to add to this list? Let us hear them in the comments.

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