Strong family institution key to positive child devt

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SIBU: A strong family institution is pivotal to shun negative influences that can throw their future into tatters, said Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office Datin Fatimah Abdullah.

Fatimah noted that weakness set in when children started to grow into adulthood or move into secondary school, where parents would accord more freedom to them.

This, she said, made the youths vulnerable to unhealthy influences which they may not be able to fend off.

“We must inculcate positive values among our children, particularly when they are young, to build a solid foundation.

“In that way, they would not be easily swayed away by negative elements to indulge in unhealthy activities,” she told The Borneo Post yesterday.

She said this when asked on the importance of a strong family institution, following the alleged extortion in a school in Kuching.

On the contrary, those built on weak family institution would tumble when pressured by unhealthy influences or bad hats, she said.

Citing smoking as an example, a child with strong family institution would be able to fend off the pressure of his peers to take up the habit.

She added that while instilling positive values among the children was crucial, parents too, must keep track of their movement. For the start, parents must be proactive in finding out whom their children were mixing with and their families.

“Walking the extra mile to keep tabs on your child’s circle of friends will help prevent them from falling into unhealthy influences,” she noted.

She stressed that while parents needed to learn to let go, but they must be careful not to accord too much freedom to their children.

“Children, even if they go on to secondary level, still need parents’ guidance. Not keeping tabs on their activities, perceiving that they have matured would make them easy prey for negative peer pressure.

“You see, as part of growing up, they want to belong to a group or have this sense of belonging. The problem crops up when the group he is mixing with is involved in unhealthy activities.

“Bowing to the peer pressure, the child would pick up bad habit such as smoking as he wanted to belong to the group,” she warned.

The minister also suggested that parents come up with some house rules to keep their children’s discipline in check.

Elaborating, she said parents could perhaps, set a time when their children needed to be home when going out with friends.

“If they are home late, check with them why that is so and be sure to know whom they are hanging out with,” she said.

She believed that this would go a long way in positive character development and helping their children to become more disciplined.