Parenting skills workshop urges non-violent approach to discipline
Stabroek News
May 4, 2004

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Early Childhood Specialist Bonita Harris (left) conducts a session at one of the workshops. Others in photo are: EveryChild Guyana Project Coordinator Shayla Harry and two of the workshop participants.

Parents and teachers of children residing in the East La Penitence and Agricola areas are being urged to take a non-violent approach to discipline, in order to break the cycle of violence, EveryChild Guyana says.

These adults, who have been participants at workshops over the past two months facilitated by Early Childhood Specialist Bonita Harris, have identified and supported alternative methods of discipline recognising that the traditional beating and shouting were proving not to be effective.

The workshops form part of a one-year parenting skills project for parents and teachers of the two communities, which was launched by EveryChild Guyana in February, a press release from the organisation said. It is expected that the beneficiaries of these workshops will pass on their training to other parents and teachers in their respective communities and schools and follow-up sessions will be held to evaluate and guide the process.

According to the release, the workshop covered areas such as nutrition, health and safety, factors shaping child development, HIV/AIDS, parenting, counselling skills and discipline.

EveryChild said that the purpose of the project is to equip the target group with skills to care for their children in ways that best maintain their interest, considering that the best interests of children are the primary considerations of parents and the community. The project also seeks to deepen teachers' understanding of child development.

EveryChild is a UK-based child-protection organization, which works with vulnerable children, families and communities to eradicate poverty and social injustice in 18 countries in Africa, Asia, South America, South-East Europe, Central Asia and the former Soviet Union.