Charlestown Nevis — The following is an address delivered by Premier of Nevis and Minister of Education, on the occasion of Child Month which is observed annually during the month of June.
Fellow citizens, Residents and Visitors, it is a privilege and honour for me as Minister of Education to make this brief statement on the commencement of the Celebration of Child Month 2015.
This is the 31st year of Celebration and as is often the case, during this Month there will be a national focus on our children and the issues which affect them. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Serving our children with love and dignity”. This theme is insightful and compelling; it is a call to action.
It highlights three important obligations that we owe to our children. The first is service. We are to serve our children in a way that would edify them, build them up, accentuate their positives, applaud their successes, encourage them to pick themselves up and dust themselves off when they fall.
They are to feel that we are their greatest supporters. We are to serve as their guide when they are unsure of circumstances and situations. We are to give correct and well-thought out advice. Counsel them in the way they should go. We are to serve as their provider and we are to serve as their protector.
Secondly, we owe our children love. This love must be felt by them. Raising children, I know, is a tough job but if done properly it is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.
Some simple ways we can show our children love is by simply telling them that we love them. Praise them when necessary because praise reinforces our love for them.
Another way to show love is to listen to our children. Start conversations with them and really listen to what they have to say, make eye contact and be engaging. You might be surprised at the things that you learn from and about your children.
Another means by which we can demonstrate our love for our children is by being present at their activities. Show up at their sporting events, at their school concerts, church activities and be their biggest and loudest cheerleaders.
The third dimension of the theme relates to dignifying our children. We are obligated to treat our children with dignity. In so doing, they too will treat others with dignity. Each time we use words such as please, thank you, you’re welcome, good morning, we are treating our children with the dignity and respect that they deserve. They would then in turn treat others with dignity and the respect which they deserve.
Continue to lift our children and not crush their feelings with harsh words. Set that good example you wish for them to follow. Speak in a dignified manner to them, so that they feel you are indeed serving them in love and dignity.
In conclusion, the way we interact with our children has a direct effect on their development – their self-esteem, their self-confidence, their sense of security, their emotional well-being, how they perform in school and how they deal with authority, all hinge on our interaction with them.
It is therefore imperative that during this 31st celebration of Child Month, that all of us commit or recommit ourselves to ensuring that we provide the most healthy and supportive environment for the development of our children.
Let us rise to the challenges and put our children first at all times and provide them with those things which are needed to bring out the best in them.
Our children signify our present and embody our future. They are the precious jewels of our nation, an invaluable resource that must be loved and dignified at all times.
Thank you and may God continue to bless our nation especially our children during this month of celebration in 2015.