Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Parents who are no longer in an intimate relationship, and are co-parenting, will be receiving assistance from the Social Development Department through a ‘Conscious Parenting’ Course.
The course is aimed at assisting parents to co-parent in a cohesive manner and will be held at the BVI Red Cross Conference Room. The sessions will begin at 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday from June 16 to July 9.
Community Development Officer Ms. Barbara Smith said “Our statistics have shown that once a relationship is broken, parenting becomes an issue. For example, there are times when no parenting plans are in place, or the child is brought into the middle of adult disputes, or communication is nil and parents communicate through the child, or there are problems with maintenance and visitation, or they go to extreme lengths to avoid each other.”
These actions, Ms. Smith stated, can severely hamper the emotional and behavioural development of a child.
Ms. Smith said, “We find that this undesirable interaction between parents affects the child negatively. The child ends up displaying unbecoming behaviour and, in some cases, ends up before the court. When they get older they repeat the cycle when they have children. This cycle is not good for the child and it is not good for society.”
The Social Development Department is encouraging parents who are no longer in an intimate relationship, to attend the workshops which are designed specifically to assist in identifying their parenting style, provide tips and alternative ways of dealing with issues, address communication problems and promote effective communications. The workshops will also allow for the sharing of personal experiences in an effort to affect change.
Ms. Smith said the course presenters have professional and personal experiences in the various areas to be discussed at the workshop. She added that counselors, social workers, a psychologist and people with experience with these issues will enhance the workshop which will be beneficial for those persons who will be attending. Parents are encouraged to take advantage of this training course as the Government of the Virgin Islands seeks to promote healthier families and children within the community.
Childcare and refreshments will be provided.
The Social Development Department is committed to providing the population of the Virgin Islands with effective social services that will empower, promote and enrich their quality of life, while fostering individual independence.