Parents in Trench Town and Denham Town in Kingston, Jamaica are even more committed to positive parenting and creating safe environments for their children and communities after participating in the UP Unity & Peace parenting programme, funded by UNICEF Jamaica as part of the Spotlight Initiative. 

Taire Williams is one of the parents who has been participating in the initiative, and he has also taken up the role of becoming a Master Trainer. Part of this role is to support other parents in Trench Town and Denham Town in implementing positive parenting techniques and discipline. Taire shared with us how he ensures he is a positive presence in his son’s life and why he thinks family is important in providing role models and a sense of belonging for young people.

“I keep my son close to me because I want to protect him and guide him… I talk to him and try my best to teach him how to appreciate what he has. That’s what I think the role of a father is, for him to know his father is here and to encourage him,” explained Taire. 

“Family also helps your identity and to know that you belong. My sister, my mother and my community are my family and they made me the man I am today. I also believe family is important for mental function. You support each other and if you feel down, they boost your ability to cope,” he added.

Taire also spoke strongly about the use of physical discipline, saying it can have a negative impact on children. Previously, some parents and guardians believed this was the best way to discipline children, but Taire believes now is the time to change this.  

“Some of us want to break this cycle; we don’t want what happened to us growing up to happen to our kids. Instead we can do the opposite; each one teaches one. As a father you are to be responsible for raising your child and showing them the way,” he explained. 

The importance of sharing knowledge and approaches within our communities can have a much bigger impact than just one family working alone to become better versions of themselves. That’s why the parenting programme is such a powerful initiative  for parents to come together, hear about the experiences of others and, in turn, bring these positive influences into their homes.

The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. In Jamaica the initiative has a special focus on preventing family violence.

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