By: Diana Bello Aristizábal
DORAL, FL – We talked with our neighbors about the issues they are most concerned about in a new “Coffee with the community.” In this event, guests spoke mainly about parents responsibility in the prevention of social problems, such as drugs use or entering electronic cigarettes in schools.
Our guests agreed that although it is essential to create monitoring mechanisms at schools, teachers and parents need to work together as a team when it comes to educating children and adolescents to guide them towards the right direction.
Regarding parents role, they said that the problem is the absence and lack of interest on the part of some who are not present at every moment of their children’s lives. About this, they stated that “working or being busy should not be an excuse since it is about efficiently managing time,” as indicated by Olga Navón, a Doral resident.
“I am a single mother, and I am always busy, but despite this, I take care of my daughter all the time. Everyone can do it because if you bring a child to the world, it is to protect him or her from absorbing negative influences,” says Isabel Cristina Martin, Doral resident, and realtor.
For Elizabeth Nuñez, a business development consultant and a Doral resident, everything begins when adults allow and validate certain behaviors that open the doors to other more serious ones.
Becoming an active parent
Taking into consideration that children and adolescents are currently exposed to negative influences in their environments, guests were questioned about what strategies they use at home to protect them.
Rosa Viller, a Doral resident, explained that since her daughter turned 14 years old (she is now 21), she always invites her friends over her house to know them, and create an atmosphere of trust between mother and daughter.
Others involve their children in physical or volunteer activities, in which they also participate, to keep their children active. “The healthiest children in school are those who play soccer,” says Sonia Esquenazi, community liaison of John I. Smith.
Also, participants also listen to their children’s concerns and involve them in their decisions. “It is about looking for an opportunity to be close to them, even if you can not be there at all times,” says Linette Prats, educational consultant, and a Doral resident.
On the other hand, they also assign age-appropriate responsibilities at home and correct them with love and patience when they make mistakes. “My daughter washes dishes and toilets and takes out the trash,” says Isabel Cristina Martin.
After discussing this topic, guests concluded that the key is to teach them to follow rules of conduct out of respect for others, keep them busy in activities of their interest, and validate them as people so that they feel motivated.