Parents Need to be Parents and Not Friends to their Children

This was part of the central theme of the message communicated on Wednesday night, (14th September, 2011,) by Mr. Celvin Walwyn, the Police Commissioner for St. Kitts & Nevis, who was at the time delivering the Feature Address, at the annual independence Prime Minister Lecture, held at the Old Boys School in Basseterre.

Walwyn made the claim that too many children are falling by the wayside and are ending up in gangs. He went on to say that some parents and guardians have done all they could to raise their children in the right way, but influences from gangs, guns and drugs are causing them to depart from the values implanted in them.

Walwyn admonished those in attendance, and the thousands listening and viewing via radio and television that they need to establish boundaries for their children.

“Today, we need parents to be parents. We need parents to stop being friends first, and parents second. Parents must set boundaries and set acceptable behaviour for their children. Parents must demand that their children be accountable for their behaviour. Whether it is my child or my children, or your child or your children, boundaries must be set,” stated the Commissioner.

He said that the federation is in dire need for its parents to play their role and we must also understand that children like boundaries, whether we believe it or not.

“Children will test you to see how far they can go with you. When you have backed down or choose to remain quiet just to keep the peace, the child has learned how to manipulate you and you have lost control of that child, this is why so many children have no respect for their parents, because some parents do not act like parents. What is worse is when some parents uphold their children even when they know that the children are wrong,” stated Mr. Walwyn.

In order to illustrate the points being raised in his dissertation, Mr. Walwyn went on to share some of his personal childhood experiences and the values he inherited from his parents.

“I grew up with my father and my grandparents here in St. Kitts. My grandparents and my father instilled in me the values of community and taught me that self-respect was better than riches. Self-respect should permeate every aspect of our lives. I left the federation and began a life in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) with my mother, my new father and my uncle. The Values taught to me by my father and grandparents, were reinforced by my new father, my mother and my uncle when I left home as a young man, barely out of my teens and moved to Texas where I became a man”


Walwyn told the public that some of the role models in his life came from within his home and he always remembers (2) two pillars of strength they taught him. These were: “I am a Kittitian and I am a Walwyn and a Joseph”

“I have never forgotten those lessons and have taught them to my American-born children.”

He reminisced on his youthful days, speaking about his well-remembered teacher, ’Teacher Babadee’. “Teacher Babadee taught me about ethics and morals at an early age, I learned about the virtues of being honest and a law abiding citizen, I learned about God by attending Baptist Training Union on Thursdays at Bro. Connor’s church and about duty to God and man at St. Johnston Methodist Church, Life Boys and Boys Brigade.”

Mr. Walwyn said that those were his early beginnings of learning about principles and ethical virtues as a child.

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