“The home must be the catalyst to begin the conversation in the change process.”
That was the partial proposed solution by former Commissioner of Prisons, Gerard Wilson as he weighed in on the recent killings of women by their intimate partners or loose violent perpetrators.
Wilson made the statement while responding to the question of what he believed might be casual factors for these continued deviant behaviours.
The husband and father of seven, of which four are males, who gave over 36 years of active duty to the prison service, where he has counselled and dealt with some of the most hardened criminals from a wide cross-section of the society, said taking it back to basics was the key, but not without a national plan inclusive of the joint effort of parenting to governmental policy to tighten the grip on social issues.
“If you witness a visit with remandees and their children or the way a mother is received by their sons you will realise that the home must be the catalyst to begin the conversation in the change process,” said Wilson.
Responding to the question of whether men had lost their way, Wilson said in the current social setting, he did not think men knew or fully understood what path led to manhood.
“I keep telling my friends that young people don’t want to hear about the old days. Development and progress lead to changes in how we think, act and speak,” he explained.
Wilson who is also a Master with the Ministry of Sports and Community Development’s MPowerTT initiative geared toward addressing the issues important to male development, and its advocacy for the much-needed increase and visibility in positive role models, lamented, the economic challenges faced by the average family made it difficult for the practice of good parenting styles which built and sustained functional homes.
He asked several questions, “Are parents finding the time to sit and chat with children? Are families having dinner at the table? Are parents good role models? Then we can introduce the idea of social classification. Is this behaviour evident in the more affluent homes or can we more identify these behaviours amongst the more vulnerable communities?”
Wilson recommended as part of a wider scope, positive male role models and more dialogue with young men.
“We have to finds ways to communicate the message to younger men about ownership. Why are young men getting the impression that they have ownership in relationships? However, this is not a one-way street and women must be able to identify from very early in the relationship whether they want to be seen as an ornament or hold their own in the union.”
Notwithstanding teachers themselves were battling with children who come from dysfunctional homes. Wilson also proposed schools needed to find creative ways to bring a level of respect into the classroom which he believes will set the tone with how young people view life as adults.