Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 8th 2015 Contents A32
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt March 8, 2015
doctor/TV personality Dr Joel Teelucksingh are
widely popular, yet the matriarch of the clan, Sie-
unarine-Teeluckingh remains unassuming.
It could be considered a deliberate act on her
part given her at times shy persona, but Sieunar-
ine-Teeluckingh, 69, of Riverside Drive, Lange Park,
Chaguanas, is every bit a free-thinker and inde-
pendent spirit as the other members of her fam-
ily.As millions celebrate International Women s Day
today, it is easy to identify her as a woman of sub-
stance and a beacon of hope for all, having raised
three successful children and inspired one of this
country s most vocal clergyman.
However, for all that she has accomplished Sie-
unarine-Teeluckingh remains grounded and is
pleased with the way her family turned out.
"I always wanted well rounded children and
worked hard to make sure that they would be good
citizens of this country and I could only do that
because I had the co-operation of their father.
"We had the same ideals and we worked together
and cooperated in raising them," she said.
Now, even as the former English teacher enjoys
her new role as grandmother and the joys of retire-
ment, she remains committed to her faith.
She is involved heavily in the Presbyterian church
and makes it a point every Sunday for her entire
family to attend church. The family can be found
sitting side by side at St Charles Presbyterian
Church, Chaguanas, which her husband leads.
This, she said, is not a new practice. She said
when her children were growing up they were all
firm in their religion and she would ensure that
they maintained their connection to the almighty.
"I saw a very important goal in my life was for
my children to be educated, to get a good education,
but to also follow the christian way of life. I would
have prayer sessions with them and we still do
that," she said.
The Teelucksingh family could easily be described
as a successful family, but as Sieunarine-Teeluckingh
disclosed, it was not always an easy task for her
managing a family and a career.
Sieunarine-Teelucksingh, who has a Bachelor of
Arts in English and Sociology and a Diploma in
Education from University of Alberta in Edmonton,
taught in both primary and secondary schools
during her career and believes the key elements to
her family s success was communication and coop-
eration from her husband, whom she married in
"We (the children and her) also used to have
chats all the time," she said.
"What I also used to do is I used to write letters
and notes to each one of my children. If I felt chats
or talks were not enough I would write a letter and
I treated each one special, each one was special,
they each have a special place."
She said she also ensured that she made time
for her children, especially during their examina-
"There was no sibling rivalry in our home. I
made sure each one was independent and that they
felt loved and cared for and they did not feel over-
shadowed at home. They were each raised to be
an independent thinker," she added.
She said she always put her family first and job
"I never brought my work home. I would use
my break time to mark papers.
"Instead of being a social butterfly and going
out with the reverend when he had all his functions,
I stayed at home with them (the children) and I
intentionally did that so I would be home when
they were doing their lessons or whatever they
would be doing we would be together," she said.
Advice to mothers
While Sieunarine-Teelucksingh is proud
of how far the women in T&T have
reached in terms of their careers and
independence, she still believes the family
unit is suffering.
She said often jobs are placed before
children and they are not given the love
and attention necessary for well-rounded
Her advice to working mothers---pri-
"They should realise that their homes
and family must come first if they want
to have children who are well rounded
and that they would be good citizens of
the country," she said.
Sieunarine-Teelucksingh said she did
not agree with corporal punishment nor
did she beat her children.
Parents, especially mothers, she said,
should not resort to beating as a means
of discipline. Positive reinforcement, she
added, was highly effective.
"People think that you have to beat
children to discipline them, for them to
learn and to behave well but that does
"The children have to be grounded in
a religion and faith in God and that helps,"
"If your child is self-disciplined
you would not have a problem with
their studies, their behaviour and
their attitude," Sieunarine-Teelucksingh
Building a family grounded in religion
Continued from Page A30
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