Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 8th 2016 Contents A21
Saturday, October 8, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
A PARENTING COLUMN BY KEVIN BALDEOSINGH
MAN & CHILD
Los Buenos Parranderos rings in the parang season with a performance at a variety concert at Upper
El Dorado Community Centre, last Saturday. Tonight the National Parang Association of T&T holds a
pre-launch of the parang season with performances at its headquarters in Arima.
VIVA LA MUSICA
There is a paradox in the way I
relate to my daughter and to my
son. With Jinaki, who is three-
and-half- years old, I pretty much
know how to behave and what to
say. Yet, because she s a girl, there are certain
tendencies which I cannot anticipate or under-
stand in the way her mother will.
My son Kyle, who is a 19 months old, is in
most ways a typical boy. When Jinaki started
standing at around 11 months, one of her first
acts was to go to my bookshelf and start
pulling down books. Kyle showed no interest in
the bookshelves until he was walking, but he
never pulls out books from the lower shelves.
Instead, he climbs up the plastic step-stool in
the study so he can throw down books from
the higher shelves, each time watching me with
a grin and saying, "Book fall dong!" He also
imagines he can run even though he s really
just doing a fast shuffle. And, unlike his sister,
he thoroughly enjoys it when I fling him on to
Yet, with all that, I feel less certain about
how to relate to Kyle as compared to his sister.
I still haven t quite figured out why this is. The
best hypothesis I have is that the father-
daughter model available to me is more accept-
able than the standard father-son model. From
the gender point of view, neither of my chil-
dren fit the stereotypes: Jinaki rarely plays with
dolls, but she does like to play dress-up; Kyle
sometimes puts on his sister s sequined ballet
skirt and pink toy shoes and clack-clacks
around the house, but trucks are his favourite
Interestingly, research shows that fathers are
more prone to teasing their children than
mothers. As a satirist, I am even more prone to
this than normal fathers (and I got a lot of
practice with my sister s 10-year-old daughter
Kaelyn, a habit which she continue to not
appreciate to this day). The researchers found
that teasing helped children deal better with
ambiguity when they were older.
Mind you, none of this is going to affect
either child s development in important ways.
As a father, my most important duties have
already been fulfilled: I am educated and I am
around. In Gender and Parenting, edited by W
Bradford Wilcox and Kathleen Kovner Kline,
experts cite research from developed societies
showing that a father s education level corre-
lates with a boy s delinquent behaviour in ado-
lescence---ie the sons of educated fathers are
less likely to get into trouble---while, for girls,
the father s presence has the same effect, no
matter what his education level.
At the other end, the absence of a father
appears to make boys unable to deal with stress
effectively, which may be a factor in why vio-
lent criminals typically come from single-
mother homes (tied in with the fact that
fathers tend to constrain mothers tendencies to
emotionally abuse their children).
In line with the stereotype, though, a father s
"human capital" traits affects both boys and
girls: which basically means that, in order to be
the most effective father, I should probably
have spent more time learning skills for a real
job, rather than learning to write articles about
Fathers a gender
I am deeply indebted to four young
people who rendered assistance at a
time of potential danger.
When my car stalled on Lady Young
Road during the late evening of October
2, my sister and I were privileged to ex-
perience the goodness of fellow citizens.
In practical ways our protection became
Newton Browne, a stranger, stopped
to help. He voluntarily stayed with us,
risking his own safety for nearly two
hours, until help came. Two police offi-
cers on patrol offered assistance to en-
sure our safety.
Mickey, my mechanic, left activities in
Las Cuevas and came with a tow truck.
We left the area safe and sound, thank-
Thank you and God bless you to these
young men who displayed such compas-
sion, sacrifice and dedication to duty.
The ODPM has commented after the
last floods that the country was over-
whelmed with garbage, plastic bottles
and styrotex containers that clog up the
drains and waterways and so cause
They go on to blame the "people" for
being complicit in causing flooding. I
agree with the ODPM one hundred per
cent, but they have forgotten to also
blame the Govt for wasting our money in
Parliament by debating and passing the
Beverage Container Bill but not having it
proclaimed. This bill would go a long way
in taking plastic bottles off the streets
and out the drains. This, all the same, will
not change our nasty habits.
Gordon Dalla Costa
Time, money wasted on Beverage Container Bill
Thanks for help in time of need
I listened intently to the Appropria-
tion Bill 2016 eagerly awaiting the con-
versation about and allocation to Social
Development. "Social Development"
over the past years has eaten away at
the fabric of T&T with no real results.
Every government, every budget,
every Minister of Finance for decades,
has used social development to the
detriment of national development.
When is not hampers and pampers
giveaways, is baby grant, is food stamp
and you can count on one hand the
number of people who step away from
these programmes voluntarily.
Most beneficiaries of social pro-
grammes receive more than one benefit,
sometimes with an accumulative value
higher than some gainfully employed
folks. Indeed there would always be the
less fortunate amongst us, but we have
finally reached rock bottom where
squander mania could find not place to
hide. Two lines for social development!
And hooray, not a dog bark.
Fourteen Thousand ghost card hold-
ers removed from the system. Dig
deeper Madam Minister, I am sure you
would find hundreds more. Good work,
Minister of Social Development, monkey
does know which tree to climb.
What about those who could be
weaned off the system? Wean them off.
They must move to become self suffi-
cient. Madam Minister, I implore you to
revise your means test. How many card
holders use Government public trans-
port to save a dollar?
How many cardholders' immediate
household members shop online, yes
shop online, or in de play whe booth four
times a day? Eat according to your
means (no insult intended); leave KFC,
Royal Castle, Mario's for special occa-
sions like long ago.
I believe social assistance, the neces-
sary evil that it is, should primarily be
for the mentally or physically challenged
who need it, or for short-term relief. I
wonder if recipients' faces were to be
published before receiving it how many
Wean more off social
Links Archive October 7th 2016 October 9th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page