Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 20th 2017 Contents viewpoint A19
Saturday, May 20, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Reah Lee Sing second left, listens as her husband Louis Lee Sing, former
mayor of Port-of-Spain makes a point to Song Yumin, Ambassador of the
People's Republic of China, second right, and Dooyoung Lee, Ambassador
of the Republic of Korea at the launch of Reah's R Chi Studio---A Creative
Space at Gatacre Street, Woodbrook on Thursday.
PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
SHODDY REPAIR WORK A NORM
The accident that occurred on West-
ern Main Road was sure to happen. That
hole has been there for quite some time
and it is absolute negligence on the part
of those responsible.
It is ridiculous, to say the least, that this
hole has been unattended for so long, and
in front of a hospital. Actually the entire
left lane is a mess. And I am sure that
within a few days it will be repaired. And
quite poorly I bet. But this is the norm in
this country. Our style.
If a utility repair is carried out, the re-
paving of the area takes weeks before it
is done, and when done it is the lowest
form of road repair you can imagine, a
depression or a bump evolves magical-
ly. And we all have grown accustomed
to this sub-standard method and we
Quite frankly I am surprised that more
accidents are not caused due to improper
road safety standards.
Do we have any recourse as motorists
when incidents like this happen? No, we
don't, and that is where the system does
not function properly. Motorists pay for
breaking the law, so the system should
pay when it fails us.
I am sure many of us have either been
through this or have seen or know some-
one who has been a victim. I, myself,
lost a tyre due to a pothole punctuated
Valencia Road. This road incidentally is
As motorists we are plagued with
roads that are improperly paved and
repaired. Insufficient lighting, blown
street lights, poor drainage, inadequate
signage, dirty reflectors, speed bumps
that are unpainted, that you only see
after you hit the roof of your vehicle,
hazardous items that litter the roadway,
loose gravel, busted truck tyres, concrete
barriers improperly placed---some lying
on the shoulder of roads, deteriorating
plastic barriers, twisted metal barrier
restraints, that remain unrepaired. And
the list goes on.
So motorists do have a lot to deal with
on a daily basis. Why and how these
things go unnoticed and accepted by
those responsible and in authority is
beyond my thinking.
On the topic of repair, I have also seen
a road repair vehicle and crew working in
the vicinity of Claxton bay on the Solo-
mon Hochoy Highway. It's printed MEND
on the front door if I recall. But this is a
poor excuse for road repair, especially on
a highway, as it delivers a rough bumpy
undulating surface. Maybe it should be
followed by a roller to MEND the rough-
ness left behind. Just a suggestion. Good
idea but poor workmanship.
We have a long way to go, and it's not
that we are not capable of good work-
manship because we are; it's just that
we accept mediocrity.
Two by four
Both my children were born in
May. My daughter Jinaki will be
four years old at 9.43 am today;
her brother Kyle turned two last
Tuesday at 7.22 pm.
Everyone always says that every
child is different, but I never quite
believed it until my son came
along. Not only does he look dif-
ferent, but his temperament is also
distinct from his sister's--she is
more intense and fussy, he is laid
back and cheerful.
I have no idea whether this
predicts their adult personalities,
though---my mother tells me I was
a very pleasant child.
At any rate, one of our main
concerns when Kyle came along
was, naturally, how Jinaki
would react and how the two
of them would get along.
The plethora of parenting
books I use to inform this
column were no help at all.
As far as sibling relation-
ships go, the research seems
to be all over the place.
Some writers assert that
sibling rivalry is peculiar to
Western developed nation, and
doesn't exist in more tradition-
The reason, they say, is because
in non-Western societies, older
siblings are often the care-givers
of the younger ones, so the dy-
namic is different.
Some recommend teaching the
children how to mediate conflict;
others say that forcing children to
share their toys and other things
sparks off rivalry; others say that
the rivalry is rooted in competition
for parental attention.
In their book NurtureShock,
writers Po Bronson and Ashley
Merryman assert that conflict
prevention, not conflict resolu-
tion, is more effective. They also
cite research showing that the best
predictive factor for how an older
sibling will treat the younger one
the is older child's relationship
with her best friend--if reciprocal,
it will be same with sibling.
"Older siblings train on their
friends, and then apply what
they know to
ters," they write.
Oddly enough, behaviour in
preschool doesn't predict this--it's
the specific relationship with the
preschool friend. I know that Jina-
ki has a best friend in school but
I know nothing about the girl, so
I suppose I'll have to inquire how
she and Jinaki get along.
Bronson and Merryman also say
that "the tone established when
they were very young, be it con-
trolling and bossy or sweet and
considerate, tended to stay that
way." But Jinaki are all those ways
with Kyle, so that's no help to me.
Child psychologist Alison Go-
pnik says in The Scientist in the
Crib that: "Younger siblings tend
to be more charming and socially
skilful, if less ambitious and domi-
neering than older siblings."
This is true so far of Kyle, who
watched me hosing down his shoes
after we went to the
beach last Sunday
and said, "Thank
you for washing my
So, even accept-
ing that sibling ri-
valry is peculiar
ing experts are
still not in con-
how to deal with
it. So it's prob-
ably best for
each parents to
they think best fits
MAN & CHILD
A PARENTING COLUMN BY KEVIN BALDEOSINGH CREATIVE SPACE
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