The crucial roleof parents
AS A MATTER OF FACT - Sara Soliven De Guzman (The Philippine Star) - February 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Last week I wrote about House Bill 8858 that will lower the age of criminality to 12 years. I want to give my two cents’ worth on the responsibility of parents in a society that has perhaps gone mad and seems unable to discern between what is good or bad and a government that is no longer for the people but for its leaders.

An article on child development from the Child Development Institute pointed out that a parent is the child’s first teacher and should remain the best teacher throughout life. Functioning as a coach, the parent exposes a child to age-appropriate challenges to encourage development as well as to experiences that allow the child to explore on their own and learn from interacting with their environment.

The social/emotional development of a child also includes the development of a moral code. They gradually learn what behaviors are acceptable in their environment and what behaviors are seen as unacceptable. Children will learn quickly when feedback includes why the behavior is unacceptable and what the expected behavior should be in a given situation. The ability for children to develop these skills changes as they grow and develop. Parents should know what is considered age-appropriate for their child so that they don’t expect too much or possibly too little.

First Cry Parenting, India’s largest community that gives parenting advices and tips, also reiterates the role of parents in child development. Children observe spousal interaction and how arguments are settled in the family. It teaches them a variety of good values that are imbibed and crucial to growing up. The child learns how to behave with others, playing to a common goal, team spirit, picking right friends and a lot more.

The role of a father in child development is very important. Children will always look up to their father for motivation. Similarly, the role of a mother in child development has moved on and is not restricted to nurturing and caretaking alone. From that first touch and look, to later years, a parent is responsible for making the tiny infant into a well grown, responsible and caring adult.

The family is the basic unit of society. What happens when the child belongs to a dysfunctional family and lives in an environment that is conducive to crime? What can a child’s option be in a cramped house, no parents to take care of his needs, no school, with no food to eat, with the elders selling drugs, sisters in prostitution, out of school youth all over the community doing illegal things to survive and many more?

Most of these young offenders come from poor families. Most of our DSWD workers are of the belief that these children commit crimes because they are neglected by their parents. It is a fact that when both the family and parents are dysfunctional, it follows that the child would become dysfunctional, too.

What has the government done about this? Other than lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 12 years, House Bill 8858 introduces significant amendments to RA 9344 by expanding the scope of the reformation and rehabilitation of children in conflict with the law and strengthening the social reintegration programs.

Among others, the approved bill mandates the DSWD, instead of the local government units, to fund and manage the Bahay Pag-asa. It provides intervention programs, including parenting seminars and counseling, for parents and guardians of children in conflict with the law. If a child commits a serious crime or is a repeat offender, the failure of his parents to undergo mandatory intervention shall be a ground for their imprisonment for at least 30 days but not more than six months.

The penalty for exploitation of children for commission of crimes was increased to reclusion temporal (12-20 years of imprisonment) if the crime committed is punishable by imprisonment of six years or less, and reclusion perpetua (20-40 years of imprisonment) if the crime committed is punishable by imprisonment of more than six years. The parents would be “primarily” liable for the civil damages to be caused by the actions of the CICL, unless the parents prove in court that they exercised “reasonable supervision” over the CICL to prevent them from committing the offense.

The House Bill also guarantees a reduced sentence for children in conflict with the law by requiring the courts to impose a penalty two degrees lower than that prescribed by law for the crime committed.

Will this law that is focusing on rehabilitation and intervention provide a better future for children in conflict with the law? What happens when it turns out that the parents are the ones in need of rehabilitation because they are drug pushers, users etc.? At the centers the activities of the children are structured, there are guards and house parents. They will not be allowed to just go out, so there are less temptations. But what happens when they leave? They are back to where they started. And the cycle continues.

Unfortunate and terrible situations in the home and community have hardened these children in conflict with the law. But at the end of the day, they are just children, longing for parents, friends and time to play just like other children.

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Kung Hei Fat Choi! Chinese New Year 2019 is the year of the Earth Pig, a year of fortune and luck. The Pig occupies the last (12th) position in the Chinese Zodiac. You are a “Pig Chinese Zodiac native” if you were born in one of these years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, and 2019.

Living in the Philippines where different cultures blend in society, I grew up always reading my Chinese horoscope. I am amused by the many possibilities of “luck” or “positivity.” So, here’s sharing some of the fortunes that may come your way. Believe it or not!

According to the Chinese astrology, 2019 is a great year to make money, and a good year to invest. It is going to be a year full of joy, friendship and love for all the zodiac signs; an auspicious year because the Pig attracts success in all the spheres of life. gave a rundown of predictions for year 2019: Rat – a year a full of happiness and prosperity; Ox – a time with good opportunities to make money; Tiger – though born in a strong and in an independent zodiac sign, this year, he needs to learn how to come to terms with others; Rabbit – an excellent year, a bit less wary than usual, you will easily get close to others and make new friends; Dragon – a year of reconsiderations; Snake – a combative and persuasive year; Horse – the year of the Pig 2019 is going to be more auspicious than the Dog year 2018; Goat – all ambitions will be fulfilled; Monkey – a year under influence of chance; Rooster – pay attention to the quality of your relationships with others if you want to succeed; Dog – count only in your own efforts in order to succeed; Pig – set your priorities, then get to work and you will see results.

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