The Director of Social Services, Elizabeth Lewis, has encouraged parents to develop healthy relationships with their children by engaging them in healthy discussions and feeding them healthy foods.
Lewis made the remarks as St Lucia joined global observances of Universal Children’s Day and International Day Against Child Abuse on Monday November 20.
The observance was marked with an ecumenical service at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Castries that was attended by hundreds of children from a number of early childhood education institutions in the Castries basin.
It was followed by a march around the city circuit.
Lewis said too often adults focus on the negatives that children do.
“This is a very special day and I want us as adults to reflect on it because this is a day when we are supposed to lift our children. Very often we focus on the negatives that the children do but today, in particular and of course the days to come, we want you to look at them as children who are special. They are here with us, they have a special role. Usually what we see coming in as negative behaviours is most times what they get from us as adults. So lift, your children, raise them; give them a hug. Today is their day,” Lewis stated.
The Minister of Health and Wellness, Senator Mary Isaac, who also attended the ecumenical service said children play an important role in the society but are often times adults do not pay enough attention to them.
“We believe that children are the future and we do not pay enough respect to children, we do not pay sufficient attention to them. Often times they are abused in our society and hopefully today with a little prayer, that will go a long way in helping people realise that children form a really significant role, they have significant role to play in our society,” Isaac stated.
Isaac said the government was currently reviewing legislation that would further protect the rights of children in St Lucia.