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Positive parenting in Guyana
"I learned how to speak to my children instead of beating them" - Mary Anthony, Guyana
Mothers' Union's parenting courses in Guyana are changing the way parents raise their children
Many parents in Guyana face challenges because of poverty, lack of educational opportunities and work which can lead to them taking their frustrations out on their children. It is common for children to be disciplined using a belt or cane. Mothers’ Union is offering parents an alternative through parenting classes and workshops run in communities throughout the country.
Mary Anthony (35) lives in Tumatumari, a village in the Potaro region of Guyana. She is mum to six children aged from 20 down to two years old. “My sisters and I used to beat our children very badly. I started to go to Mothers' Union's sessions every weekend. I learned how to speak to my children instead of beating them. By the time I had my younger children, I realised that I disciplined them very differently to the older ones. I speak to them in a better way,” she continues. Mary, who is a Mothers' Union member is also community leader of Tumatumari and now encourages other parents to do the parenting course.
“There is not enough community support for single parent households. Women are unable to earn enough to sustain their families. Girls are forced to leave school early to assist in the home or the farm, there’s teenage marriages, adolescent pregnancies, gender- based violence, sexual violence, ”says Sheran Harper, Mothers’ Union’s Worldwide Parenting Trainer who is based in Guyana. Parents are often working more than one job to sustain their families. If it’s a single parent family they often are unable to take care of their children properly.