“MAKE SURE THAT YOUR CHILD KNOWS YOU LOVE THEM” SAYS CHURCH MINISTER OF LUATUANUU
Despite the challenges posed by COVID, the community at Luatuanuu expressed their keen interest to continue with Module 4 of the UNICEF prevention programme for parents and adolescents, that was put on hold during the nationwide lockdown.
While the adolescents shared their own experiences on the topics ‘alcohol, drugs, and peer pressure’, and how they can protect themselves from the harmful effects of these substances in social settings; parents were reminded of the importance of being a source of comfort and support to their children.
One of the main supporters of the programme, the Faletua Valasi Patea commented on the improvements she has noted in couples who used to request help regarding their child’s behavior. “This is because most of them are now practicing positive discipline parenting since they joined the programme,” she added.
According to Faafetai Fauatea, who has been attending the Program since Module One, “We need to think about where a child is in life and what skills they need to learn at that time. Perhaps they need help managing emotions, learning how to behave in a certain situation, thinking through a new task, or relating to friends. You want to help kids become confident; you don’t want to aim too high where they can’t get there or too low where they have already mastered the skill. Another way to boost confidence while strengthening your relationship is to let your kid take the lead.”
Towards the end of the session, Reverend Elder Aila Patea of the CCCS of Luatuanuu reminded the parents that it is never too late to start building a healthier and a more positive relationship with your child, even if things have become strained and stressful. “Most importantly, make sure that your child knows that you love them and that you are on their side. For older children, let them know that you are genuinely committed to building a stronger relationship with them and helping them be successful.”
These powerful testimonies by the parent participants of Luatuanuu speak volumes about the success of the programme. SVSG acknowledges the valuable support from Reverend Elder Aila & Valasi Patea that continues to assist SVSG in coordinating programs in the village.
The community prevention program for the protection of children in Samoa, is part of a continuing partnership between SVSG and the UNICEF Pacific since 2015. The seven communities piloted for the 2021-2022 community prevention program are Toamua, Fasitoo-uta, Fagalii, Luatuanuu, Solosolo, Siumu and Samalaeulu in Savaii.