During the event ‘Topami na Mita’, which in Papiamento means, Meet me in the Middle, the head of Abraham de Veer School, Mrs. Bueno-Guzman-Hooft was present, and she explained the important role of school in the life of a child, the negative effects of media and electronic devices on children, and the importance of cooperation between parents and the school.
Mrs. Bueno-Guzman-Hooft explained that as a school they are there to work and help the children and teenagers together with their parents. The parents are the first line, and if they parents keep the school aware of any developments, together they can continue working with the youth to improve any situation that may arise.
She commented however that times have changed greatly, and in her 28 years of experience working in Education, she has seen major changes. The change, as she indicated, was that many years ago there was better social control. When the child went home, she could have her mother still at home, or grandmother or even great-grandmother, or a neighbor, who had some control over the child. But nowadays, everything is completely different.
These days, both parents need to work; some of them even have two jobs or even more, in order to be able to afford all household expenses. This means that parents, not because they don’t want to, but because they are not able to, don’t have enough time to spend with their children and no longer have that type of control.
“This is the part where we need to work together with parents, so that parents can be more aware and be more responsible with their children. We understand that they need to work, but the problem is that right now the parents want to educate their children, but they are not educating them the way it needs to be, and then you have the media is educating their children”, Bueno-Guzman-Hooft commented.
She emphasized that media, videogames and all sort of electronic games are educating the children, and they are inundated with positive and negative information. However the information often is negative, even fake news, and this can cause sometimes that the children and teenagers fall into anxiety.
“They cannot live without their smartphones. The smartphone makes sure that they have a friend, someone close to them because they feel alone. But even though the smartphone is something good when you know how to use it, when you don’t know how to use it, it can become something hazardous”, she said.
She indicated that if a teenager still doesn’t know how to properly use their smartphone, the parents need to be aware; it’s not enough to just buy expensive items to fill the void that the parent wants to fill from not being present in their children’s lives, to fill it with a smartphone which could turn dangerous.
“This is why, the school in a triangular relationship works together with parents and students to reach the best for our kids. So parents, come to your child’s school when you are in a difficult situation. Don’t stay silent because the school is always there to help when possible”, she said.