Environment influences child's behavior: Reverend

A Minister for the Methodist Church in Alafua believes unruly behavior by teenagers, who were involved in a recent beating incident at the Savalalo bus station, is influenced by the environment including their home upbringing.

Reverend Koki Mate told Samoa Observer that parents are responsible for their children's behavior and everything starts from the family.

"Parents are the first teachers for their kids, they are also the ones who are spending more time with their kids than anyone else so they should know their children better. I am sure no parent would want their kid to do bad or to behave in such way but as parents we should never get tired of teaching and disciplining our children," he said.

"We as spiritual parents we do youth programs like bible study, culture lessons and fun games just to be able to teach this young ones and to get their minds off doing things like what I heard on the news last night. It saddens me that these type of youths are now found in Samoa. I advise parents to spend as much time as possible to talk to their children and see what is happening with their lives."

According to Rev. Mate, he recalled how his parents were so hard on him when he was still a young boy, and assumed they were doing this as they didnt love him.

But he said he now he knows what his parents have been trying to do for the past years.

"Right now parents are neglecting their responsibilities to their children and they have also stopped interfering into the lives of their children. Parents should learn how to say no as well not just yes to whatever their children wants. We must make sure that our children are on the right path," the minister added. 

He also advised parents to consider having Sunday evenings with their children to discuss any struggles their children might be facing during the week.

"We should try and bring back Sunday family evenings, where parents can have an eye to eye conversation with their children. This could help build better relationships between families," he added.

With the S.O.E. still being enforced in Samoa, families now have a better chance of getting together and having conversation amongst each family member.

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