‘Beyond parental control’ cases up

National 2 minutes, 22 seconds


THE number of “Children Beyond Parental Control” cases more than doubled in recent years, said the Acting Assistant Director of the Family Women and Children Division of the Community Development Department (JAPEM).

Siti Zaharah Abdul Razak said there were 38 beyond parental control cases recorded last year compared to 15 in 2011, an increase of 153 per cent.

Children beyond parental control cases involve those below 18 years old who display behavioural problems in school or at home such as absenteeism and internet addiction, among others.

She told The Brunei Times that the underlying issues that could have contributed to these negative behaviours could be originating from the household itself”.

“What we realise nowadays is that parental roles and involvement have decreased over the years. It has decreased in terms of love and care-giving. The child is deprived of attention and lacking as well in financial support ,” explained the Acting Assistant Director.

The lack of attention from both parents towards the child is the main problem that results in a child’s rebellious behavior, she noted.

“Some parents may be too cooped up with work, so most of these children are left with one parent or with the caretakers or helpers at home. This is not wrong but it is very important to balance your time as a parent because it will have a long-term effect on your child,” said Siti Zaharah.

She went on to say that the negative impacts of the lack of love and attention will “only unveil when the child enters pre-teenage years”.

“When the child approaches the age of 12 and above, that’s when they will show the impacts,” she said.

“Most of the parents who seek counselling for their child here are always complaining that their child starts to behave negatively when they start using cell phones or the internet to chat,” added Siti Zaharah.

The Acting Assistant Director went on to highlight the importance of monitoring the children’s online activities to guide them, and to protect them also from cyber criminals.

She also added that another common trait that is found in most of the troubled children is that they come from divorced parents, noting that there was a total of 475 divorced cases registered last year.

“Children usually lose a degree of contact with one of their very few attachment figures, could be the mother or the father, when a divorce occurs. It is a confusing and stressful time for children, regardless of whether the divorce was amicable or not,” she added.

She stressed that divorce has lasting effects on the child’s life.

Brunei will mark its National Family Day 2015 on May 3 with the theme “Visionary Family”.

The celebration will begin on May 2, organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA).

The Brunei Times