Don’t be a stranger to your children – Dr Akyaa Boateng

Dr. Yaa Akyaa Boateng, a Family Physician Specialist at the International Maritime Hospital (IMaH) in Tema, has cautioned parents against being ‘strangers to their children.’

She said no matter how busy parents might be, they must make a conscious effort to make time for their children, as that was the only way they would see them as part of their lives instead of strangers to them.

Dr. Boateng gave the caution during the weekly ‘Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility! A Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office initiative aimed at promoting health-related communication and providing a platform for health information dissemination to influence personal health choices through improved health literacy

The Ghana News Agency’s Tema Regional Office developed the public health advocacy platform ‘Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility’ to investigate the components of four health communication approaches: informing, instructing, convincing, and promoting.

Speaking on the topic of ‘Adolescent and Youth Health,’ Dr. Boateng said parents who have become strangers to their children have lost touch with the development of their own children.

‘Such parents do not know the happenings around them, making the children feel their parents do not care about them, a situation that could lead to depression and other conditions in the children,’ she noted.

She added that children, especially adolescents, go through many developmental, mental, and physical changes and therefore need their parents support, adding that parents should have an open communication channel with their children to earn their trust.

Dr. Boateng said parents must engage their children in happenings in school, organise play dates with them, and put in place off-screen time to have some time to bond with the children and guide them to adulthood, as failure to do so would lead them to find answers on their own, either from friends or the internet.

She encouraged parents to know the friends of their children as they would have some influence on them, adding that changes in personality and mood, among others, must strike some suspicion in parents to check if their children were engaging in sexual, drug, or alcohol activities, among others.

She also said parents must be observant of their kids to be able to quickly pick up any changes in them, adding that there was a need for information flow to the children, which must be constant and consistent.

Source: Ghana News Agency