Few occasions in life can rival the joy experienced at the birth of a child. But this often-celebrated event also carries with it the sobering reality of the challenges associated with parenting. However, there are hundreds of families worldwide who are convinced that the Bible is a manual for life and that it is an invaluable source of practical wisdom for parents and children alike.
Children are often the focus of many initiatives sponsored by various groups nationwide. Child Month, observed annually in May in Cayman, is one such initiative designed to celebrate our children, while heightening awareness of the challenges they face in an increasingly hostile world. This year, the month-long celebration is being observed under the theme, “Building Wellness with our Children.”
Playing a pivotal role in improving the lives of children in Cayman, are governmental organizations that demonstrate their shared concern and vision for their well-being. One such organization is the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, or MASH for short, was formed in 2017. Once formed, MASH “began operating as the primary child safeguarding focal point with strategic and operational responsibility for all child welfare matters in the Cayman Islands”, according to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) website.
Despite these various initiatives, our young people are continually under attack. They face numerous challenges which may include bullying, sexual abuse and others. As a result, there has been a drastic increase in the occurrence of clinical depression, suicide and other mental/emotional issues affecting our youths today. What else can be done to help them?
Families all over the world are neither immune to, nor insulated from, these challenges. Many of them use the resources provided on the free-to-access website JW.org. The tools on this website are remarkably versatile. They provide information for all ages ranging from toddlers to teenagers.
For example, Harry and Andria Morales from Grand Cayman have two homeschooled teens and found the website to be an invaluable help. “We knew that a void would be created when we decided to home-school our children,” Harry said. “However, to help them cope ... we use the book ‘Young People Ask’, the animated series ‘Become Jehovah’s Friend’, and the movie ‘How Can I Make Real Friends’.’’
The website also provides information on areas such as bullying, peer pressure, and how to make real friends. It helps parents introduce qualities such as honesty, kindness, and politeness in a creative way. It has proven to be a one stop shop for many Witness parents.
Though their son is only six months old, Andrea and Samuel Canencia from Grand Cayman are already finding much useful material on jw.org. Even before he was born, “We played songs and videos from the website and started reading to him from the Bible during our Family Study sessions,” said Samuel. They are convinced they’ve already seen the benefits, as their son responds with joy upon hearing his father’s voice!
A highlight of the JW.org website is that the information is presented in a wide variety of ways. This includes animated videos, audio recordings, puzzles and ‘fill in the blank’ challenges. These resources have really left a great impression on the children who have access to these tools.
12 year-old Zeina, also from Grand Cayman, said, “Sometimes I felt sad and overwhelmed because of how many people were dying from the virus”. How did she cope? Using the book, ‘What Can the Bible Teach Us?’ She said, “I found the chapter about resurrection, and read it and it would make me feel better.”