On Child Protection Day children call for positive parenting while taking part in the EU and UNICEF joint campaign
OZURGETI, Georgia, 1 June 2022 – Children gathered in the centre of the western Georgian city of Ozurgeti calling their parents to care and to listen to their feelings and thoughts. Hug me, Explain to me, Listen to me, Trust me, Talk to me, Play with me, Ask for my opinion – were the main demands of children to their parents as they participated in the communication for social change campaign “Be a Positive Parent” launched on the Child Protection Day in Georgia.
The campaign is carried out by UNICEF with the support from the European Union as part of their joint project ‘Strengthening Systems and Services for Child Protection in Georgia”.
The enter-education event brought together children and parents and involved them in joint activities and fun games aimed at promoting positive parenting methods. Mayor of Ozurgeti Avtandil Talakvadze and UNICEF Representative in Georgia Ghassan Khalil greeted children and parents and highlighted the importance of good parenting for child’s development in their welcoming speeches.
“Being a parent isn't an easy task. Positive parenting is a skill that can be learned to help provide a better childhood, reduce maltreatment and violence, and create a healthier life and better future for children.” - Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Representative in Georgia.
“To protect and help children, parents and caregivers need to be equipped with the right knowledge and tools. In partnership with the European Union, we are supporting parents to learn about specific tactics that will help them to take a better care for their children”, - Khalil added.
The campaign “Be a Positive Parent” will focus on Guria, Imereti and Shida Kartli regions of Georgia and will develop a web-based communication platform on positive parenting. The campaign will work with parents and caregivers in schools and kindergartens, municipalities, and local communities and provide the specific information and tools about positive parenting.
Positive parenting practices involve providing guidance on how to handle emotions or conflicts in manners that encourage judgment and responsibility and preserve children's self-esteem, physical and psychological integrity and dignity. Too often however, children are raised using punitive methods that rely on the use of physical force or verbal intimidation to obtain desired behaviors. Studies have found that exposing children to violent discipline has harmful consequences, which range from immediate impacts to long-term harm that children carry forward into adult life. Violence hampers children’s development, learning abilities and school performance; it inhibits positive relationships, provokes low self-esteem, emotional distress and depression; and, at times, it leads to risk taking and self-harm.
According to the UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey carried out in Georgia in 2018, around 69 per cent of children experienced any violent discipline methods. 31 per cent of children experienced physical punishment, 5 per cent of children – severe physical punishment, like hitting or slapping a child on the face, head or ears, and hitting or beating a child hard and repeatedly. 66 per cent of children were exposed to psychological aggression.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/georgia/