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Be a parent, not a best friend

Television star Cathy Tyson is urging people to stop being their children’s best friend – and instead concentrate on parenting.

Mrs Tyson, who is also an active social worker and counsellor is appealing to parents to show more responsibility in raising their children – and to stop trying to raise them as their friends.

“At age 13, why did you let your child drive your car? At the age of 17,why did you let your child sleep over? We need to look at what we can do differently,” she said.

“He [your child] is not just at Joe’s house. Who else is in Joe’s house? That could be the place where the child is getting what they shouldn’t get. I would rather to err on the side of caution,” she said.

According to Mrs. Tyson, host of the popular local television series, “Lighten Up.”

The responsibility to provide effective parenting cannot be achieved while parents act their kid’s age.

“I don’t want to be my kids friends, I am not their buddy, and they are not on my level, maybe when they are in there 30’s. There has never been a moment in life with my kids when it was not clear to them who is in charge. I want to be someone my kids love and trust and respect, who loves them the most in the world.” she said.

Mrs. Tyson says she is very concerned about the examples being set for some of Cayman’s Youths by their parents.

“A parent who was hanging out in a night club with their child, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, ended up eventually having to visit the same child in Northward Prison.

“The home is the right place to start proper parenting.”

Mrs. Tyson, who holds a degree in psychology and have recently completed her Masters in social work, have almost single handedly raised three kids, as she and her husband were separated for many years before he passed away.

The television show host said she is a firm believer in growing kids with discipline and rules, and is surprised at some of the access available to unmonitored kids.

She said: “If my kids are angry they are not allowed to go and lock up in their room, they are not allowed to close the door. You don’t go sitting up in there conjuring all kinds of thoughts with the devil making all kinds of suggestions in your head.”

Another big concern, according to the career woman and mother is, the availability of uncontrolled, or monitored computer and advanced phones access.

“When I think about how much computer has impacted our children, I don’t think it has been positive. It should be completely monitored considering what the kids can have access to while using it. My 17-year-old daughter did not get a Blackberry until just a few months ago, and had
no Facebook.

“She didn’t get her cell phone until last year at Christmas, at the age of 16 years.”

The TV personality has written a book called, “I’m somebody’s Mamma,” which speaks of her life and career and the challenges of being a single mother.

Her television show “Lighten Up” is aired on Tuesday nights at 7pm, Wednesdays at 1pm and the following Tuesday at 9am


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