Yes, there is actually a Global Day for Parents

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We are going to introduce you to a very important day on the international calendar. It is called “The Global Day of Parents” and it is observed on June 1 every year. As a bit of background, and according to the United Nations (UN), “The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2012 … and honours parents throughout the world. The Global Day provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents in all parts of the world for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.”
If you happen to be a parent, then you would know that parenting is one of the most, if not the most important job that you could every undertake. As easy as it is to achieve, becoming a parent is not a decision that anyone should take lightly. Bringing a person into this world should be something that should be thoroughly planned and not something that should happen by accident.
We know that we are probably sounding “preachy” but as we reflected on reasons the UN decided to proclaim an annual day dedicated to parents, we realised that a simple bit of logic was increasingly missing from people’s minds – especially our youth who seem to have adopted, more and more, a ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ approach to life planning.
Each generation gives the speech that the following generation has become more promiscuous and wild. That is a given but there is no doubt that the traditional family unit is becoming more scarce at a time when it is most needed. To our minds, that contributes a great deal to the social ills that affect our nation and the world. Wow! We are being preachy!
Be that as it may, we know that the world has always been dysfunctional. Wars and disagreements have existed since the dawn of time but it appears that the more families become dysfunctional, the more the world becomes dysfunctional.
Many of the special days pronounced by the United Nations are considered unnecessary and nothing more than symbolic and, to a certain extent, we agree. But, symbolism is important and pointing out the importance of family and parents is extremely important in our books.
Before we go on, we want to be perfectly clear that we have a broad definition of “family” and to even of “parent”. Using the old adage that “it takes a village to raise a child”, we are all parents. The world has changed and we do not hold fast to what many would consider the “perfect” family. Today, a family is more about love and support than it is about having a mommy, a daddy and maybe some siblings. Today’s family is more diverse and complicated but at the core there should remain love and support. So don’t think for a moment that we are chastising anyone for their choices or circumstances because their family unit does not conform to any arbitrary standard.
We look at the Global Day of Parents as an important day for parents to reflect on their roles and responsibilities towards children and for those children to recognise the sacrifices that their parents make every day to nurture and protect them. As we watch the youth participate in increasingly risky and dangerous behaviour, the role of parents as a guiding force in their lives becomes even more important. The same could be said for education. Solutions for slipping grades in core subjects like math and English rely more on parental guidance than teacher performance. Schools and teachers cannot become substitutes for positive role models in a supportive family environment.
It is often said, ‘it is not important to examine when things go right but more important to do so when things go wrong’. That may sound a bit pessimistic but the wisdom of those words are evident when we examine the detrimental effects on our society when things go wrong in the core family unit. This philosophy dovetails into the UN’s central goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by the world leaders in 2015. Those goals “focus on ending poverty, promoting shared economic prosperity, social development and people’s well-being while protecting the environment.”
It may be highlighting the obvious but the UN decided to do so anyway when it stated that “families remain at the centre of social life ensuring the well-being of their members, educating and socialising children and youth and caring for young and old … In particular, family-oriented policies can contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals 1 to 5 relating to doing away with poverty and hunger; ensuring healthy lives and promoting of well-being for all ages; ensuring educational opportunities throughout the lifespan and achieving gender equality.”
The United Nations is an important institution full of intelligent people and every so often it is worth paying attention to what they have to say because, even though you may deem a lot of their work to be unnecessary or largely symbolic, it is only because you do not know all that they do or, more importantly, why they do what they do.  In this case, we hope that you would agree that the declaration of a Global Day for Parents, as symbolic as it may be to many, is important.
As we made the point before, society crumbles when families crumble. So before you throw caution to the wind and put your pleasures before common sense, think of whether you are ready for the most important job of your life – becoming a parent. It may not be the most exclusive club around because entry is easy and available to anyone, but membership has its responsibilities.
Lastly, we would like to recommend that you take the time to hug your parents and if not your own, hug a parent. You would be glad that you did.
We invite you to visit www.antiguaobserver.com and give us your feedback on our opinions.
 

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