Botswana joins the rest of the world to commemorate the Global Day of the Parents today. The day was established by the 2012 UN resolution to reiterate the importance of parenting and strong families for children's well-being.
This year, UNICEF is urging national governments and businesses to provide greater investment and greater access to scale up tailored, holistic and community-based parenting programmes and services to support parents' and caregivers' mental health, especially for the most vulnerable families.
"It is essential for a child to grow up in a nurturing environment and parents are the best role models for that. Studies show that trauma and emotional wounds sustained by a child greatly hinder their development and outlook on life and is an overall barrier to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It may not seem much at face value, but parenting has an impact on economic prosperity and social development," Joan Matji, UNICEF representative, said.
Evidence suggests that when parents are allowed to learn about play-based learning, stress reduction, gender roles and socialisation, they are more likely to form positive and
"Despite the evidence, not all parents have access to services like parenting programmes where they can build the knowledge and skills they need to provide nurturing caregiving and ability to take care of their own mental health," said Desmond Lunga, team leader, Men and Boys for Gender Equality.
Throughout the month, different stakeholders will promote parents and caregivers mental health and emotional well-being to facilitate playful and responsive caregiver-child interactions and achieving optimal child development.
*Tuduetso Kelapile is the Head of External Communications and Advocacy at the UNICEF, Botswana.