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Aunty Bella: Mrs Tragedy Averted, What Next?

BellaNaija.com

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Hello BN,

I’m writing this from somewhere in Nigeria. It’s a complex dilemma that
(a) I made up my mind on what to do even though it may not be the “right thing to do”
(b) I cannot discuss this with anyone other than my husband due to the sensitive nature of what happened and the other parties involved
(c) I will really love to hear BN readers thought and feedback on this
(d) Minor details have been changed to protect my identify

I’m a married yummy mom of 2 based in Nigeria. Due to the nature of my dad’s job, I grew up in various cities around the world and only moved back to Nigeria with my husband. For that reason, I sometimes feel a cultural disconnect with the way things are done in Nigeria. I’m talking about parenting, family, dealing with staff etc…

Here is my dilemma. My father and mother in law are nice people but my mom in law has previously “teased” me about my “oyinbo” attitude. She also teases my children about being too “oyinbo” which I do not appreciate because I do not want them to develop a complex about their identity. Even though I work, I do not have a nanny or a driver or a cook, I know that is “weird” for Nigerian standards but I am very particular about raising my children, protecting them and instilling them with the values that myself and my husband hold close to our hearts.

I had previously criticized my sister-in-law (Husband’s sister) for certain things I noticed in her home. I’m sorry but I could not help myself. My sister-in-law and her husband leave their children with the help all day – the nannies get them dressed in the morning, the driver picks them up from school, the lesson teacher does their homework with them and then the parents arrive from work at the end of the day.

Our “face-off” occurred when I found out that she and her husband travelled out of the country for 2 weeks and left her children in the custody of the nannies and other staff. I was shocked as I felt that was unsafe and I told her about it. She was really offended, raised a big fuss and even caused some family drama. My mom in law got involved and accused me of judging her. She said that because her son was “taking care of me”, I could get an “easy job” that give me “all the time in the world” to be “playing with my children”. After that incident, relations were strained.

Then, the incident.

I can barely talk about this without being emotional. I shudder to think of what could have happened.
I do not let me children have sleepovers with friends or let friends sleep over at our house but when my husband insisted that his sister’s children should spend a few days in our house because she was going on another trip and needed a place for her children to stay (after all, since I was the one who complained the last time), I opened up my home.

Big mistake!

One of the schools I attended while growing up was an all-girls school. After hearing the horror stories from girls from all around the world including Nigeria, I vowed to protect my children. I taught my daughter about her body very early so she knows what should never be touched and what should never be exposed.

While my sister in law’s children were staying over at our house, her very young son tried to abuse my daughter. I do not want to go into explicit detail but what he tried to do was totally shocking! He did not succeed and she immediately ran to our room to report the incident. She was so scared but still brave as she explained what happened in detail. He had even tried to threaten her after she refused.

I was hysterical; my husband was so upset and emotional.

In the middle of the night, I drove him (my sister in law’s son) and his siblings to their grandparent’s house and dropped them there. I said that they were being rude (which they are) and didn’t give more details.

Since then, our daughter has had to undergo professional counseling. She is still scared to sleep alone and sleeps in our room. Even though nothing happened (Thank the Lord), the almost is still traumatizing.
The bottom line is, I have totally cut off my in-laws since then and haven’t given them a reason. I did not allow my children to attend the annual family Christmas celebration (because I knew sis in law’s children would be there) and have not told anyone what happened. It has really put my husband in an awkward position as this is a major family talking point.

Now that my anger has subsided, I am actually very worried about my sister in law’s children. For a child that young to attempt something like that, I suspect that he has been abused and might be doing the same to his siblings and friends. I feel as though if I say anything, my daughter might be ostracized or accused of being a liar. From everything I had read, that could have long term negative implications on her. For me, my children are my primary priority, I will rather just keep away, pray for them and let them handle their issues on their own.

So, BN friends, what should I do?
***
An important note for my fellow mothers and fathers, please please please be vigilant with your children and be careful about who you leave them with. A moment of abuse can cause a lifetime of guilt and trauma. Teach them (boys and girls) about their bodies and maintain an open relationship with them so they can tell you if (God forbid) anything happens. If something happens, do not sweep it under the carpet, they will not “forget”, get professional help for your child.

99 Comments

  1. yeni

    March 5, 2012 at 10:44 am

    hmmm, any form of harassment is wrong and shouldn’t be tolerated. But can she sort of try and just talk to the boy because sooner or later they’ll have to talk, its family here.

    But honestly i dont agree with all the domestic staff taking care of the kids, its wrong you should make out quality time with your kids no matter what.That little quality time does a whole lot,why cant the parents drop them off in school, and use that time to just chill with them in the car??? some of these domestic staff arent trustworthy

    • Candid

      March 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      From reading this I can see why your in laws think you are too oyinbo. Dropping those children off in the middle of the night without describing the true nature of the crime was wrong. Avoiding family gatherings without giving true facts is wrong. This will continue to put strain on your relationship with your in laws and eventually, your marriage. My first question is, how old is the boy? Did you calmly ask the boy what happened? What was his answer or reaction? This was the best possible chance to get him to confide in you where he picked up such habit but instead you acted very immaturely. You should have allowed the boy to sleep away from the rest of the children that night, the following morning asked your husband to take them to his mother’s and explain what happened. When his parents got back, your husband should have payed them a visit as well. I do not agree with the way you say your sister in law raises her children as well. Always keep in mind that in laws have a complex when dealing with a wife who hasn’t spent enough time in Nigeria. And especially if you act or speak too foreign. It automatically comes off as showing off even if you aren’t. So I would suggest you become more conscious of your actions and what you say until you have won them over. As for your daughter, do not make a mountain out of a mole with her. Thankfully he didn’t succeed. If you continue to make a big deal about what happened with her, it will cause more damage than good. More than half of us commenting here, our siblings, our mothers had expereienced similar things as children. It is not uncommon but the way you handle it will determine how it affects your child in the future. It is like being in the same room with a baby when he stumbles. First thing they do is look to see if you saw them or if you are panicking. If you are, they automatically start crying. If you pretend not to have seen their little stumble, they erase the look off their face and continue on. I would suggest you put your husband in the front from now on. Let him handle the dealings with his family or siblings.

    • sefi-ann

      March 5, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      very very wise comment.

    • Zara

      March 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      Are you seriously blaming her? Na wa for you! A woman’s little daughter was almost abused by her little male cousin and you’re here trying to push blame on the woman. Your way of reasoning is shocking!

    • mma

      March 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      @ zara no one is blamming her candid said it all the way she handled it showed she really oyibo, growing up a lot of could remeber cousing neighbours trying to look into our pants or put there fingers somewhere or go further these are kids sometimes is curiosity ore pranks but some times the boy in question needs some serious koboko. i remeber my nephew who lives in yankee trying to french kiss his his grandma gave him the beating of his life and then had a talk with him about appropriate behaviours with his sisters cousins and the female gender. This woman is making a fuss what do you mean by your daughter going for cousling please children are stronger and more resiliant than us adult pray with her tell her its ok dont fuss about it and she wont

    • Julz

      March 6, 2012 at 9:00 am

      Candid: I cannot believe that you are saying that a mother being concerned for her daughters traumatic experience is “making a mountain out of a mole”. Abuse of any kind whether it almost happened or not is a traumatic experience that cannot be equated with a child tripping and falling. I am beyond disturbed at your comment, you really should be ashamed of yourself. Its people like you that enable abusers by either blaming the innocent party or trying to sweep the issues under the carpet. Abuse/violation of any kind isnt a small matter…

    • mimi

      March 6, 2012 at 9:21 am

      i can tell that you are nigerian breed by your comment alone how can you seriously blame this woman for her actions i would have done the same even worse in her shoes and yes i am talking as someone who was abused by a cousin as a child something i have never talked about and has affected my sexual realations with men. How can you say she is making a mountain out of a molehill? i feel like slapping you right now!!! you seem to be more concerned about the unity in the extended family than waht this poor little girl went through of course she will be traumatised and her mother has every right to be concerned………

    • Candid

      March 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      @julz: Blaming the innocent ke? The incident was traumatic enough! Making the child relive it many more times afterwards is a mountain compared to what happened! The way she helps her daughter percieve what has happened is the key here. We can clearly see that the mother’s views and past experiences with her in laws influenced the way she handled the situation. She posted the story here to ask for opinions on how to handle the situation. From reading all the comments, we can agree her approach was off. She is the one sweeping it other the carpet by refusing to address the issue even with the boy’s mother. Knowing fully she can make a difference in this boy’s life, ‘ she does nothing and sweeps it under the carpet’
      @ mimi: you are telling wrong actually. I was “breed” between the US and UK. Speaking of molestation, I had my shares of it from cousins, uncles, family friends and so forth during the brief moment I lived in Nigeria. At least you can say “cousin” without an S. There is no tear you will cry that I haven’t. Nobody is blaming the mother but her approach to the issue was off. It is your cousin you need to slap not me. I will be candid like my name and also give you an advice while on the issue of your relationships with men. What your cousin did to you has nothing to do with you as a person. He took advantage of you when you were vulnerable. BUT you are no longer vulnerable now. Pray about it, talk to someone about it, cry it out and don’t let it affect your future. Remember, perception.
      To the victims mother: if you are reading this, take it from someone who has been in far worse situations than the incident your daughter experienced. It all boils down to how you help her see what happened. Do not keep poking at the sore or else it becomes a wound!
      As for your in laws: again take it from someone who had lived out of Nigeria but was brought back by marriage. The good things you do will never be spoken loudly as the bad. If your marriage is important to you, keep your opinions to yourself and if it must be voiced, do it through your husband.
      The longer you keep quiet on this issue, the easier it will be for them to call you a liar. Not that it matters anyways but for the sake of the boy’s future and many other innocent girls/children out there, SPEAK UP!

  2. Tobechi.daniel

    March 5, 2012 at 10:47 am

    You saved your children,I commend you on that and your vigilance. Make that attempt for other people’s children.

    Knowing the way Nigeria is, if that little boy is not stopped, he will be damaged beyond measure, considering it his right to treat kids as he pleases.

    Don’t be the one to speak, let your husband do the apeaking, but speak someone must.

    • Temiloluwa

      March 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      I agree with you Tobechi..

      This is tough. I understand how you can think your child is your primary responsibility. I totally do. But I think you can try helping this young boy too by speaking up instead of ‘protecting your own’ alone. Remember, he must have picked this up from somewhere so he needs to be ‘rehabilitated’ when there is still hope as he is but a child instead of being ostracized. He could be your son. Think about this and together with your husband, come up with a way of broaching the topic. Your husband should do the delivery.

      All the best!

      http://temiville.wordpress.com/

  3. sweetie

    March 5, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Wow, i would just like to say i pray for the lord to give you the strength to handle this….i would also like to add that :
    1. You can offer advice without being condescending…because i am not really sure how you would have advised your sister -in-law on how she trains her kids that would have ended up blowing up into such a big deal….ask yourself…how did i speak to her? was i rude?, was i condescending ,and passing off the notion that i was a better mum because i am always there for my kids? also 2. i think you/your husband ans sister inlaw should discuss this not giving them a reason why you severed all ties is even going to break the family more…discuss it, you are all adults and come up with a solution…i am happy your daughter is seeking counseling because awful things like this do happen as much as we try to hide it in Nigeria…God bless

  4. Ayatonito

    March 5, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Wow………….this is a very serious issue that needs to be sorted out with care, in my own opinion i would rather talk about it to my sis-in-law bcuz like you said he’s probably been abused and might be abusing his sibblings, these things happen alot with parents who run after money instead of spending more time with their family. it is better to speak out now and let them say whatever they want to say bcuz if they find out later they will put the blame on you for not sayin it.

  5. Audrey

    March 5, 2012 at 10:55 am

    ‘If something happens, do not sweep it under the carpet, they will not “forget”, get professional help for your child. ‘ take your own advice m’am,confront the issue.You are getting professional help,yes. what about the family side which is equally important? Agree with your husband and tell your in-laws exactly what happened. remember,He’s only a boy,who might have been mislead. He is family and he needs help too. If your sister in law doesn’t believe what you tell her.well thats her problem.

  6. Lola

    March 5, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Wow, I’m so sorry you had to go through this. Wow, I don’t even know where to begin. It’ll be worse if ur daughter is labelled a liar cuz that doesn’t solve any of the issues. I think the best thing is for your husband to speak to your mother in law. She seems to control how people react to you and your family. If she does not believe her own son, then I believe your family will be just fine! Either they are co-operative and you get a total resolution of conflict between all the parties , including your nephew apologising to your daughter… OR they are not and you re-build the broken pieces in your family and forgive/ wish them well. It is well with your daughter and Family 🙂

  7. Ayatonito

    March 5, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Well i go with Tobechi, let your husband d the talking, that way they’ll listen and take action.

  8. kem

    March 5, 2012 at 10:58 am

    some parents act like they were never a kid, and ignore most things that need to be looked upon on their children, d mistake any child can make as a kid, teenager goes a long way to shape their future ohhhh…..my dear i totally see reasons with you oh cuz these things happen, the best way is if you can really speak with d boy mother to understand your concern rather than her feeling or taking it personal then you both can have a solution and she can seek counsel for her son, if not her son will continue to suffer emotional instability and keep looking for other children to destroy and abuse…..that little boy needs to be saved and on time!

  9. PD

    March 5, 2012 at 10:58 am

    terrible…..but you should have told the parents what happened..as in shout sef……..like you said he might just be doing IT to some oda kids too. He also needs help .please tell his parents and damn the circumstances.

  10. franchesca

    March 5, 2012 at 11:02 am

    yes , i agree with tobechi, let your husband speak, cus someone has to speak. and this involves family, its not like its an outsider u can keep away from, sooner or later there will be something that will bring both families together. so its better to lay the cards on the table now.

  11. mariam

    March 5, 2012 at 11:03 am

    hmm… i totally agree with the way you are raising your kids regardless of what anyone might think or say,your kids will appreciate you for this now and when they are older.allow you hubby to talk to his sister and sort things out before its too late ,the boy might end up worse.may God help us o

  12. kem

    March 5, 2012 at 11:05 am

    or better still, you can speak and draw that little boy closer to you and see if you can help him out…now i understand why my dad never wanted us to to stay with family, cousins, etc but on the second thought, you can allow your children to socialize but train them so well to be close to you, so no matter the fear or anything, they can always run to you for advise….

  13. Monalisa

    March 5, 2012 at 11:13 am

    My friend’s aunt had 5 girls (back when we were serving) and was still going on with childbearing because the hubby wanted a boy (usual with my igbo people). my friend found out som’n funny when she was bathing the eldest girl (6 yrs at the time), she said aunty should not touch her bumbum while bathing bcos it would ‘pain her’. my friend reported to the girl’s mum that she suspecting someone has been abusing the girl, but the mum shut her down saying that she wanted to ‘spoil’ her child. two years later at a family gathering the little girl was secluded and fell ill with fever. serious investigations revealed that she’d been sexually abused for long, by the father’s 16 yr old nephew who lived with them, and he threatened her not to tell anyone all along. the little girl had to undergo serious treatment and counselling with the other sisters. point is to trust no one with kids, and teach kids what to do and say in such situations. it may seem unpalatable to a lot of conservative parents but these things are happening everyday and to be fore-warned is to be fore-armed!

    • sweetie

      March 5, 2012 at 11:30 am

      But some mothers are freaking stupid though!!! how would someone tell you that they suspect your child is being molested and you turn it around and blame them instead of talking with your child and trying to find out who the fool is?!! Hian na wa o…some people have no business procreating!..yes i am angry

  14. Sugabelly

    March 5, 2012 at 11:16 am

    This is very, no EXTREMELY coomon in Nigeria.

    But here are a few things.

    1. She should have called her Sister in Law immediately and reported what the child did to his parents and requested a family meeting as soon as possible.

    2. If the little boy is very young then it is highly likely that he was abused by someone else and was simply trying to re-enact his abuse with the OP’s daughter. It wasn’t the boy’s fault. This is not saying what he did wasn’t wrong, but there are greater psychological forces at play here, and if a child is trying to abuse other children then unfortunately they have already been traumatised by the abuse they suffered themselves.

    Ignoring the family is the WRONG thing to do. First because that little boy might still be in close contact with whoever is molesting him and nobody knows because the OP is refusing to tell anybody what happened, and secondly because the OP is punishing another victim of molestation (the little boy) whereas as his family member she has a duty to try and help/protect him.

    She has already helped and protected her own child by putting her in therapy but she seems willing to allow her NEPHEW (because that’s what he is) to languish and continue suffering deeper trauma from sexual abuse by keeping the whole thing secret. He’s a child. At the end of the day, he didn’t maliciously intend to hurt her daughter. Victims of abuse will often replay the abuse in real life because they are trying to process what happened to them. Punishing them only makes things worse because they then believe it was their fault they were abused in the first place.

    What that CHILD needs is professional help from a psychologist and support from his parents and family.

    • Nono

      March 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      Thank you – I cannot believe she did nothing since the incident and probably let a little boy continue to undergo who knows what? Relationships were never great in the beginning and then she kept this one silent. I doubt I will speak to the poster if I were the sister in law. It’s wrong on all levels starting with the averted abuse.

    • munirah

      March 6, 2012 at 9:06 am

      I totally agree with Nono, when it hapnd, instead of just drving off to the grandparents house, you could have just sat the little boy down in presence of your husband and question him at that point so as to know if maybe the nannies or any1 is abusing him which has caused him to act that way after which you can then take him to his grandparents house. That way you would have saved both kids and you would have gotn an answer from him. You can’t shield your kids from their cousins, you may be able to do that now what hapns when they are in their 20’s. As far aa I’m concerned that was a wrong move and to think that both you and your hubby kept quiet this long is really terrible of u both and that boy is probably still being moleste. Ders a say “IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD” you didn’t watch out for that little boy, forget about his mother’s manner less attitude the boy shouldn’t have suffered for the rift btw u and his mum. His mother is a careless person I’m sorry to say but probably that event hapned so you can rescue that boy from whom ever was destroying his life. If you and you husband have the fear of God in you and I suggest you speak up fast and forget about your sis inlaws attitude, whatever you do is for God not cos of her!

    • Tiki

      March 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      I totally agree with Sugabelly. I thank God for keeping your daughter safe, and I commend you for taking immediate steps to continue that safety and not make a scene about it, which may have scared the children more. However, if I were your in-law I would find it hard to forgive your actions since then. First, the culprit is a child. Granted, he may or may not know that what he was doing is bad, but that is why we have family – so that we have someone to watch out for us, and help us when we need it. I think your course of action before now should have been to inform your nephew’s parents and join them to get to the root of the matter, and figure out what help the boy needs. Secondly, lay off the holier-than-thou attitude. Yes, I said it. How you raise your children is your right, your business, your prerogative. However you can enjoy that right without shoving it in other people’s faces, especially people who do not share your background and may not understand your reasoning. Unless you don’t mind a strained relationship with your in-laws, you may need to work on that.
      That said, please talk to your family about what happened. No good can be served by keeping it a secret. Every minute wasted so far, has prolonged the hell the boy lives in.

  15. nene

    March 5, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Its really awful what u r going thru. I think u shld let ur husband speak with his sister. Silence should not be an option.may God help u.

  16. *ajalahtravel*

    March 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Let your husband do the talking……he should tell his mother and also tell him to give an ultimatum….either they fix their child or stay away from your family.

  17. soja

    March 5, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Please let ur husband do d talking oh

  18. Wunmi

    March 5, 2012 at 11:36 am

    sad..

  19. Raliah

    March 5, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I am sorry ur daughter had 2go thru such an experience. As a mother I knw hw u must hav felt. We shud try 2 make our kids feel comfortable and free 2talk 2 us abt any thing. Especially we d moms and especially our female kids. I also agree wit tobechi on wat he says. Ur husband shud do d talking. And pls still keep ur kids away from them such traits can hardly be fixed in kids .guard ur principles no matter wat.

  20. ama

    March 5, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Hi, Bellanaija…..im still awaiting your response on the article i sent you…I just want to know if you received it or not….and if you have received it whether it would appear in the Aunty Bella column or not…and i’ll appreciate it if you get back to me soon..Thanks Bella Naija!!!

  21. stella

    March 5, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Please ask your husband to tell d sister exactly what happened, cos that boy really needs help too just like your daughter. Damn all consequences for the love of God.

  22. Aibee

    March 5, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I’m youruba, so I’ll speak as a Yoruba woman. Let your husband do the talking. Let him talk tob his Sister and his mother. He’s their son and brother nad they are more likely to believe him than to hear it come from you. I blieve he will know how to present the story to his family,particulalry as he was there when your daughter reported the incident. My mum’s sister had this same challenge. She saw her in-law’s children-boy and girl-(husband’s brother’s kids) ‘experimenting’ with each other. they were barely teenagers, so it was probably curiosity. She told their mum and was accused of trying to destroy the unity in her husband’s family.

    Let your hsband talk to his family. the little biy needs help too. Congratulations on teaching your daughter to be comfortable with her body and to trust you enough to tell you when she suspects something is going wrong. May God keep your family in perfect peace.

  23. Dahlia Voka

    March 5, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I agree with Tobechi, let your husband do the talking and pray about it that God be in control and they shall be peace and the family will understand

  24. Nono

    March 5, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    This is a very serious issue. However, from the way you have come across – you seem quite judgemental and I am sure you came across that way to your sister in law. You have decided to raise your kids YOUR WAY and it works for you. This doesn’t mean your way is the best way but it is best for you. Your sister in law is bringing up her kids how she thinks best but clearly there has been some lapses. I cannot believe that you drove in the middle of the night to your in laws without even speaking to the boy to get to the root of the matter etc. Ask yourself what you would have done if it were your own sister’s son. I understand that now you want to do something but how long did it take you? There is a young boy that needs help – who knows what he is being subjected to by the “helps. Yet for months, you have done nothing but watch out for your daughter. Your kids should definitely come first but what about being our brother’s keeper? I am shocked your husband has also kept quiet for this long? Please as soon as possible, let your husband call a meeting between the boy’s parents and yourselves. If you think your mother in laws presence will be welcome, then also invite her. Tell them what happened that day, explain the amount of counselling your daughter has to go through rtc. Don’t lay blame – tell them how concerned you are about their son.

    Sorry to be so judgmental but I would find it difficult to forgive you if I were your sister in law. I am so so so sorry for what your daughter went through but I can’t help also thinking about how messed up the little boy must be to have attempted to abuse his cousin. Please don’t put off telling his parents.

    • Homely

      March 5, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      Abeg Nono, wot are u saying? someones’s child was almost molested! u are just talking giberish. tsheeeww.

    • Nono

      March 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      No you are person talking gibberish. Her daughter isn’t the only victim here. She claims the abuser was a little boy and she did not deem it fit to inform the parents as soon as it happened. Most likely the boy has been/is being abused too and by ignoring to inform his parents, he is still in harm’s wy. Only sugabelly who has commented seems to want to speak the truth. In the end, the boy is her nephew and she has shown no concern whatsoever for him yet she claims he is very young. I know most of you here commenting are Christians but trust the Nigerian brand of Christianity, look out for yourself only. Sorry I can’t be blackmailed to join the bandwagon. She failed in her duty as an aunt and I am only shocked her husband allow her since it’s his sisters’ son. I am a mother so I thoroughly understand what she has been through but she acted selfishly and I have to call her out on that.

    • Aibee

      March 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      I actually agree with you. She was looking out for her daughter, but now is the time to look out for her ‘son’. I hope it is not too late though. I feel your angst at her driving to her inlaws’ place in the night to drop off the kids, without even saying a word to the boy in question. That might have been the perfect opportunity to begin the healing process for the lad.

  25. Veronica

    March 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I thank the lord that your daughter was spared from molestation because the trauma of child rape is something few come back whole from. I would advise you tell your inlaws and parents of the boy and other family members that the boy is abusive (dont need to add sexual). Before you do, pray like you mean it until its time for the confrontation and when you and your husband do confront them, please say exactly what happened firmly, and let them know the consequences of them allowing this to continue. Let them know in the family so that other members of the family can protect their kids. DO NOT let your children mix or interact with him. Its a pity but your children and their feelings are the most important things to you now not anyone else’s. If they don’t like it tough, sweeping it all under the carper and undermining your child’s feelings will not solve this matter. If after all this everyone wants to act like it didn’t happen, you will have to cut them off and while remaining cordial, do not mix up socially. Sexual abuse is rampant in our country because rather than confront we all try to hide from it because it is a very tough topic to confront but you just do you part protecting your kids and doing the right thing. God will see you thru

  26. sofy

    March 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    for abetter r/ship with your inlaws,let your husband do the talking!!!!that little boy nids real help soon….not later!

  27. ify

    March 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    personally i think it’s your self righteous attitude they dislike.Telling someone how to raise his or her child could be offensive especially since you would not want an external person telling you how to bring up your child.Seriously you need to be diplomatic in dealing with extended family issues infact that is one secret of my mum who came from a wealthy home and she has gotten almost all family members to love and respect her.In terms of the issue with the boy harassing your daughter, I presume your husband should do the talking with the family since you already have a strained relationship.Avoiding society gathering with extended family will only leave your children left without any ties to their family. Lastly, this boy is a kid not a grown man and can be changed if he goes through counselling like your daughter. Segregating your children from all others because of this incident will only widen the gap in your relationship with your family and will not solve the problem. Infact this may leave your daughter having a very bad impression about all her cousins.

  28. ice diva

    March 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Thank you for writing this article. Child molestation is swept under the carpet in Nigeria, am just like u, if i know talking to someone wouln’t change anything but rather bring more trouble cause the person involved will never admit to their mistakes i cut them off. so keep off protect ur daughter if ur husband likes he can discuss it with his sister. continue to be a good parent

    • Me

      March 5, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      Read your own comment back! So because you don’t want your feelings hurt, you would leave a child to be abused. Shame on you. Even if the parent will insult you and all your ancestors, everyone has a duty to protect children – they are innocent.

  29. brownie

    March 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Sorry to hear about all the family drama going on. Thank God your daughter is ok. The fact that you made this information public sounds to me like you already know what you need to do but you’re struggling with confronting it. As other commentators have rightly said, you and your husband need to discuss this and then let him tell his sister what happened. It is a very sensitive issue and he needs to tell her in such a way that it doesn’t come across as accusatory but rather out of concern for his nephew. He’s basically about to tell a woman that her son almost molested his daughter – no mother would want to hear that kind of information.

    On another note, you don’t have to make any apologies for who you are or the way you were raised and how you choose to raise your children. I grew up in Nigeria but I’ve been called all sorts of names denoting my supposed “oyibo” ways. From bounty to coconut etc…and personally I find such comments ignorant. Just because I behave differently doesn’t make me white. As blacks we’re very quick to pass judgment on anyone or anything that doesn’t fit the societal norm rather than appreciating our diversity and uniqueness. Anyways this is a topic for another day!.

    All the best with whatever you and your family decide.

  30. Ann

    March 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    like my bro in-law asked that my sis little gal(just3yrs old) come spend the weekend with him, when my sis told me i told her no, its wrong, don’t even try it, i am a lil paranoid abt leaving lil girls where boys are. Mothers be careful

  31. Eran Iya

    March 5, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    If this issue is dealt with early enough it can still be fixed. I known of a family member that has so many randy unexplainable and down right disgusting sexual escapades for majority of his life and he his only in his mid 20’s. This has been the source of major family drama, conflict and trauma. However in the process of talking to him one day he actually opened up to me on the sexual abuse he suffered as a child, and finally i understood the reason for what we all considered madness then. He is finally finding his way to redemption now, but considering 15wasted years and the amount of amazing opportunities he lost as a result of this he is paying a very heavy price. As parents our watch word is vigilance, develop a relationship with ur kids so the minute something is wrong you can notice or they feel secure enough to tell you something is wrong.

  32. modupe

    March 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    very sorry for what u and ur family had to go thru. sadly, this is the case in many homes today. many children are being molested while their parents are away. i hav alot of frends who were abused by neighbours and relatives when they were young. i ll advice u help the little boy by letting his parents to be aware of what he did. i also agree with everyone that your husband should do the talking since its his side of the family.

  33. Dominic( Jnr)

    March 5, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Truth, I am so happy nothing happened and that your daughter ran to you and your husband that means your daughter is a good girl, other children would have stayed and done unthinkable things at such an age. Now, this is a dicey matter but it is also simple one to solve. (a) you are married to your husband and not your mother -in-law ( and your other in-laws for that matter). You and your husband are number 1! You and your him determine what you and your children want and should do and not ( some disgusting) your in-laws, (b) since your husband knows about this terrible act both of you MUUUUSSST tell them about it let them know that you will not condone such rubbish atrocious acts. Determine what you want in your house, lay down the rules, lay down the rules and not them ( c) start saving up BIIIIIGG money i.e have a serious bank account and if you truly believe in your husband tell him to start funding the account for you and if you don’t trust your husband start it up yourself .(d) talk to this kid who tried to force your daughter about what he wanted to do( he definitely has had a wrong upbringing ‘cos the parents are never around) because this is his future we’re talking about he can still change into a good boy. (e) You gave birth to kids for your husband and NOT your in-laws, no one has any say in the way you raise your kids. What you say to your kids is number 1, any other opinion is absolutely and definitely secondary. Take charge and finally PRAY TO GOD nothing that happens is ordinary be it good or bad, Pray to GOD for strength, help guidance ,leading protection expansion, increase, grace, life, joy …..you catch my drift. God Bless.

    • Me

      March 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      Hope she won’t be following this ignorant rubbish masquerading as advice.

    • sefi-ann

      March 5, 2012 at 6:52 pm

      touche

    • hateunrealisticpple

      February 3, 2013 at 12:06 am

      o ga o..When you read some comments, you just know when the person is married or not. Really!! the child is for her husband not inlaws? take this attitude to your husband’s house and your feets will be swept out before you even have time to settle!

    • hateunrealisticpple

      February 3, 2013 at 12:10 am

      And darling when you marry your husband, you have married his whole family. You dont want to make an enemy of them cos you need them in your corner for when your husband starts acting like man and misbehaving.

  34. SERIOUSISSUE

    March 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    As a victim of sexual abuse …who hasnt been able to come out …but plan to very soon i urge you maam to please agree with your husband to tell the family …or better still talk to the boy….madam you are going to do a lot for the boy…please talk…. i wish i had someone to talk to during my time ..people dont understand this could lead to long term effects and trust me it is a very serious issue, it affects the child mentally, emotionally and psychologically….my relationship with my parents arent good, although im still quite young…im about to start counselling ……promised myself to come out to my prents before the year ends as i need closure to move forward in life.. all in all i found a very good friend in God at a young age that has been whats been keeping me strong for a while..

  35. iyabo

    March 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    first, i think you were out of place in giving advice that wasn’t sought. recall that you felt bad when your mother-in-law said your kids are too oyinbo. Its the same thing. To each his own. On your daughter’s issue, it will need to be confronted. i agree that your husband should do the talking. Talking about it will help clear the air, help your daughter heal and help the young boy heal as well. all the best.

  36. Dominic( Jnr)

    March 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    you know what tell you husband to tell them( all of them) to back off your children better to be safe than sorry .

  37. Dominic( Jnr)

    March 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    you can pray for them, really, pray for them.But, love from a distance. like seriously, if you are finding it difficult to co-exist they should go! Your life and the lives of your husband and children is absolutely different from theirs different from theirs.Let me shock you, your kids will grow up and have their lives too but, do you want to be involved in their adult lives too? prepare them now and make sure they are well equipped to deal with the future so that you can butt out of their lives too, its a continuous. If you want your kids to be free when they grow up, relate with your in-laws in a way that supports your plan for your kids when they grow up, do you understand? Your husband is the driver , if they are not willing to yield to what you want they have to go its as simple as that. Tell me, is your own family disturbing you? NO! so why would this in-laws be the ones causing all the drama? please, take charge of your family if your husband won’t!

  38. Dominic( Jnr)

    March 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Look, your kids may not like the way you are bringing them up but years from today they will come back and not only hug and thank you but they will bless you because they will realize that you saved their lives from “destruction”. “train a child in the way he/she should go”

  39. I talk am

    March 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I’ve always said it, my kids won’t go to boarding house and house help matter will be dealt with great caution. No uncle, aunty, family friends rubbish, things are happening… These days parents are chasing money like crazy with little or no time for the gift God gave them, hence, much evil in our society. May God help us all, amen.

  40. Balls

    March 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    It happened to me in my mid teens..i used to live with my elder sis. i was soooo lucky. He was almost successful. i reported instantly and my big sis and her husband blew the trumpet. My brother-in-law (my sis husband’s lil bro-the culprit) was humiliated,punished and counselled. The dust settled finally and we both are living healthier lives. i didnt need therapy but from that day i got extra careful. Everyone is ok now. So fix it now..dont let it go cold.

  41. olu d

    March 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    My dear, u have done the right thing o,if they cannot train their children well, let them nt spoil ur own.Thank you for being one of the few good mothers out there

    • Gidi

      March 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      I wish it was as simple and straight forward as you see it.
      That boy was properly molested by a nanny when his mom rushed to the hospital to have her blood drawn for a malaria test when she was ill months back.
      How does that make the mother a bad mother?
      A pervert will always find a way and perverts are not labelled on foreheads.security guys, uncles,aunties,nannies,cousins, nieces etc.
      This thing has nothing to do with poor home training o!
      I do my part, accept that it is limited and pray like mad for my kids. I pray more for them than i even pray for financial blessings (side eyes naija church folks). Na baba God o!

  42. unde

    March 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I don’t ever comment on peoples issues, but I feel I should say a few things here:
    1. Am very happy for you, that your daughter wasn’t molested
    2. I don’t think staying away from family functions will solve anything (rather it would bring animosity, bitterness and even anger to every concerned) just as you don’t want your children to develop a complex about themselves cos of ur mother-in-laws comment, they would if they don’t feel any sense of belonging with their extended family no matter how little) and no matter how much you stay with your children, you can never always be with them 24/7, besides it may not even be healthy as they need the social interaction and as we all know it starts with family. Protecting your child is key, but confronting the issue is also key. A balance must be sort somehow and since we are in nigeria you have gotten the best advise from people let your husband be the one to tell his sister because obviously her son needs help.
    3. Finally, don’t think this could not have happened in a way whereby it was ur own sibling that would be in the position your sister-in-law is now. Please find a balance and the best approach to broaching the subject so that all our children would be protected. Your sister-in-law’s children are your children.

    Note: I don’t know if you are a christian but the bible says follow peace with all men as much as its within your capacity, hence you necessarily don’t have to be all chummy chummy but you must find a way to interact and have a relationship with them when the need arises. As the need would always arise afterall family can’t be thrown away or discarded no matter how much we would like to do so sometimes.

  43. Ginika

    March 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    This is really awful.

    I think that, you should also think about the boy and tell his mother. The trick will be how to tell her.

    The relationship between the both of you is currently strained, and the more you distance yourself the more strained it becomes. It may get to a point of no return, were by the damage becomes as big as a mountain. My advice would be:

    1. Get on your knees and pray for wisdom. Seek wisdom as though it was life itseslf. Why I’m saying this is that, when wisdom enters into your heart you are able to assess any situation and approach it accordingly.

    Why should you even decide to tell her? Because of the sake of the boy. The main focus now is the safety and well being of this young boy. Now, you understand her temperament, you know what she is like. You can predict her response and reaction to certain things, so you have the upper hand; but constantly bare in mind that you are doing this for the boy not her per-se. Try a little scenario planning of the worst case and the best case with your husband and come up with effective solutions to handle each situation. Also bare in mind that you will have to swallow alot of your pride. When I’m stuck in a difficult situation that requires me to make a quick and effective decision, I ask myself: What Would Jesus Do? (WWJD). The only way to find out, is to read the bible concerntrating on the various situations Christ was in, how He responded and what principle He attached to it. Finally, pray for Grace, strength, compassion (in your heart), (peace in your heart) and when YOUR ‘inside’ begins to align with the word of God, it will show outwardly in your treatment and she will in turn react accordingly.

    Please, dont waste anymore time and start with the scenario planning with your husband.

    All the best.
    Ginika.

    • Ginika

      March 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      I’m not a writer so please forgive the lack of paragraphs, punctuactions and bad sentence construction.

  44. onyx

    March 5, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    As uncle said above, I also don’t like to comment on other people’s issues (to each their own) but there really is a case here for you to speak out – or actually, get your husband to speak out because this is too sensitive for you to do the talking – and save that little boy from becoming something terrible. God only knows what he’s seen or experienced to have tried to copy the act with your daughter *shudder*.

    Pray really hard too! Because you’re gonna need the Spirit to guide you through the can of worms this may possibly erupt into… xx

  45. Jemibee

    March 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I feel for the concerned child (the boy). It’s not smthg a kid cultivates on his own, someone (probably his maids or friends in school) must have introduced him to it. I strongly advice u inform his parents asap so dey can address this issue before it gets out of hand. Being a mom, i would prefer to be told than for peeps to keep me and my family at an arm’s lenght.

  46. mimi

    March 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    hmmn i have always had it in mind to bring up my children this way oo…as per no maid, no driver just me and them and also educate them on sex at a young age, you have just reinforced this. By thw way i agree your husband should do the talking.

  47. Mike

    March 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Bottomline is they are still family and as much as you should protect your own it doesnt mean you should ignore or overlook you inlaw’s kids. I strongly advise you tell the boys parents,he must havee been exposed to too much already at such a tender age and should be properly guided and counseled.

  48. Gidi

    March 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Like others have said, let your husband do the talking. Also, it should not be done from the angle of exposing the kid but the angle of seeking help for him.
    Secondly, do all you can to protect your daughters (even sons are not exempt,i know boys that were violated by their nannies) but i have bad news for you; This happens even in Naija more often than you imagine and if you apply your mind to it fully, you will not only go paranoid but fully mental!
    My advice for you is this – Do the bit you can and actively hand over your Children to God. you will never be with them 24/7 and it takes just a few moments for a pervert to strike. Try acting God and you will go mad. As a parent it is difficult to accept vulnerability and limitations but ……….

  49. ihuoma

    March 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    This sexual abuse matter is even more serious than I thought.Imagine a kid trying to abuse and threatening another kid! Meeeeeeeeeen!!!
    I think you have gotten enough advice from readers to balance your strategy for approaching the issue of telling your sister in-law,cos I am sure you agree by now that telling her is your social,family and spiritual responsibility to the little boy.Thank God your daughter got lucky,another little girl may not be that fortunate and who knows where he will meet your daughter in the future and try a repeat performance(God forbid) if this is not handled now.
    One more thing,pls do not forget to apologize to your sis in-law for being judgmental in the past.Do not make enemies with her for God and every other person’s sake.And also before you and your husband tell her what happened both of you should apologize for not telling her earlier.Explain to her that you were not sure how she would take it.Pray for guidance so that God will put words in your mouth.You do not need the feud that seems to be brewing in your family and you cannot en-strange your husband and his kids from their family.Trust me,it will backfire.So sort out your self now.Wish you the best.

  50. Amber

    March 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    It is so sad this happens even worse things happen nowadays cos people are so busy with their professions now especially mothers.back in d day most mother were teachers so they had enough time to take care of their kids but now women are venturing into other professions that demand a lot of time creating less time for their children.may God help mothers these days o.i will advice he to discuss this issue because the said guy could go on to threaten the girl at school by forming a gang of guys to rape her.anything could happen.

  51. Titilade Raji

    March 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Every Blessing to you for sharing this ! Indeed it is enlightening to all.
    Bless you too for teaching your children at an early stage re such aawearness of their ownself and re what is right nad what is wrong ! Having sid this, there are two ways to this, you eaither keep quiet and let them deal with this as yo have said or say something and they say your daughter is not telling the truth.
    But !!!!
    Families are always families (in as much as we try not to associate one’s self with such incidence in the fmaily, we simply cannot help it) because they are your husbands and what belongs or concerns ur husband, does concern you ! thus I will advice you speak to your husband re how to sort this out amongst the family (i.e man to man), bearing in mind the mental health of your child and their believe your children are thier’s (typical nigerian family thoughts). As you have rightly thought your children in the light of awearness so you need to teach them re forgiveness and strategy to moving on in life ! Reassuring them, every step of the way. Your ability to always be there for your children emotionally is the one thing that will (on your side) make you win this issue. Its is an issue that needs to be sorted, so you will be at Peace with yourself and secure a relationship for your children with the family. I pray GOD direct your every words and thought on this issue and give you the divine stength to carry on in spite of all.
    Wish you well
    Kind Regards.

  52. pynk

    March 5, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    as a mother, you or your husband owes that other mother a word on her sons behavior. @ least give her a chance to correct the behavior in the son as you have done with your daughter. It takes a village to raise a child.

  53. Gorgeous

    March 5, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Nigerian kids are raised by nannies. And kids that were abused are more likely to abuse others now or in the future. That boy has been pbviously abused. You will be surprised that almost 90% of Nigerian males first sexual experience is with the help. With how std’s and sti’s are so rampant now, it is a very dangerous thing. I personally do not believe in househelps or sleep overs, because my parents never allowed it. Still i had passes made by my father’s friends when i was just 12. And my sister had passes and gifts given to her by my father’s friend too. We have to be very careful and cautious with our kids. Have open conversations with them and talk to them about everything. The danger’s of abuse, sex and everything. When they are aware, they know how to keep guard and feel they can trust you enough to be non judgemental. The woman with this story, i personally believe your approach to your SIL was a bit forward. You have to know how to word things in a way that it will just flow in a conversation. How they choose to raise their kids is their own business, do not impose yourself on others and coma across as a know it all. After all, your style of raising your kids is not perfect either. As for the attempted abuse, the parents of that boy must know. They must sit him down privately and talk to him so that he can point out where he learnt such a behavior and they can identify his abuser. Kids, whether male or female get abused, and the life long consequences are devastating to them and their future spouses. Please act fast. As for our parents of today, make sure you make adequate time for your kids. It is your duty to protect them. In advanced countreis people dont have all these strangers living around them and they carry on just fine. Having someone in your house 24/7 doing nothing but watching your kids run around naked is very dangerous. Many sick people in this world. Be vigilant, and rely less on house helps, maids, strangers and even idle family around your home.

  54. bad boi emeritus

    March 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Now that I have read the story… Im better informed to comment. I hereby put a reader alert on my comments and as such I beseech readers to behold their peace while I speak.
    Dear Madam,
    I understand the true nature of the situation at hand but as a man, I do understand that im viewing the situation from a different psychological, emotional and situational prism. and I state as follows
    1. That your holding the boy’s guilt over your daughter without speaking up is an act of injustice. How? u might want to ask…Telling the parents early, whether they believe it or not will go a long way to cut the evil nail” about to grow into a wing..in that Boy’s life. God used that medium to reveal a future disaster to be averted.
    If you do not tell the parents, Don’t be surprised one day,,, the next victim may be U!
    2. That that boy has been exposed to “an explicit SEXUAL content… REALTIME and this occurs when the nanny(ies) and the driver , or by random permutation or by human combinations, the lesson teacher and the nanny.
    3.That one of the parents (the dad) is having sexual escapades with the nanny
    4. That the mother allows her child to watch some uncensored scenes considered to be unhealthy for kids of certain ages.
    5. That keepign silent in the face of a real situation is the devils way of making us captives of our own identity.
    6. That the ONLY TRUE HEALING can come when the little boy is made to kneel before your daughter , with her mother and father, and with the “flappy tongued” grandmother (Ur mother inlaw) and beg your daughter fot forgiveness….The mother will also join in kneeling! yes!
    7. That He tried raping (y hide a sin)>????
    8. That I advise u as a mother to tell the boy’s mom first.
    9. That your daughter should henceforth be made to tke lessons in Karate, Tai chi to enable her have self confidence as a woman
    10. That you should enrol your child in a music academy…. A great music writer she would be.
    11. Accord her every opportunity to be the best in whatever she wants
    12. That this story should not be trown away’ should the boys parents ” doubt”
    13 . That either the mom of the boy lay ambush for the dad or layambush for the nanny and the driver or teacher. thay way the truth will be revealed.
    14. Pray ceaselessly
    u can meet me @270BD50D
    @sweetestanslem on twitter

    • sefi-ann

      March 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      this surely must be a joke? you’re here having a laugh about such a serious matter, you surely must me mad.

    • Partyrider

      March 5, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      I know this is a serious issue,but #9 and 10 had me laughing out loud..
      are you for real?

  55. chuks

    March 5, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I think d second comment @candid answered all the questions and gave you the best advice. You handled the issue very poorly. you dropped the kids off night without any explanation; are you kidding? You be more concerned about repairing your relationship which your inlaws ( which were not helped by your actions) than helping the boy. you asked for my advice, here it is!!!!

  56. allen

    March 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    well said………….. correct. Too much fear……. when her daughter turns 18 she’d wonder if this was the girl she instilled with values??? It is one thing to teach and another to absorb. She ought not to act too self-righteous like the “OYINBOs” especially the British when dealing with outsiders. Let your husband handle things and confront it. That’s how it is done in Nigeria…….

  57. Zara

    March 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Why must the husband be the one to handle things? You all baffle me! Why can’t her and the husband handle it together? You people’s way of making the woman inferior to the husband or second-class citizen among the in-laws is disgusting! Her daughter was almost abused and the daughter reported this to her so I think she has every right to bring it up to the boy’s mother if she wants to. Let’s stop this nonsense of taking rights away from the woman and giving them all to the man. She has the right to speak to the in-laws and address any issue she wants to address. It’s so sad that most of the people saying the husband should be the one to speak are women.

    • Nono

      March 5, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      I suggested her and her husband tell the couple but let me tell you why people might have suggested the husband. She doesn’t have a good relationship with her sis in law. Rightly/wrongly, she has admitted to criticising the same woman about raising her kids. I would imagine it would come across as an “I told you so”. So yes it makes sense for the husband to do the telling. It’s called TACT.

  58. Zara

    March 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Mrs Tragedy Averted,

    I’m so sorry to hear what almost happened to your daughter by her cousin. I’m glad to know that you’re seeking help for your daughter and protecting her as much as you can. But please, the little boy needs help too and he can’t get help if you continue keeping what he almost did with your daughter from his parents. His parents need to know what happened, you and your husband need to bring the issue up and discuss it with your family members. Please pay no attention to all those who are insisting that your husband should be the one to discuss the issue with his family. You are a member of the family too and has every right to bring up issue that affects your daughter. Nigerians have a habit of making the woman feel like her opinion doesn’t count, only that of her husband does. This matter concerns your daughter and you should be very much involved in it.

  59. NUBIANWATERS

    March 5, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    My heart sank as I read this narration. It is awfully sad on many levels. However, analyzing the situation objectively cannot be easy as the information given is still limited. I have read the comments above and I perpetually find it amazing how easy people judge others. In a situation like this, I’d love to play the devil’s advocate.

    Responding insensitively to someone else’s plight can be second nature for quite a number of people since the issue is not in proximity to them. However, it does not water down the intensity and delicateness of the matter at hand. I must commend the narrator for being a mother with the right kind of presence of mind needed for parenting in this generation of ours.

    Too many a parent are extremely disconnected from the ongoings in the lives of their wards. Some, out of the characteristic nature of the Nigerian workplace, others, out of outright laziness and nonchalance. Effective child nurturing is the fundamental responsibility of every parent, a basic right for every child. Going by what has been stated, the continuous negligence of the little boy’s parents could be attributed to why the seed grew! It makes me wonder the sort of ‘activities’ children get exposed to in the absence of their parents.

    Relieved as I maybe for your daughter, I still ache for the little boy. I perfectly understand what state of mind you must have been in on that dreadful night and I cannot judgment you for whatever reactions that followed. I’d want to assume you have had your moments of sober reflections and are now seeking respite hence reaching out.

    As you did not give a clear explanation regarding your husband’s stand on the entire matter especially as it relates to your in-laws, I would assume you are on the same page. You both should be concerned as this boy is blood – family. He eternally remains cousin to your children. There is absolutely nothing you can do about that!

    Obviously, there is fire on the mountain! If this is not cured here and now, the seed of generational feud may have just been planted. Both of you cannot keep a lid on this and wish it away. The boy would grow to either deeply appreciate you & your husband for showing him love when he couldn’t even understand it or remember you for ostracizing him when he could have been saved.

    For how long are you going to avoid family? Let your man take the lead (if possible alone at first) and speak to his mother and sister. He should be sensitive, choose his words carefully and probably forewarn them about the weightiness of the matter he wants to discuss.

    As the missus, mend fences if need be. It doesn’t make you the fool, it only makes you the better person. Marriage, amongst other things, is the amalgamation of two people with different backgrounds. Look beyond yours, make a genuine effort to understand theirs and learn to manage people. You need to learn to accept people for who they are. That would only come with conscious practice.

    Not all that the eyes see should the mouth utter.

    I wish you well.

    http://nubianwaters.wordpress.com

  60. BC

    March 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Madam, the family must know what really happened. You did everything right until you decided to hold back the truth of the attempted sexual abuse. Sit down with your sister in law, your husband and mom-in-law and have a long talk. Lay everything on the table and let them see why you have decided to cut them off. Trust me honesty is the best policy. What has transpired is going to have long term ramifications on the family and the sooner you started getting the air cleared, the better. I think your sis in law deserves to know what her son almost did, that way she can get some help for him. And maybe even follow your foot steps by keeping a closer eye on her kids. But she needs to know! Congrats for teaching your daughter about her body. Some of us could have been saved a lot of heartache had we been told the same at that age.

  61. konnie

    March 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    She and her husband need to talk to her sister and her husband. Stuff like this should never be swept under the carpet. That’s why there are a lot of perverts and damaged people walking around because there was no early intervention.
    He’ll end up in jail if nothing is done now when he can be saved

  62. chinco

    March 5, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Wow! Good idea u don’t leave ur kids with a nanny most of them do all sorts and watch all kinds of things in front of the kids. It has always been my policy never 2 allow anyone else raise my child as long as I’m able. I think u shd tell ur husband to call a family meeting and have the whole incident discussed. Whether they believe u or not. Get it off ur chest

  63. chinco

    March 5, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    @ zara, most people just feel her husband will easily get audience from his own family after which she can come in. Plus, she herself claimed her ways r not really accepted by her inlaws. Nobody said anything about a woman’s opinion , not being important.

  64. NUBIANWATERS

    March 5, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    @Chinco, your response to Zara is on point!

    This is not about subjugation of the female gender. It’s not a one size fit all approach in all cases. Her relations with her in-law seem pretty tense so it’s only logically to proceed with caution. Hubby should address the matter first before she’s drawn in. It concerns all parties!

    http://nubianwaters.wordpress.com

  65. Jacme

    March 5, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Thank God for your daughter and for your efforts at spending time with your kids and giving them proper upbringing. You have raised a serious issue but your handling of it is a bit wrong. The blame is more on your husband who has chosen to play Ahab and leave everything to you. From your tone, you appear to be the boss in your dictating everything and your husband just quietly agree and follow your dictates.

    My candid advice is to ensure that your husband takes responsibility for managing the home and relationship with his family. This will shield you more and provide a bridge to his family. If you continue to personally take this aggressive posture on your own, you might regret it in future. Family members can be very devious when they begin to see you as a threat to their family. Do get your husband to bring up the subject with the boy’s father and mother in a peaceful manner. If they choose to co-operate suggest helpful measures for correcting the boy. Who knows, it may just be a turning point for them in the area of taking personal responsibility for their children’s upbringing. May God grant your more grace of motherhood and divine wisdom.

  66. Previous experience

    March 5, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Once, my parents had a guest over, she was a good friend to my dad but she had been divorced for about 10years. At the time, she came with her son who was between 11 and 13 and my little brother was about 5 or 6. So, they asked them to play in the room while my parents sat with the parents. My mum was passing the room when the guest child came out abruptly and closed the door behind him, my mum found it weird but ignored then she called my little brother and the guest child came out again and closed the door and said “everything is fine, nothing is wrong”. So, my mum got super suspicious and forced her way through only to find my brother butt naked so she asked why and the guest child answered for him and said- he wants to have his bath. My mum alarmed, sent them both to the living room to face the child’s mother and to explain. My brother there narrated how the guest child had asked him to undress and lie on the bed and how the guest child hit him in front and at the back. And the child did not object; it was true but it was uncovered right in front of his mum, and she saw the evidence. She felt extremely guilty and left the place, apologising. That was well handled by my mum, but I guess this case is a bit tricker as you didn’t catch the boy (not to say that the girl is lying) but I think you need to let the family know immediately; it is absolutely disgusting. However due to your previous history, you need to tread carefully and tactically before they claim you are lying or have jazzed their son. Good luck and God be with you

  67. Partyrider

    March 5, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    If you remain silent and the boy grows up to be a menace and years later the family finds out that you kept this away from them,believe me they will not forgive you,and your life will be miserable in that family..
    Don’t forget that the boy is family,and as a mother and aunty(because that’s how the boy and his siblings see you)and in fact as an adult that boy is your responsibility. You shouldn’t have waited this long in the first place..speak to the family ASAP…Asin this weekend sef.
    Finally pray for wisdom.

    PS: the easiest way to pick a fight or cause trouble is question the way a mother raises her children.even if it is clear as day that it’s not the ‘right way’,it will always cause trouble.

  68. Ayo

    March 6, 2012 at 3:09 am

    To the writer asking for advise-

    Thank God trajedy was averted! I would suggest you and your husband or better still just your husband (because of the strained relationship you have with your in laws) talk to the boy’s parents. It is most likely the young boy has been or is being abused by one of the helps (unfortunately). I can understand your anger, but dropping off the boy at his grandparents in the middle of the night without an explanation was not a particularly mature thing to do; you should at least have confronted the boy and asked him what happened- yes he may have lied if you asked him but you still owed him to do so and to talk to him. Cutting off family ties wouldn’t help you either- these kids can meet somewhere, somehow in the future….he needs help now and you would be helping him, yourself(household) and the society at large if you speak now and help to nip this in the bud otherwise your not speaking now may turn round to hunt you.

    Like someone said, I dont know if you are a christian- if you are, I suggest you pray and ask God for grace & wisdom on how you and your husband can talk to your in laws and please don’t be judgemental in your delivery as that won’t help anybody.

    All the best

  69. Melissa

    March 6, 2012 at 5:54 am

    That little boy needs help and fast. You and your husband can’t just keep it to yourself. Driving him and the other kids to their grandmother’s house in the middle of the night was totally wrong. You could have secluded him from the others that night and in the morning get things sorted. Better still, your husband should have followed you that night to speak to his mother about what happened. THank God he was there, so they won’t say you made it up. You and your husband need to tell his parents and his grandmother too. Let your husband do all the talking. i am very sure that boy was/is still being molested. You can’t just do things unless you learnt it from somewhere. And i hope this teaches ur sister in law a lesson….to not neglect her kids. The maids and staffs did not give birth to those kids, they are her’s and her husband’s responsibility. And you need to learn how to be diplomatic with in-laws, that’ll save you a whole load of trouble.

  70. Chi

    March 6, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Being vigilant includes getting to know about anyone who comes in contact with your children. You can’t protect your children like this forever. You’re not oyiboish to me. To me, your behavior is pathetic, immature, unintelligent, highly negative and paranoia. You had a chance to learn about your nephew and possibly to teach him something good; instead you took the highway on your high horse and dropped him off at your in-laws. Be careful, they road you are heading down on. The way you are protecting your kids is damaging their relationship with their extended families. Your kids might grow up not knowing how to socialize or relate to others if you continue this way. Yes, you have heard the horror stories; let me not call you mumu, but haven’t you heard the great stories. Why focus more on the negatives allowing it to possibly destroy your children’s future lives slowly. Please, be advise I’m not calling you a bad mother. I just want you to take a good look at what you are doing. What is your ultimate goal for ur children. Do you want them to be anti-socials? to be locked away in ur house forever? My mom was protective too, but she allowed us have friends, we had sleepovers in our own house. We don’t go to other’s houses or have sleepovers at other’s house. She knew our friends because they came to our house. If you see how my mom used to quiz my little friends eeh.

    Dear, you need to calm down and trust in yourself and the values you are teaching your children. Allow them room to grow. Promote growth within them. Slow down with all these restraint you put on them. And quite it with the fight you do with your in-laws. You don’t have to approve of what your in-laws are doing in order to have a relationship with them. Please be wise; God forbid, if anything happens to you and your hussy; these in laws might be your children savors. I think you need to calm down, think positive, be positive about life , be positive about the people God has put in ur life. Your In laws where put in life. Get down from your high horse; get back down to earth and be more social with your in laws. You’ll be amazed at what you will learn and how you will improve your life and your kids lives. Good Luck!

  71. Turayo

    March 6, 2012 at 7:31 am

    I for one see you as a parent and one who would go to the ends of the earth for her kid. Being sexually assaulted is no walk in the park. I do not want to call your daughter fortunate because not being raped should not be a lucky thing. So, I’m not going to compare the trauma from the incident to the trauma from a rape.

    1. Since this is Nigeria, it would be best to have your husband present. Both of you. You will most likely lash out because that is your daughter and you are her mother. That is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. You are well within your rights to. I do implore that you talk to the boy’s parents and also the boy. I’d say boy first and then the parents.

    2. I applaud you for getting your daughter therapy. I also see the sense in getting her some self-defense classes as someone suggested. She needs to feel safe and she cannot stay at home all the time. I would also implore you to be brave for her. As someone else said, your reaction as well as your husband’s goes a long way to her healing.

    3. The boy in question also needs attention. I am not going to place this burden on you but he would also benefit from some therapy–not together with your daughter obviously. You and your husband and his parents must get to the root of the matter. Involve the mother-in-law if you are comfortable enough. If he indeed was assaulted, that matter must be dealt with. Think of it as preventing another incident or one that could have been worse.

    4. It may be good for your daughter if you could resume family activities, only when she is up to it and after steps 1 through 3. It is so crucial for you to believe your daughter. And if she still has fears about that night, please believe her.

    5. Try not to attack the parents of the boy unless they say something really Nigerian like “she asked for it,” which I hope they don’t say. Whatever discussions you have, please have it with both you and your husband. The unity is important. And kudos for teaching your children to be sexually aware about their bodies.

    6. I am not religious but if faith strengthens you and/or your daughter, use it to guide you through this. And I do wish you and your daughter the best.

  72. Pendo

    March 6, 2012 at 9:43 am

    this is what i call remote parenting very common in Africa where mothers would rather sleep in late than wake up an hour early to get their kids ready for school leaving it for the help to do. Personally i have more respect for mothers in the west who hold down a job sometimes two and still find time for their children, mothers in Africa with all the help they get seem alienated from their children very sad. Anyway for the issue at hand i think the inlaws should be told as soon as possible keeping it longer will only make it worse and from a cultural perspective i agree with those who say let the husband do the talking they are more likely to believe him than you (they already have issues with your oyinboness) and for petes sake please get your husband to convince his sister to get her son proffesional help. They should also sack the current help in the house but not without an investigation first lay a trap if they must but that little boy learned whatever it is he tried to do from somewhere. i would never in a million years leave my children alone with the help if i had one for even one night. My sister has to travel quite often and she always takes the kids to mums house if it is during school holidays or gets one of our other sisters or sister in law during school term if no one is available then mum moves in till she comes back. I would also suggest a nanny camera in the house to monitor the activites of the help trust me it works.

  73. Lola

    March 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    This is very common with small children all over the world. They see things or experience things which translate into actions with their own siblings, cousins or friends. I have seen this FIRST HAND with a friend who was doing things to his sisters in primary school and I have also experienced “abuse” at the hands of an older cousin who tried to kiss me when I was 6. Yet at my tiny age I knew what he was attempting to do was wrong and reported to my parents straightaway. The best thing to do is not to ostracise the child but to teach him right from wrong. Identify where he has picked up that behaviour to give you a clearer picture on how to handle the situation.

  74. SandyM

    March 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Utteryly and completely agree with Candid. I was a victim of this as a child by uncle, neighbours, cousins name it. I grew up very sane and required no counselling of sorts… I turned to God. In Obodo Oyingbo this would have been the best way to handle it but Nigerians are brought up in a way were we don’t take such things to heart and are not easily traumatised. Please your daughter wasn’t acted by a stranger it was her family member and a young one at that he was obviously lacking guidance and you dropped your responsibility as a mother because of your criticisms of your inlaws. Honestly? Its no one’s fault… Your daughter will be strong if you are strong I’m sorry but let’s be honest this is how serial killers are born.. Why are you carrying your daughter to a therapist and sheilding her a way from family? And this husband of yours I feel you have even emasculated his testicles without you even knowing it. Children absrob everything a simple slap from you would have gone a long way. That’s what my mother did to me when she found out the neighbour’s son kissed me because I told her he did, simply because I thought it was normal. Good luck to you and your family

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