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Adefunke Ogunnusi: Protecting Our Children

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I am at the age where a lot of my family members (immediate and extended) are having kids or planning to have children.

It is so weird that one time we were the young ones but now we are reproducing kids of our own or preparing to have them someday soon.
Little children are very adorable; they can be stubborn and manipulative but they are mostly adorable. Someone once told me that all babies are cute, though my sister continuously tells me I wasn’t cute as a baby. Well, let us just say that all babies are babies. Babies then grow into toddlers; toddlers into teenagers and teenagers into adults. The interesting thing with growing up is that every stage impacts the other either negatively or positively. I think for a stable adult life, a child should be protected from:

Bullying
A lot of people speak of bullying from the angle of the child who is bullied, but people talk less about training the one who is the bully. In most cases bullies were bullied at some point in their lives and then bully others as a defence mechanism.
I have seen parents laugh about the fact that their child is independent and always bullying everyone in his day-care. I think children should be taught to be tolerant of others no matter how old they are, so they learn from a young age to cohabit in peace with one another, thereby discourage bullying.

For a child who is being bullied, I think it may be helpful change the environment of the child. I have seen this work before and I wonder what other solutions may be helpful.

Rape and Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment has no boundaries. From father/ daughter, House – girl/ male child, Male neighbour/ Male child, School mate/ school mate. The list is endless.

Some things I have heard to be useful for child protection include – appropriate sex education, technology and surprise home returns, and the use family support system (e.g. Grandma).

I think that kids should be educated about their body parts early enough so that they can recognise and report unusual behaviour. I once read about a woman who requested her daughter to scream if she got touched by anyone in certain areas. Technology such as Car Tracking tools, mobile phones (for the kids), CCTV cameras are also useful for tracking and record purposes.

Lastly, showing up earlier than planned may expose certain activities of the nanny/ house hold workers that are not beneficial to the child. This may not be sexual but may relate to the child’s safety e.g. leaving the gate ajar or doors unlocked when there is an external presence in the house.

Grandma is the best always, her services are cheap and we trust that she will do her job with love. The trouble is not everyone has a Grandma and Grandma has many children.

Parental Differences
We all know that ‘the do as I say’ rule does not really work with children. Most children learn by doing as one or both parents does. Parents are human beings and would always have one reason or another to have arguments (heated and non – heated). However, do the children need to be involved?

At a certain age, all a child needs is stability and happiness. They should not have to be the spectators as their parent’s battle in conversation. A friend of mine once told me that her parents never argued in front of her and her siblings. I found it very interesting and very commendable.

At some point children grow up and can recognise the times of friction, I just think that some parents make it worse by turning their kids into their confidants or giving children too much detail about an incident e.g. cheating incident which may skew the child’s view of the other parent for a very long time.

I have never been a parent before but I have heard and read about stories that I do not wish even on my enemies. When people act a certain way in their adult life it could sometimes be traced to experiences in their younger days. If we can prevent some of these things from happening and keep a kid a kid; it will be very helpful to start them off well.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Darren Green

Adefunke Ogunnusi currently works in financial services as an Operational Risk Management Analyst. She discovered her love for writing in 2013 and has used writing as her private place. She is currently a member of Toastmasters international where she is being groomed on Public speaking. Defunke blogs at [email protected]

11 Comments

  1. JAYNNE

    April 22, 2015 at 8:21 am

    I DON’T AGREE WITH CHANGING A CHILD’S ENVIRONMENT WHEN HE IS BULLIED, I FEEL THIS WILL PUT HIM IN THE POSITION OF A VICTIM, AND MAY MAKE HIM FEEL THE SOLUTION TO HIS PROBLEMS IS TO RUN AWAY FROM THEM.

  2. bruno

    April 22, 2015 at 8:29 am

    pls also protect your children from religion.
    don’t force religion down their throat, don’t force religion on them.

    allow your children to make the decision about religion for themselves when they grow up. thank you

  3. Tosin

    April 22, 2015 at 8:34 am

    cute that the author is in “Risk Management” , same as the tone of the essay 🙂

  4. mimi

    April 22, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Yeah I agree with that one. We often overlook the children that bully others. Some parents actually boast about it “oh, he’s so active, he bullies everybody”. There’s nothing cute about that. You’re sending out a message that you need some help with parenting your child.

  5. Abi

    April 22, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Nice Write up Funke 🙂

  6. chi-e-z

    April 22, 2015 at 10:58 am

    lol children grow up and recognize time of friction kidding me children know period afte 6months old. My 4yr old cousin starts humming really loud if his mom starts to even spell out her argument or disagreement with his father. I used to comfort my 6yr old brother when he’ll start crying when my parents get into arguments and turn the music really loud so he won’t hear them. I can never argue with or talk bad about my spouse in front off my kids. The stress and mental instability it causes later on in life is just too great. Why parents always underestimate the present consciousness of children to the state of finance and marital disagreement is beyound me. From age 4 I stopped eating past 1 plate and asking for things even when I needed it as small as pencil b/c I could see we were financially suffering even without hearing anyone say it explicitly. I still can’t ask my parents confidently for even food money when I need it till today.

    • chi-e-z

      April 22, 2015 at 10:59 am

      *period is equivalent to full stop in american english

  7. wunmi

    April 22, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Thank you Adefunke for this insightful & relevant write up. I noticed one day in church a mother beating her son; apparently he was allowing other children beat him because his mom had warned him not to fight.. I felt she was confusing the child by her actions because he allowed other children beat him since he was obeying her in the 1st place. How do you handle such a situation: you don’t want to raise a wimp neither do you want to raise a violent child who fights. I confuse o

  8. 'Funmbi

    April 22, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Yayy! Nice write-up Funke

  9. Sean Webb

    April 22, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Nice Write Up

    Some people don’t deserve to have children & become parents

    Especially the Evil Ones who use their children as weapons to avenge their partners…..

    Thet Screw up the heads of the children & Destroy their Lives….
    God Help Them….Amen

    youtube.com/watch?v=bQ77176LAwo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  10. sadebabe

    April 22, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Regarding bullying, I think any organisation be it a school, a club or a church that works directly or linked with children should have a Behaviour Management policy especially with younger children so that they start to understand the rules of acceptable behaviour at an early age,. I would assume this to be a part of their policy.
    However, the ultimate responsibility lies with parents to display responsible behaviour in the presence of their kids..

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