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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.

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