The President, Rotary Club of Okota, District 9110, Lagos, Aderonke Jones-Adewale, has identified improper parenting as a leading cause of child abuse.
Jones-Adewale told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos, that it was not sufficient to find out the causes of child abuse, and only put all the blames on the culprits.
“We are making our children more vulnerable whenever we heard of child abuse, offer our condolences for a while and then switched off our channels without actually ever analysed ourselves.
“Nowadays, both parents are striving to earn money for better quality education for their children, and thus, children spent less time with their parents.
“They feel neglected; I am not saying that parents should not strive for bright future for their children; they must do so, but all within the ambit of spending quality time with them and listening to what they have to say,” she said.
Jones-Adewale said that in some cases, children actually meet with their parents only at the dinner table and spend the entire day with the caretakers.
“It really hurts me when I observe such children. The lack of attention by parents to their children often leads them to become victims of abuse.
“The second cause is that we don’t educate our kids about the good and the bad touch.
“If they try to tell us, we keep them quiet, thereby discouraging them from talking about the issues, since it is considered more or less a taboo to talk about rape and abuse in our culture.
“Nothing should be more important to us than our children. It’s our God-given job to protect them, make them aware and to listen to them,” she said.
Jones-Adewale, however, appealed to parents not to rely on caretakers, because in most cases, these caretakers were involved in rape and kidnapping of children.
“If you, as a parent, have no time for your kids, then, how can you expect someone else to provide them with the love and care they need.
“The third cause is parenting style. Unfortunately, most parents practice authoritarian styles.
“Sometimes, kids don’t open up to parents, because they have this underlining fear that they would get scolded.
“To avoid miscommunication, be friendly with your kids so that they could share everything with you,” she said.
The Rotary president urged parents to ask children, whenever they return from an outing, if they were fine, if they met a stranger, anyone called them and if they experience something unusual.
Jones-Adewale said whatever parents invest today would be their reward in the future, adding that these abuses do not only mentally harm the child, but also cause physical distress. (NAN)