There are four (4) ways by which a child can be abused. One of these days I will dwell on that. Today I want to kick off from where I stopped yesterday on the subject: who is an orphan? Abandonment or neglect is the fourth way by which a child can be abused.
Neglect is divided into two: the first is when parents are not available to take care of their children. I mean to meet their five basic needs as I enumerated yesterday. The second and the most deadly kind of neglect is when parents are available but they have not consciously equipped themselves to be in a position to meet the basic children’s needs. The five basic needs I identified yesterday can only be met by wisdom and not by might. Many parents are in this second category.
In most cases when they claim to be around they are clueless as how to help their children. Such was the case of Rukayat Olupo, who began her menstrual cycle at 13 or thereabouts. The first person she spoke to was her mum. It was bad enough that her mum did not prepare her daughter for this sensitive period of her development. The mum’s response was first that she was busy and the matter should be discussed later. When Rukayat reminded the mother, she simply made it a joking point on the dining table. Rukayat therefore made up her mind not to discuss the matter with her mother again. She reached out to her friends and they convinced her that beginning her menstrual cycle meant she was ready for sexual relationships with men. She bought their counsel and went wild into town.
At the time she was sharing her story at 16 at a program organised by Action Health Incorporated in Abuja, she had already gone deep into sexual relationships and had nursed one or two Sexually Transmitted Diseases. I think that is the much I will like to say about the subject of neglect today. It is also a clarion call that it is time for parents/guardians to wake up to the awesome responsibilities of meeting their children’s five basic needs. But they must understand that it is not a responsibility we can meet without seeking knowledge. Stay INSPIRED.