Human and Social Hindrances to Child Protection: THE HOPELESS

These are people, who do not know how to stand by the child in difficult circumstances. They do not believe in the child enough to share in his infirmities and the shame thereof. They distance themselves from him at the slightest inconvenience. There is no single fibre of hope in their make-up and are easily driven into despondency. They cannot give direction to a troubled child. They add to the child’s problem through hopelessness and leave him to believe that change is not a possibility.

They do not understand that according to Clare Boothe, ‘there are no hopeless situations, there are only hopeless people.’ These are the types, who abandon their physically challenged children. They do not train their children how to respond to the challenges of life.

The other day I was at a popular secondary school in Lagos. I found a senior secondary school pupil weeping profusely in a corner. I approached her and asked her what the problem was. She responded by saying that her classmates were teasing her because she has ‘k-legs.’ I pulled her out and encouraged her. The pupil may be in a position to help herself if she had been trained by her parents on how to respond to the perception of others to her seeming disability.

A girl child once confided in her lesson teacher that she was tired of attending her school because she had been given a nickname as, Ori (head) because her classmates believe that the size of her head is abnormal. It was shocking that when the lesson teacher brought this to her mother’s notice, she did not empathize with her daughter. She only insisted that the child must continue in the school.

A lady once told me a pathetic story of a couple you hid their boy child for 17 years because of his physical disability. This boy was hidden from everyone and kept in a room. He was not sent to school.

These ones will not stand by their children when they run into trouble or they go through an unfavourable situation, like losing a game during inter house sports. They blame the child for everything. They forget that the child is a product of the environment they create for him and that the behavior of the child is a proof of their wisdom or foolishness.

Such spirit of hopelessness was not found in Grace Welch, the mother of Jack Welch, who helped her son to build his self confidence. Jack Welch related this story in his autobiography:  ‘It was the final hockey game of a lousy season. We had won three games in my senior year at Salem High School, beating Danvers, Revere, and Marblehead, but had then lost the next half dozen games, five of them by a single goal. So we badly wanted to win this last one at the Lynn Arena against our archrival Beverly High. As co-captain of the team, the Salem Witches, I had scored a couple of goals, and we were feeling pretty good about our chances. It was a good game, pushed into overtime at 2-2. But very quickly, the other team scored and we lost again, for the seventh time in a row. In a fit of frustration, I flung my hockey stick across the ice of the arena, skated after it, and headed back to the locker room. The team was already there, taking off their skates and uniforms. All of a sudden, the door opened and my Irish mother strode in. The place fell silent. Every eye was glued on this middle-aged woman in a floral-patterned dress as she walked across the floor, past the wooden benches where some of the guys were already changing. She went right for me, grabbing the top of my uniform. “You punk!” she shouted in my face. “If you don’t know how to lose, you’ll never know how to win. If you don’t know this, you shouldn’t be playing.

I was mortified in front of my friends but what she said never left me. The passion, the energy, the disappointment, and the love she demonstrated by pushing her way into that locker room was my mom. She was the most influential person in my life. Grace Welch taught me the value of competition, just as she taught me the pleasure of winning and the need to take defeat in stride.’

Thank you for visiting. I charge you today to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…Do have an INSPIRED day.

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