There are three major crimes we commit against the child and render him/her permanently, except for divine intervention, Internally Displaced:
- The Doctrine of Silent Treatment: the doctrine of silent treatment says, I keep quiet when a child is in danger of abuse or is being abused because I do not want to rock the boat. The boat of the dignity of human person of the child can be rocked on the platter of this cruel doctrine of silent treatment. I have said again and again that when a child is abused, there are three culprits, namely, first, the primary and secondary caregivers, who have a duty of care to protection the child. Their negligent in most cases provides cheap loopholes for the author of child abuse. Needless to say that there are many sad cases, where the primary and secondary caregivers are the abusers. The second culprit is the abuser, who capitalizes on the loopholes of the primary and secondary caregivers to launch an attack on the child. He is always looking for the loopholes to capitalize on. In fact he/she is a master at not only identifying opportunities to prey but to also create such opportunities. The third culprit is the doctrine of silence practitioner, who is aware that a child is being abused but keeps quiet for different reasons, which will never make sense to the destiny of the child. The third is the worst of all. The third is the engine room of abuse. The third is the reason for the seeming invincibility of the abusers. I have seen situation, where a father is sexually molesting the daughter for many years and the mother keeps quiet; I have seen a situation where a child is sexually abused by another teenage child and the mother choose to keep quiet in the name of stigmatization; I have seen a case where a four year old complains to the mother that she is being sexually molested by the teenage child of their neighbour she is kept with when the mother is not around, the mother never confronted the situation and she still continues to keep the child with the reported abuser.
- The Doctrine of Tyranny: this doctrine says children do have any contribution to make and they must not be allowed to air their views on any matter, simply because they are children. The practitioners of this doctrine erroneously believe that adulthood is synonymous with the possession of exclusive views of life. The child’s view is not sought at all. When the child attempts to make a contribution, he/she is silenced shabbily and rudely too. He’s accused of being nosy. Gradually, the child is robbed of his/her priceless curiosity. He/she has no faith in his/her own views. His/her self-esteem and self-confidence is attacked. The unsuspecting caregiver finds all kinds of names to describe the products of their errors, they say the child is an introvert; the child is the quiet type. In actual fact the child is not quiet, he/she is subdued. He/she does not know the characteristics of an introvert; he/she knows the characteristics of a defeated mind, he/she being the eloquent example.
- The Doctrine of Labeling: this doctrine says, determine the potential of a child by what you perceive as his/her does wrong, even when your perception is not based on any fact of child development and label him/her according to that myopic perception. All forms of labeling are a crime against the humanity of the child. We brand children all kinds of labels, which have no justification in the informed dictionary of child development. A lady registers her five year old child in a primary school. She asks for the opinion of the teacher about the child after one week in the school. The teacher says, well, she is very brilliant child, but she talks too much. I begin to wonder what it means for a child to talk too much. I know that this is general labeling by primary and secondary caregivers. They say a child talks too much, when in actual fact such labeling is a symptom of unprofessionalism. A child does not talk too much. A child simply talks. It is the responsibility of the caregivers to help the child regulate his/her talk. If a child talks during the class, for example and the teacher becomes frustrated, it simply means, the teacher does not have control over his/her class. There are steps; he/she must be able to take to maintain order in his/her classroom. The practitioners of the doctrine of labeling are always in the habit of labeling according to their ignorance. This has eternal impact on the child’s mind. The child is either trying to proof the label wrong or trying to conform to the label.
I charge you today to reduce the number of Internally Displaced Persons in our continent and make a conscious effort not to find yourself as a practitioner of the doctrines we have identified here as the author of Internally Displaced Children. I charge you today to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…