MUMMY AND DADDY?
I grew up in the suburbs of Oshodi, a part of Lagos mainland that never sleeps and is now being called home by about a million people. Of all beautiful memories I have of the very busy compound we lived in, one stands out; the camaraderie I enjoyed with the other children in that compound especially at nights. From the tasking tongue twisters such as, “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers…” to singing “Mr Macaroni riding on a bicycle, if you want to marry me…” (Only now did I discover we sang the wrong song joyously. We have been addressing Mr Macaroni instead of Mr Mark Anthony. That’s probably why none of my childhood friends is married to ”Mr Mark Anthony”.
Recently, I curiously asked a little boy what kind of recreational exercises he enjoys most and guess what he replied me with- ”Mummy and Daddy”. I cannot deny that I understand the rudiment of that recreation where children reenact the scenes of recent happenings in their respective families. However, what most parents and guardians fail to recognize is how far these chi;dren can go if not being monitored. If care is not taken, this subtle recreation can become dreadful. While the “mummy and daddy” plays show how imaginative and creative a child is and how he is influenced by the unity in the family, it can also expose him or her to the influence of children who have poor parental care.
Experiences have shown that sometimes, children in the process of playing ”mummy and daddy” could be exposed to sexual abuse by their friends. In 2017, a woman anonymously related the experience of how her child tends to ignorantly abuse the girls he plays with. A more complicated case was reported on Dailymail in 2014 of a 6 year old boy who abused his 5 year old cousin after nakedly playing ”mummy and daddy”.
With the incessant news of rape, sexual assault and other menace plaguing the society, it is important that parents do more to protect and train their children on how to protect themselves from potential abusers.
- Do not shy from teaching your children to identify their private organs and why it is important to report whoever tries to touch them inappropriately to you.
- Know their friends and ask them to narrate their play sessions on the field, in school, at the backyard or at their friend’s house to you.
- It is also important that you find educative recreations appropriate for their age.
- At no time should children be left unattended to.
- Earn your child’s trust and be his or her best friend.
The ”mummy and daddy” recreation can be enjoyable if parents ensure to give their wards guidelines and protect them from the influence of sexually endangered kids. It is important that children are protected from abuse at all cost. Make efforts to prevent your child from becoming neither the abused nor the abuser.