The disheartening story of baby Zara, a nine-month-old baby that was physically and sexually abused by her caretaker’s husband in Malaysia is one sad news that will not only send chills down your spine but also cause you to be more vigilant and deliberate in taking care of your child.
I wrote an article on checking your domestic workers well before employing them and I think checking your children caregivers should not be taken with levity too.
Parents who intend to send their children to babysitters due to work and other engagements should check their family backgrounds first, including that of the husband and other family members living with them. Before sending your child to them, ask their neighbors to find out if the babysitter is trustworthy; parents should not be careless and place their kids under the care of people who they barely know and this also extends to caregivers in schools too.
On the part of the parents, mothers especially should make out time to check their child(ren) and this will require for you to be very observant. Check their body language and response to stimuli, how do they react to touch in sensitive areas of their body? Notice their countenance when they are in an environment or with certain people; are they happy or sad? Who and what do they feel comfortable or uneasy with? For instance, in the case of baby Zara, the grieving mother in her account made two statements which would have been a pointer leading her to become more observant of her child.
- That her baby cried most of the times she was with her aunt
- That her baby was calm around her caregiver but would cry when the caregiver’s husband carried her.
Children are naturally unique in the way they communicate with people; it, therefore takes a very observant and patient parent, caregiver or guardian to understand what they intend to communicate per time. Some may say it, demonstrate, while others may just cry at the slightest discomfort.
Again, we may not always be there as parents to look after our kids or wards because of our day to day activities to make ends meet and care for them but we can be deliberate in caring for them by giving it our best shot which includes but not limited to being friends with our kids so much that they feel free to tell us absolutely everything about their day without fear of been punished or condemned;Teach them to say no to strangers and help to build confidence in themselves.
Similarly, parents on their part should give them audience rather than give an excuse why they cannot listen. For kids that cannot express themselves like 9 months old baby Zara and below, parents should try their best not to send them to caregivers just yet while we hope that these pedophiles on a rampage doesn’t take center stage.