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By NBF News
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The major problem confronting parents when their baby is raped is fear that the motive might be ritualistic. If it is, parents are apprehensive that the effect may not even be immediate but may in future affect her reproduction, leading to serious sickness or death. It is absolutely unfathomable the extent the agents of the devil can go in harming an innocent baby for the selfish purpose of just making money.

Parents breathe in air of relief when they find out that the sex abuse has nothing to do with diabolical means. To them, it is a better evil. Then they rush for HIV test and there is something to celebrate if the child is also free from that. The psychological impact on the baby may not be considered and it may constitute a real problem in the future, causing the child to develop a negative attitude towards marriage and also difficulty in trusting men.

Three weeks ago, the serial defilement of toddlers by a school teacher was published in the papers. A six-year-old girl, a pastor's daughter, braved it all to let the cat out of the bag! Her dad was reputed to have collapsed when he read the doctor's report that his infant-child had lost her hymen. Would you blame him? If there are some places parents are wary of sending their children for fear of defilement, it does not certainly include their schools. If there are hawks they fear that might do such a heinous act to their children, they will never think of their teachers.

Teachers have a reputation all over the world of building up children in academics as well as in character molding. Promiscuity is not at all included in that syllabus. Since respect is earned, teachers have large slices and some children even respect their teachers more than they do to their parents. But when teachers degenerate to the beastly level of sexually abusing innocent babies and the children start to avoid them, it leaves behind a sour taste that throws a big challenge to the government and also to school proprietors.

The weapon the conman employed was that of death threat should any child reveal what he was doing to them.

That intimidation served also his purpose that no child turned down his devilish advances. Apart from teachers, house-servants also pose dangers to toddlers, especially, where the couple leaves home early in the morning and returns late at night. It will be difficult for them to imagine what goes on behind them and the 'real parents' of their children during the day. Some children contact venereal diseases through the house-servants and by the time parents know, real harm has been done. Dancing attendance by evil house boys precludes parents from listening to neighbours who know what happens during the day and such neighbours, sometimes, are held in contempt. Parents should probe to the bottom bad reports from neighbours and not to ignore situations that should put them on inquiry.

There is still a way out. This is by creating intimacy between parents and their children. It will ward off all forms of threats from anybody that forces them to submission in wrong doing. Parents can devote some time to singing and dancing with their children, a fun they are used to in school. Sometimes, parents can organize competitions along these lines, deliberately allowing them to win. Dining with them and having meaningful daily and participatory family devotion will help in building their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Creating an environment in which the children fear their parents as if they are Local Government staff on rate drive, may drive the children away from them. If an adult defiles the children, beating is senseless as it leaves behind nothing for the child to learn, being oblivious of what sex is all about. Beating may even foreclose any future attempt to inform the parents of what 'Uncle' does to them. They should use wisdom in getting from their children what transpired during the day and who touched their 'puh-puh'. When a certain 'Uncle' would position his penis in his turn-trouser pocket and was compelling little girls to play with the 'rat' in his pocket, it was not the cane but intimacy that made one of them tell her parents about the 'rat in Uncle's pocket'.

Our children are lost to the world when they hide things from us and sometimes, these are things they freely discuss with their peers and people at the neighbourhood. The world pampers them when we whimper at them. Let us change. Let us win back our children's confidence.

This does not mean that we should over-pamper them, ignoring the wrong things they do. The position of the Bible stresses that there is time for everything. There is a time for war and also a time foe peace, a time to beat the children with the left hand and the right is used in bringing them back home. All corrections should be by love and children know when our correction is not in love.

For further counselling, contact Osondu Anyalechi