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Sultan Saeed Al Darmaki: Don’t neglect your children
July 13, 2012
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The word “Parenthood”, what picture comes to mind when that word is being said? We would often have this image of a mother and a father cradling their child with full love, care and protection. We see it as a blessing, but most importantly we see it as a responsibility for ensuring this delicate human being to be able to grow, learn and live happily.

Unfortunately there are those who take this responsibility for granted which results in negligence…and these negligence isn’t your typical “Whoops! My bad! Sorry about that!” When it comes to taking care of children, negligence is no laughing matter, because it results in children being in danger of traumatisation, injury or death.

In this year alone we had multiple cases of parents leaving their children in cars without air conditioning in a hot and humid environment that resulted in children dying from suffocation. We had news about either one of the parents abusing their children because of strange reasons that go beyond logic such as “matters of pride and honour” and “I’m only beating them to get rid of the demon that’s possessing them”… Even recently there was news of a couple trying to smuggle their baby inside a handbag.

Whatever happened to unconditional love? Why do things like these happen? It really is hard to imagine what goes on inside the heads of parents who are doing these atrocities to their own children. But you want to know what is harder? Trying to imagine what the child is going through, as he/she fears for his/her life in the strange world he/she doesn’t fully understand yet, no one ever deserves to have that feeling especially when the one who is hurting you is the one who you love and trust.

People would like to think that there is a line between negligence and child abuse, let me tell you something: There is no line, wall or any kind of barrier between them, because negligence is child abuse. Does it matter if it is intentional or unintentional? No, because the result will be the same, the child will get damaged or killed and that is never an acceptable thing no matter how innocent you claim to be.

Negligence may come in all shapes and sizes, but there are two forms that are the usual culprits. One is where the parents try to exert full control over their children’s life by adopting a one way communicating channel (from parents to children) which doesn’t give children the chance to say what they want to have or who they want to be, and if the children don’t follow orders then they will be met with punishment instead of logical reasoning and these punishments often include torture or worse. In this case the parents neglect the children’s need to express themselves or have a form of freedom, which then leads to mental issues that children will be facing sooner or later.

The other form is negligence, the one where parents do absolutely nothing with their children, it is as if they don’t even exist, they have no clue about where their children are or what dangers they might be in. Their children could be sitting in the back of the car and they would not notice that they are there. I do not know if it is just ignorance or cruelty, they seemed to have adopted this philosophy which is “We gave birth to you, our job is done so go sort out your own business”…Listen! You gave birth to them so it is your job to take care of them until they are old enough to take of you!

There is no such thing as being perfect parents, but great and loving parents are perfect enough for anybody, however just because you are not perfect doesn’t mean you have an excuse to be negligent. As a friend once said, negligence can be avoided if minimum thinking was applied.

Take care of your children and keep a look out for other people’s children, because parents should always be parents to children regardless if they belong to them or not.
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The writer, based in Abu Dhabi,
is a graduate of New York Institute
of Technology (AD). He is the author
of Under My Black Halo.

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