Via Kumbirayi Kahiya Chikowero:Communications and Public Relations Officer Girl Child Network Zimbabwe
Know your child
Know your child’s friends
Know your child’s responses/responsiveness when:
She/he is happy
Is hiding something from you.
All this will help you understand your child better and how to relate to her/him in case you suspect abuse, or notice an undesirable change.
For instance you notice your child has a new shirt which you did not buy or was told of. You can only notice this if you know your child’s clothes. Question your child about it. Incase she/he has been lured into not disclosing abuse.
Know her/his clothes
Likes and dislikes
Friends and foes
Hang out spots
Hopes and aspirations, dreams and wishes
Monitor your child’s moods, voice and gestures in all conditions and emotions.
Study your child’s interaction with her peers, family: males and females. This will give you an age when you suspect abuse. Bearing in mind, anyone is a potential abuser. Even the most trusted friend. Considering this potential, it is advisable for all parents, guardians to know who their child is with, where the child is, what the child will be doing and the conditions of the association.
Be firm in getting to know and guide your child. How you talk to and relate to your child will determine how she/he will open up or with hold issues from you.
Knowing your child will go a long way in preventing or identifying abuse, or changes in your child. You may not be a parent, but bear in mind everyone has a mandate to protect a child, thus prevention, reporting and identifying abuse.
By Kumbirai Kahiya Chikowero