How child neglect affects children and their relationships in Kenya.

Child neglect
A neglected child playing by a dumpsite

What is child neglect?

It is a form of child abuse that entails not providing for a child the physical, emotional and spiritual needs. The perpetrators could be parents or caregivers. It is hard to detect and to be reported because the children are voiceless.

While talking about the physical need we mean the basic needs like proper food, clothing and shelter, Also education and medication. Emotional need we mean the absentees, inflicting fear such that the children don’t socialize with parents or peers. Spiritual neglect is the failure to introduce a child to divinity or any form of spiritualism.

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How does neglect happen?

Any living things need food leaving alone a human being. Any form of neglect is child abuse and is against the laws of Kenya. Unfortunately, children are neglected every day in one way or another.

Lack of proper childcare

For example, a child in Nairobi is left under the care of house help and ends up suffering emotional and spiritual neglect.

The house help locks the child in the bedroom and goes on with her chores like nothing is happening. If the child cries, which obvious children do they are pinched or beaten up and silenced. The child can’t speak but is traumatized and emotionally neglected.

Another way children are neglected is in the village setup. People in the village are farmers so a little bit busy. Children are left in the compound alone, the older ones to look after the younger ones. The children in Africa have learned to live on their own.

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Lack of provision of basic needs

Another way children are neglected is through provision. Children are fed poorly given one meal a day by even parents who are able. Some parents fight over the role of provider and the kids are caught up in the middle. With the high cost of living, children are malnourished and others have no clothes to change.

There are kids who don’t take a bath they take days before someone cleans them. Another way
is medication or health neglect.

Lack of medical care

With this high cost of living in Kenya taking children to the hospital when they are sick is expensive. Children end up not getting the right treatment or suffering.

All these forms of neglect end up bringing emotional trauma and bitterness that the children will carry
throughout their lives. Additionally, the damage can sometimes be irreversible.

Mostly the reason we have a depressed society is the high number of mental disorders and above all personality disorders.

How does this affect future relationships?

There is a common saying that hurt people hurt others. A hurting child will be a hurting traumatized
adult. The person will have trust issues with everyone. The person will have a chaotic relationship. Therefore, such individuals also find themselves on the same web. In the process, the neglect will be to blame in every instant.

How do you cope?

If you find yourself in the situation seek healing and pursue forgiveness. Find counseling and prayers.