Consequences of Leaving Our Children Behind

Consequences of Leaving Our Children Behind

Monday, September 7, 2015 11:22 am

Grace Essen

Grace Essen

Grace Essen

I could imagine the anguish of a fellow mom who recently had her four-month old baby boy eaten up by a dog, her dog, when she left her baby behind for just a short while. In the story as reported in a national newspaper recently, the mother was conveying the dog, the baby and her nanny in her car. Then she stopped over at a supermarket to do some shopping leaving the nanny, the baby and the dog in the car.

The dog which was being taken to the veterinary doctor allegedly started behaving funny, pounced on the baby and started eating him up. The nanny totally helpless ran into the supermarket to call her madam who immediately rushed out and raised an alarm. But it was too late; the dog had already eaten up part of the baby’s stomach. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was confirmed dead, the only child of his parents. How sad!

A woman, who left her four-month old baby, nanny and dog in the car to shop, obviously didn’t intend to spend a long time at the supermarket, but it only shows just how ‘long’ it could take for such tragedy to happen. At a time when horrifying stories surround nannies and domestic staff, women are opting to leave their children behind, at home or with neighbours while they attend to important and urgent issues, errands, work or business outside the home. This has its consequences. Unfortunately.

Readily coming to mind is the story which happened sometime ago, involving a working mom who happened to be a Nigerian based in the UK. Apparently she and her husband could not afford to employ the services of a nanny so they worked at jobs which allowed them easily manage their movements in a way that their children (a boy and a girl), were not left alone for too long. The woman worked in the mornings, and would come home in the afternoon shortly after her husband would have left for work to stay with the children. One fateful day, the man left for work as usual expecting that she would come in soon, but that was not to be. She, for whatever reasons was delayed, and that was a perfect opportunity for the children to go swimming in their neighbour’s swimming pool which they had only imagined all along. They took a dive in and were drowned before their mom or anyone came around.

How about the story which is still very fresh in our memories, of a woman who went to have a baby leaving her three children behind, and on coming back a few hours later with her newborn, found that one of the children was missing. The following day, they were shown the body of their four-year-old already cut open for ritual purpose.

A day hardly goes by without us hearing news of something terrible happening to children who are left behind by their mothers for some ‘good’ reasons. Most moms find themselves in situations where they have to leave their children behind at one time or the other, and for one reason or the other. I have too, many times. We really can’t help it, can we? But we just have to come up with measures to keep our children safe. Here are a few tips:

*Leave your children with a phone and make sure it is on. One thing is to have a phone; another is to have it on. One day while away from home, I tried calling my home only to find the phone was switched off, my kids had played games on it until the battery went flat and there was no power to charge it. I replaced it with a phone that has no games. Problem solved.

*Give them instructions and possibly warnings never to leave the house, and please add, never to allow anyone in. I got home one day, to find that my neighbour had left her two children, the younger one less than two, with my children to look after, without asking me. I got into my house to see my daughter (10) totally overwhelmed with the crying baby. It’s bad enough leaving our children behind all alone, adding someone else’s is not such a good idea.

*Keep anything and everything that could harm your children, or arouse their curiosity for something potentially harmful, away. Keep your bedroom and any other room they should not have access to, locked.

*Leave them with stuff to keep them engaged, entertained and of course, food or snack to eat. Most children who met their untimely death were lured with something as little, but enticing as sweets.

*It wouldn’t hurt to ask your neighbours to please keep an eye on them, would it?

And when we have done all we can to keep our children protected, we can only leave the rest to God.

Grace Essen is the author of Successful Working Mom, she speaks and writes about making business, career & motherhood work @ She may be reached on 08023271339 or [email protected]

Join The Conversation

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.