Saturday, 16 September 2017

Hiring an Underaged House-help is Child Abuse!

by Oluseye Igbafe


The issue of underage house helps is one that really upsets and offends my sensibilities, the rationale behind it is simply baffling. How can a couple be comfortable employing a child to raise their own children? Of course, it is often not termed as employment but done under the guise of helping, training or whatever title but looking at the role and responsibilities laid on these maids, it is simply child abuse, child labour, child endangerment, and even modern day slavery in its purest form. 


I thought I had seen or heard the worst of underage house help stories till a woman wrote on social media last week that she thinks her 5 year old house help is possessed. I just had to comment that she is the one that is likely possessed; anyone who can use a 5year old as a house help is not only possessed but deranged. A 5 years old?



So why do women employ underaged children as maids? I mean how can you employ a child of 5, 8 or even 12 years old as a maid? A child to pick and clean up after your child? How much housework can a child do? Their bodies are often not fully developed for the level of work they are required to do and even the hours they keep. They wake up as early as 5am or even 4am while your kids wake up at 6am or much later, does it not prick your conscience? You send your children to school, yet, keep this child at home when she’s at an age where she can still benefit from education; that is cruel. Or you send her to a public school where she learns next to nothing and have no time to study because of housework. She sleeps in class because she woke up at 4am, why won’t she fail? 

Let me announce to you, my dear woman, that you are practising child trafficking and child abuse, and yes, you are definitely a criminal! Hopeful, we will get to a point where it will be punishable offense and people will start serving jail time.


5 Crappy Excuses People give for Employing Underaged Househelps


1. The Parents Asked Me to: 

Really? Even if they did, you could have said no! The child is too young.  The fact that the parents of the child are in dire situations and offered you the child does not absolve you of your responsibility. You are probably the enlightened one, why not counsel them rather than exploit the opportunity? Would you commit a crime if they asked you to?

2. I am helping the Child

It’s in very few cases that the child ends up being helped to have a better life and these instances are very few and far in between. Yes, on the immediate you may be giving the child better meals or better accommodation but you are trading that for the child’s future. This is often the case, as the children are neither educated nor empowered to succeed in life. Even when they are enrolled in schools, they are often pulled out when a new baby comes. What then is the value of the education? Can it be compared with the one you give your children?

3. I want someone I can control.

More like you want someone you can abuse! Slapping, flogging and many cruel punishments can easily be meted out to children but will often be resisted by adults. Also, you prefer a child because you know you can force her to stay against her will. Yes, it’s true that children are more pliable but it’s not a basis for exploitation. Most often, these children also grow to become rebellious and vindictive, they pay back by being mean to your kids and to you when possible.



4. It is Cheaper.

I think it goes without saying: you choose to exploit a child for monetary gains. The parents may be poor and have no option, but you do. You choose a child then save money by not paying her parents with a claim to train her. Yet, she cannot succeed in school because she is often out of school and has no time to learn.

5. She won’t be able to snatch my husband.

This is the saddest and most ridiculous, yet the most popular reason a lot of women employ children as maids; out of fear that their randy husbands would be tempted by an older girl. Well the truth is, a dog is a dog. A man that can’t be trusted with a maid is simply that, a dog. Unfortunately, many of these children still end up being sexually molested by such dog-men and are silenced with threats. 




I understand the wisdom of not getting a "Delilah" in your house but to resort to using a 7 year old as a maid because your husband can’t be trusted or you are insecure is very sad.

I must also acknowledge the very few people who do take good care of them, train them in school and help them get a better life. The blessings of this act will surely remain in your life forever.

The truth is, the issue of child housemaids will not disappear tomorrow, as long as:

1. There is a high level of poverty

2. Government does not enforce a policy mandating children below 12 or 14 to be in school.

3. People keep having more children than they can care for.

It is our collective responsibility to stop this menace and ensure the rights of every child is protected. It is time for the government, the church, civil societies, and NGOs wage a war against child abuse and child trafficking in the name of house helps.

If you are insistent on taking a young house-help please let the minimum age be 15 as permitted by Labour law.  I actually believe the best helps are those that have finished secondary school and want to make some money to further their education or learn a trade. They are physically matured enough to do housework and focused enough to do a good job once in a good environment. 

There should be contracts and terms of employment clearly stated to prevent exploitation.

Let’s stop this evil act of Child Abuse. 




Please share your views!

Saturday, 19 August 2017

The Future was Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

by Oluseye Igbafe



Growing up, I was very future conscious. I was very conscious that my actions may determine and affect my future. I took my studies and exams quite seriously and was quick to defer playing and enjoyment.  The future is there to play and enjoy. 

Of course, once you start working and having children, school fees, college fees, mortgage and stuff become all you plan for, and on and on it just goes.... 

This mindset has greatly helped me, no doubt about this. Major life changes like changing location or career wasn't as daunting as it would have been if I hadn't had this mindset, but when exactly is the future; this future we suspend most of our fun and joys for? When is the future you will finally relax and enjoy your life? 

"Well, the future was yesterday, the future is today and the future is tomorrow."  

When you get to tomorrow, will you look back and see it's been a great journey?  The future is now! I'm not saying forget tomorrow but recognize today, recognize today is the future of yesterday and enjoy it.


Enjoy your life today and plan for tomorrow, don't suspend living for the future. Every phase of life is important and is to be enjoyed as a student, single, newly wed, at mid career, at retirement and as a grandparent. Don't defer enjoying your life to tomorrow.

Wherever you are in life, enjoy today, keep an eye for tomorrow but remember today is the tomorrow you thought about yesterday. 


Xoxo

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Exaggeration, Name Dropping & Other Syndromes

by Oluseye Igabfe


Recently I remembered my conversation with an acquaintance and below are some  typical snippets

Snippet 1:
Me: I love your scarf.
Her: Thanks oh, I bought it on my trip to Paris. It was about €40.
Me: Wow! That's nice.
What I probably should have said: Who asked you? Just say thank you. #SMH

Snippet 2:
Me: That house is lovely.
Her: It's ok, my husband is buying something like this in Lekki for N40m, it's on 2 hectares.
Me: Thank God for you.
What I actually should have said: Really? Yet you borrow N500 from me regularly and don’t pay back?

Snippet 3:
Me: I need to renew my license oh, these Police people almost caught me last week.
Her: The last time the police stopped me, I called the Governor’s aide cos I didn't want to call him directly, the policemen started begging me.
Me: Hmmm, I prefer to just do my license in peace
What I probably should have said: Keep quiet sis, you & I know you don't know the Governor or his aide.


Sadly, these are actual conversations between real women and me. These are even few examples. Don't get me wrong, a lot of men are equally guilty.
Name-dropping Syndrome is a condition that causes people to introduce the names of famous or important people, allegedly, as friends or associates in order to impress others.  Names of celebrities, government officials, rich people, etc, are casually (though unnecessarily) mentioned to project an aura of importance. Most of the time, these name-droppers don't even know these people; they are driven to give this high projection about their person. Some also drop names of places they have visited - both literally and in their minds. Every story starts with "When I was in Italy, London or NewYork.


A similar syndrome is  Label/ Brand/ Designer Name-dropping. Sufferers of this syndrome cannot receive a compliment with a gracious thank you. They must inform you the make of their shirt is Tommy Hilfiger, their wristwatch is Seiko or Rolex, their shoes is Jimmy Shoos or Valentino, their perfume is Channel or Davidoff, their bag is Gucci even their handkerchief is Yves Saint Laurent even though they can't pronounce the name of any of the designers properly. They buy things just so they can show off.

Price Exaggeration is another syndrome I will mention here. The syndrome makes its sufferers   exaggerate the price of things; even things that have a known price, they give it a bigger price. They love dropping prices like tens of thousands or better still, foreign currencies (dollars, pounds, euro, etc). Worse still, they tend to ask for the price of everything; they have a need to put a price on what others possess.  They always know price of things but know the value of nothing.

These three syndromes all have the same major cause: insecurity
Rather than have the intended effect of impressing others, it has an adverse effect which makes the person sound superficial, egoistic and insecure. Don't be fooled by the “awww” or “hmmm” with which people respond, most of the time, they are rolling their inner eyes and mocking in their head. Take it from me, these kind of people are laughed at when they aren't there.

NDS and other syndromes reflect tackiness, classlessness and a lack of social grace,. it barely impresses people, rather, it annoys them; and makes you look shallow and insecure. Stop it!

Do you have NDS? Make a decision to limit information to what you are asked. Never give the cost and stop asking for the cost of things. Forget about impressing others, most of the time, they don't care! 

Do you know people who have NDS? Share your experience.
    Thanks for reading my post, I would love to hear your views,           Please drop a comment.


Saturday, 25 February 2017

Fatherhood is NOT a Chore.

by Oluseye Igbafe
   


I watched a lovely video of a father bathing his baby girl a few days ago. The expertise he showed in handling such a tender baby was commendable as I know most men are scared of little babies. I guess men tend to feel they will hurt or drop the babies mistakenly. In all, it was a beautiful video, save for most of the comments where a lot of men and women on the thread praised the man for “helping” his wife... there lies my issue, in the concept that what he was doing was “helping” his wife. 

A while ago, a family friend missed an important gathering. His reason was that he was busy “babysitting” his kids. I found the use of the word “babysitting” quite inappropriate. So what’s wrong with saying a man is “helping” his wife with the kids or “babysitting” the kids? A lot is wrong with it! That man was not “helping” his wife bathe his daughter, he was being a father and the video is about fatherhood, not a chore.



In Africa, men have taken the role of fatherhood to simply be about providing money and sometimes harsh discipline. We therefore have a culture where fathers have little bonding with their children, taking care of the children is reduced to a chore and is totally assigned to the mother. This is totally wrong. Being a parent is a full time job and even though most fathers have a job outside the home, they still have parenting responsibility to their kids – no less important or valuable than that of the mothers.

Fathers need to be involved in their children’s life. Pray with them, provide for them, play with them, teach them things, spend quality time with them and take care of them. All these together make up a well-rounded fatherhood. In as much as I loved the video, the fact that the video of a man bathing his child is exceptional reflects how skewed our concept of fatherhood is. How can a man feeding his child be hailed as a hero? A man taking care of his children while his wife is away is almost given a crown but aren’t these what fathers should do?

Babysitting is staying with other people’s children while their parents aren’t around; a babysitter is someone who sits in for a primary care giver. So technically, as a parent, you can’t babysit your kids. Using that word for fathers devalue the role they hold in their children’s life. It also reflects a detachment from our children. Every father should be glad to spend time with their children without their wives being there; it’s an opportunity to create great memories with your children and bond with them.

The sad truth is that a lot of fathers are like babysitters or even worse: they have no idea of anything about their children and have to call their wives to ask where the children’s clothes or shoes are. That is very wrong and is an indication of a gap in their fatherhood.

Fathers need to spend more time with their children. You brought them into this world and have a great role to play in their lives beyond simply providing financially for them and disciplining them. It's time videos of fathers doing things for their children became common.

Women must stop trivializing the role of fathers by saying they are helping “you” when they take care of their children. We need to allow men to have a good share of the bonding and fun we have with our children. Fathers do not babysit or help with their children, parenting is not a chore.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Teaching Your Children About Consent!

by Oluseye Igbafe



I watched as my children played teacher and student but noticed the younger one didn’t seem to be having much fun.
“Are you enjoying yourself?” I asked her.
“Not really”, she replied, glancing at her sister. “I don’t want to be a naughty student, I want to be a good one”.
“But that’s not the play, she is supposed to be punished for not doing her homework", the older sister insisted.
"But it’s a play", I said, "that means both of you are playing together and must enjoy it equally. Once one of you is not enjoying it, then it’s no longer a play, you are now using her as a toy in your play", I explained to the older sister.
“Okay”, she grumpily replied and at that moment, it hit me!

This isn’t just about play, it’s about consent, a perfect opportunity to talk about consent. So I went further to explain that to them...
“Playing is having fun; and when you and someone are playing, you must be sure you are having fun and the kind of fun you like. You shouldn’t play with someone just because they asked you to and you shouldn’t act a role you don’t enjoy acting.”
“So, what do you do next time?” I asked.
“Stop the play“, they replied.
“Yes, you tell the person you want to stop or tell the person to stop. No matter who it is or how old the person is, you must want to do it for it to be play. No one should play with you or ask you to play with them in a way you do not enjoy or feel is wrong”.

“But mummy, sometimes you say we mustn’t enjoy everything", the younger sister interjected.
“Yes, I do but that applies to work, exercise and eating vegetables, not to playing. Play should be fun, so If you are feeling uncomfortable with any type of play, something a person is reading, saying or showing you, you should say stop and make sure the person stops. Then you tell me about it later."

“But she didn’t force me, I agreed to it”, said the younger one
“Even then, you can still stop it. Maybe initially, you wanted to do it but you can change your mind. So even if you said yes at first, don’t be afraid to say no, if you see it’s not what you want."

Consent

The concept of consent is very important in preventing sexual exploitation of our children. It enables us teach the principles especially to young children whom we cant give more details on sexual exploitation.

 Consent is just as important for boys as it is for girls. We must teach our boys that "no" means "no", "yes" means "yes" and "stop" means "stop"! "No" can never mean "yes"!

Consent empowers our children to have control over their bodies and emotions. 

They get to decide what to do and what not to do; it empowers them to set boundaries.
Our children must know that just because they asked nicely doesn't mean the person must consent and just because someone asks them nicely doesn't mean they have to  consent either.
Consent isn’t only about sexual abuse, it’s equally about self-respect and boundaries which is the very core of rape and other sexual assaults.

Modelling Consent

This brings up a need for us to model consent by asking consent. Yes, we can only give them room to exercise their rights if we respect their consent too.
So more of asking, "will you like to give me (yes, me mum) a hug? Will you give me a peck? Can I give you a hug?"

We must stop tickling when they say stop, even when we think they are enjoying it. We must respect when they don’t want to play or be alone. There is nothing wrong in being alone, it’s even good for them (everything in moderation of course). Yes, it has come to that.

Modelling consent takes away the notion that adults can simply take charge of the children's bodies and mind. 

When parents ask permission, children become fearless in stopping others and insisting on boundaries.Consent is an evolving topic which we will need to address with our children over the years but I am glad I found the perfect start.


How about you?

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Dear Wife, About your Mother-in-Law….

Dear Wife,


Truth is, even before you met your mother-in-law (MIL), you already had a wrong mind-set about an ideal MIL. The many stories you have heard- the stories your mum told you of your grandmother, some that you witnessed and the many home videos you watched that mostly cast MILs as evil ogres- have influenced your perception.

So before you met her, you'd already judged her, had reservations and now it seems she is no different from the evil MIL portrayed everywhere.Let me share a few thoughts with you:

1.   Get rid of the wrong mind-set: Being a MIL doesn’t mean the person has to be evil; every mother will be a MIL someday and that includes you. Yes, some people are difficult but it’s not being a MIL that makes them difficult.

Don’t relate with her based on the experiences of others or perceive her through the lens of Nollywood stereotypes.  Stop suspecting her every move or suspecting her to be a witch. Stop thinking she is responsible for whatever is happens to you. When you expect evil from a person, you tend to close your eyes to the good in them.  Believe and expect the best for her. That will reflect in your attitude towards her.

2.   Accept her as your Mum:  If truly you and your husband are one, then she is your mum as well. Treat her as your mum: with love, care and respect. Treat her the way you would love to be treated by your children’s spouses. Even in your thoughts, be kind to her and show her true affection. Extend the love you have for your husband to her. Call her Mummy with affection, hug her and hold her hand. Buy her gifts when you can. Let her know she is fondly thought of. Remember her birthday and make a huge show of love during Christmas and other festive seasons.

3.   Strive to understand her. Like anyone else you will ever meet, you will need to understand her. Get to know her, her perception, her likes and dislikes, even as she also gets to know you. There may be disagreements or difference of opinion, know that this is normal and she is not “out to get you” or being “difficult”. If you do discover that she is being deliberately antagonistic, do your best to avoid situations that may lead to conflicts (Yes, I know it's easier said than done but it has to be done).

4.   Forgive her 70* 7 times: No relationship can thrive without forgiveness, she will definitely offend you time and time again. Be prepared to forgive her as many times, not only for her sake, but even more for your own sake. Don’t allow grudges develop into bitterness, forgive her whether she asks for it, deserves it or not. Forgive her so you can move on in the relationship. You will also offend her so know that to err is human. If it’s something you feel strongly about, talk it over with her when you are calm and do so in a respectable manner.

5.  Allow her enjoy her son and grandchildren: Don’t monopolize your husband or the children. Yes, there must be a balance but don’t make her feel like an outsider. While she doesn’t necessary have to live with you, allow her visit, allow your husband call her often, call her often and allow her speak to her grandchildren. Allow her spoil her grandkids sometimes, hat’s what Grandmas are for! Allow them bond and have a good relationship with their grandma. Remember it will be your turn someday….


6.  Learn from Her: I know times have changed and we have Google but you can still learn a thing or two from her. Listen to her stories. If she has raised a man good enough for you to marry, then there is probably some value she has to offer. Ask her to teach you something you know she is good at: a meal, a skill, etc. Encourage your kids to also learn from her: stories, songs, etc. Make her feel valued and wanted.

7.  Maintain Boundaries- Boundaries are very important in every relationship and this is no exception. Love and respect her, and strive to be the best you can be but don’t undermine your happiness and self-respect to do so. Don’t compromise your values or things that matter to you. Be firm if necessary but with love and respect. You both have different roles in your husband’s life, don’t strive to take her place and neither give up your place for her or anyone else!

All MILs are simply mothers like you and me. Our MILs were raised in a different generation with different views about life. While we do have some very evil and vindictive MILs, most are simply misunderstood and unappreciated.

Take the high road in developing a good relationship or mending your broken one. Change your mind-set, look out for the good in her, shower her with love and backup with prayers. Stop suspecting her unnecessarily, let her be assured she has a place in the family and don’t edge her out. Even if she continues to be difficult, know you are sowing the seed of love you will reap in your own son/daughter-in-law.

If you belong to class of those praying daily for their MIL to die then be sure to remember to make arrangements for your own casket once your kids get to marriageable age because karma is coming for you. We are all potential MILs, lets treat our MILs the way we desire to be treated.

Let's create room for everyone!



Do you have a tip on being a great daughter-in-love? Do share….

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Dear Mother-in-Law

by Oluseye Igbafe


It seems just like yesterday you brought him from the hospital, your sweet baby boy. As a young boy, he never left your side, he clung to your every word, always came to you for advice and without a doubt you were the apple of his eyes. When your husband had little time for you, he was the love of your life, his jokes made you laugh no matter how down you were. That you love your son cannot be disputed and his love for you was never in question until...


Until now, your boy seems hoodwinked by another woman, its like you are no longer the center of his life. You don’t even know what is happening with him, his calls have really decreased all because of HER! She reminds you of that trash that stole your husband’s heart, now her clone has come to steal your son’s heart.
But you will have none of that, you will not be pushed aside a second time, he’s your boy and that is what he will always be first. If she resists you will... Hmmmm!

Dear Mama, please note the following things:

1. He is NO longer a Baby or a Boy. He is now a man, a full grown man. You have succeeded, you have raised a man. To continue with your plan is to ruin all you have done. He was never meant to be under your thumb forever so allow him to be a man.

2. He Chose HER! You have raised him to be a man and he knows what he wants. He knows the kind of woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with, and out of millions of others he chose HER! Accept and respect his choice. Believe that he is mature enough to know what he wants and give him the best support possible. He will love you more for that.

3. She is NOT an ENEMY: She is not your enemy, she is an extension of your son, the bone of his bones and the flesh of his flesh. If you hate her then you never really loved your son. He is merely a possession like a toy that you want to keep for selfish reasons. If you love him, then love his wife.

4. Let them make their decisions: He appreciates all the help you gave him over the years but it’s time for him to stand as a man. Encourage him to make independent decisions, push him to discuss first with his wife and if they both need your counsel let them come. You will not always be there, let him start making decisions with his wife.

5. Resist the temptation to interfere:  It’s very hard to let go. You unconsciously crave the right to control all his affairs but now he has a wife. Refuse to meddle or interfere, try swallowing some of your opinions. Let them find their own way, let them chart their own course and cook their own way. Stay out of their kitchen, stay out of their finances and more importantly stay out of their bedroom.


6. Don’t Go Fault-finding: You know you aren’t perfect yourself so why not give her a chance? Stop finding fault with everything about her or how she does things. Give her the love you wished your mother-in-lawh gave you. Isn’t it sad how you have now become like your own mother-in-law that you hated so much? Be quick to forgive.

7. Don’t Badmouth Her: Don’t say nasty things about her, don’t give her degrading nicknames or call her bad names. Speak well about her in her absence.

8. Let Her Enjoy Her Marriage: It’s not her fault you had a bad marriage, nothing that happened to you is her fault so don’t take it out on her. Do your best to ensure she enjoys her marriage because if she is then your son is too. Don’t cut your nose to spite your face.
The truth is, the key to sealing your place in your son’s heart is your love for his wife, your support for her and your help in building a good marriage.

Talking of places, do you know your place in his heart is very different from his wife’s place in his heart? Yes, he is capable of loving you both because the types of love are different. You will however lose that place when you begin to tamper with his love for his wife. He will begin to see you in a different light, no longer as the loving and fun mum but as a bitter and vindictive woman.

Even if he listens to you and his marriage ends, know that in his heart he will always blame you and will never really forgive you, he will wonder if things could have worked without your negative input. He may end up hating you though he may never show it.

Dear Mother-in-law, your son’s marriage is an opportunity to gain a daughter, to show the world that mothers-in-law are not evil ogres. It’s an opportunity to right every wrong ever done to you as a daughter-in-law. Don’t mess it up!


Thank you Ma!


PS: I am aware this does not apply to every mother in-law and in no way am I perpetuating the “wicked mother-in-law” myth. This is for those MILs who yet to catch up with the new wave of Mothers-in –love!


So, do you have any words of wisdom for Mothers-in-law? Or a personal experience? Please share in the comments.


Monday, 26 September 2016

Parents Gone Wild: Bleaching Children's Skin

by Oluseye Igbafe

                     

 I heard about this for the first time a year ago at the birthday party of a friend's child. One of our mutual friends walked up to me and after pleasantries, said to me:

“Sis, your daughter is very pretty oh.”
“Thanks”, I replied.
"What cream do you use for her?” She asked
"Cream?! I use Johnson Baby lotion."
"Only?! What do you use to bring out her colour?” she persisted.
“I don’t really understand you,” I answered her, “What colour am I bringing out?”
"No oh, you should use something that will bring out her colour. Don’t you know she will be prettier (sic) if she has fair skin?”

I cringed inwardly. All the while, I had struggled to believe she couldn’t possibly be saying what I thought she was saying.
“You mean I should start bleaching her skin? At what age and why would I do such a crazy thing?! It’s not necessary my dear,” I answered her firmly.
"It is oh my big sister. Especially for a girl but not bleaching; haba, not even toning! It’s just to bring out her colour oh and it’s not a sin," she said. "Even you should bring out your colour more,” she added.

I swallowed my raging retorts and simply said, “I hope you don’t do that for your son? He is way too small to have anything being rubbed on him. I beg of you."
*Well, since he is naturally fair-skinned, I am just maintaining it, I have been mixing his cream with Movate since he was born,” she replied
I was unable to dissuade her before we got interrupted and I eventually forgot about the conversation. Till about 2 weeks ago.


I walked into a supermarket and saw a heavily bleached woman with three beautiful girls who were looking “toned”. Their faces were conspicuously lighter than the rest of their body and their knees and knuckles were quite dark. Their ages ranged from age 10 to possibly 5.

I then decided to research the concept of parents bleaching their kids and what I found out is that there is indeed a craze for fair-skinned children; and many parents are turning their dark skinned children to fair-skinned. They claim they are helping their kids maintain their “natural skin colour”.

A lady told me it’s not bleaching or toning if it’s done with natural products. She uses Shea butter, Turmeric, Lime/Lemon, Camphor etc. to prepare “natural” soap for her daughter. Another lady recommends mixing their creams with hydrocortisone or clomatrizole creams for a “clear” smooth skin. I was simply shocked.

First, I think this generation has totally gone bunkers with vanity. No, this isn’t vanity, its shallowness of the highest order. I wrote a post last year on Sexualization of Children and though it went viral, I can assure you we are getting worse.

Why does your child need to be fair  to be beautiful? What is the correlation? Where did that concept come from? What happened to Black is Beautiful? I believe every child is beautiful and even then the very beautiful ones are not just beautiful because of their skin tone but their facial structure and features.



Secondly, it’s way too early to start enhancing your child’s features to promote beauty. Children should have no vanity issues. Again I say, allow them to be children and do not give them self-esteem issues by acting as though they are not beautiful enough. Tell your children, they are beautiful irrespective of their skin colour or tone. If you as a parent can’t accept them for who they are or what skin tone they have, how do you expect them to grow into confident women who value themselves?

Lastly, do you have any idea the possible side-effects these creams will have on their skin? Rubbing chemicals on their skin for years could possibly be setting them up for skin cancer. I mean, a lot of those creams contain Mercury and hydrocortisone which have been linked to cancer even in adults.

And please do not hide behind, “I only use natural stuff so it’s harmless”.  Are those things meant to be rubbed into the skin? Is Turmeric meant to be rubbed into the skin every day? Lime and lemons are acidic and will definitely have their own effect. Camphor?

I know Shea butter is good but your motive should be just to Oil or moisturize their skin to prevent it from dryness. If there is a vanity aim to your “natural method” then you are part of the problem.

Leave your child’s skin alone. Don’t set him or her up for future problems due to your own narrow view of beauty. Personally, I believe parents who bleach or tone their child’s skin should be arrested and prosecuted. It is the height of irresponsibility.

Let’s allow children to be children. Let them know whether they black, brown, yellow or white, they are all beautiful.


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