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Why your child’s basic needs are important

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It is common knowledge that children are the leaders of tomorrow. Therefore, every decision that will be made by parents, guardians, caregivers, government and the society at large, children must be of primary concern.

When a child is neglected by not being provided physical and psychological needs, it may result to the child’s poor health and development, says parent coach and sexuality educator, Mojisola Sotunde.

Child rights are human rights that also recognise the special needs for protection of minors who are children under the age of 18. All children have these rights regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender or cultural background. No child should be treated unfairly on any basis. The rights of children are the things they are entitled to and what they deserve in an ideal society.

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While some parents, caregivers and the society may not be aware that children do have rights that are accorded to them, Sotunde, has explained some basic rights of children according to the United Nations, which includes:

Every child has right to life: This depicts that every child should be adequately catered for to survive and develop healthily. All children have the right to be well fed with nutritious meals for their physical and mental development.

Every child has the right to be raised well and contribute to society: Every blessing or threat to a society comes from a family. When parents raise their children in a safe and loving environment, they are good role models as the children in most cases take on the personalities and values of the family and extend it to the society.

Every child has the right to basic needs, education, play and recreation: Education is the key to success and should be of utmost priority in every society. Children should have access to books and learning materials that can enrich their intelligence and skills. They also have the right to play and recreate for cognitive development.

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Every child has the right to be protected from all forms of abuse and violence: The rate at which children are abused physically, sexually and emotionally is increasing at an alarmingly. Parents, caregivers, government and the society need to take proactive measure to curb the menace of adults seeing children as tools to be used rather than human beings that needs to be protected and nurtured.

Every child has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion: In as much as the role of parents and caregivers is to give support, there has to be age-appropriate participation for children to be able to air their opinion in matters that affects them, this also helps the child’s sense of self-worth. It is crucial that a child should be listened to, and his/her views given due consideration.

The sexuality educator added that the right of a child that needs to be prioritised is the right to affection, love and understanding irrespective of the child’s background, status, race or religion. “If the family, guardian, caregiver, government and society at large will raise a child with love and affection, we will have a less cruel society.”

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