ISLAMABAD: Most psychological problems among children in the Eastern Province are caused by poor parenting, in particular the handing over of care to untrained domestic workers, a recent study has found.
Ahmed Al-BuAli, director of the Jalawi bin Abdulaziz Center for Child Development in the Eastern Province, said that many parents are running away from the responsibility of caring for their children, Arab news reported.
Al-BuAli said the study showed that 90 percent of abuse cases involved parents not being involved in caring for their children. He said 37 percent of abused children are still at primary school, and 28 percent at high school.
Seventy percent of orphaned children are subject to psychological abuse, he said.
“These indicators show that there is an urgent need to focus more on the care of children, psychologically, physically and socially,” Al-BuAli said.
He said parents must not surrender the parenting role to maids and nannies, even if they are striving to make ends meet.
“Go through any social media or networking site, and you will find a helpless parent looking for a housemaid.
“Parents who delegate childcare to untrained maids and nannies risk their children’s development at a crucial early age.” Parents must look for telltale signs of abuse in their children’s behavior, he said.
These include regressive behavior, acting out, running away from people, changes in eating patterns, constantly fearful, crying continually, and clinging to them, moody and withdrawn.
He said parents must also watch to see whether their children are showing signs of “extreme behavior such as playing with sharp objects, lack of interest in activities they previously enjoyed such as sports, clubs, or playing an instrument.” This can all be indicators of a child being mistreated or abused, he said.