Mrs Esther Adekoya, President, Heartrose Care Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has urged parents, guardians and teachers to be more attentive to the needs and emotions of children.
Adekoya made the plea during a one-day Workshop/Seminar titled: “Drug Abuse, Addiction, Depression and Suicide’’ held in Lagos on Saturday.
The workshop/seminar was jointly organised by St Gladys and Grimmes Educational Services, Cavesbury Hospital and Heartrose Care Foundation.
Adekoya said that most children suffered depression and attempted suicide due to lack of attention and neglect by parents.
She said that the parental abandonment of children could affect their lifestyles.
According to her, it is not about meeting the needs of the children financially or otherwise but the emotional and psychological attention is paramount.
“Build a conducive and a welcoming home so that whenever a child is faced with challenges outside the home, he or she is confident and energised to talk about it at home because of the listening parents.
“Always listen to your child and aside from listening, be always at alert to notice and understand the expression of your child.
“We should praise our children for every right thing they do; children with happy and secured childhood are usually successful,’’ she said.
According to her, transferred aggression has a way of demoralising a child.
She advised parents to be cautious in talking to the children because it deflates their personality, empties them of their self-worth and believing that they were worthless and foolish.
“Verbal abuse can affect a child; even to wanting to commit suicide. Those who die of suicide do not wish to end their lives but to end their pain,’’ she said.
Dr Wale Caves, Director of Cavesbury Hospital, also urged parents and adults to desist from self-medication by buying drugs without a doctor’s description.
He said that consistent use of drugs such as some pain relievers without prescription could be harmful and the children could emulate such.
According to him, parents should stop sending their wards or children to the roadside chemists to buy drugs because they emulate and assume it as being right.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Proprietor, Gladys and Grimmes Educational Service, Mrs Gladys Grimmes, urged parents to be more attentive to the needs of their children.
Grimmes said that the seminar was to sensitise parents about the new trend of suicide among children and teenagers and also the need for parents to be proactive and monitor their children.