Leaving children with nannies or caretakers for major part of the day is a bad habit as it poses a threat to kids’ safety and can also negatively affect their behaviour, the police have warned parents.
The Abu Dhabi Police on Saturday said they have launched an awareness campaign to educate families about the negative effects of leaving children under the care and supervision of nannies and maids for an extended periods of time.
The police warned that it is an act of negligence for families to leave their children under such care as it may result in their vulnerability or extortion. The force stressed that their interest in enhancing the safety and security of young people in cooperation with strategic partners.
Colonel Saeed Hamad Al Kaabi, acting director of social support centres at the Abu Dhabi Police, said: “The police are conducting campaigns and awareness programmes for families to protect children’s psychological, physical and public safety. The centre is focusing on protecting and caring for families and children. Our commitment is to use the best police practices and precautionary measures to ensure that children receive the best standards of family stability.”
He appealed parents not leave their children with the domestic help for long hours, explaining that the country’s law will hold them responsible for negligence and failure of duties. He stressed the need to take necessary measures to maintain the life and safety of children.
According to Al Kaabi, most nannies do not possess skills to raise children and deal with their character development, which negatively affects the psychological, health and behaviour of children. He urged mothers to provide care and close supervision and not neglect their children and protect them from risks.
Parents risk losing kids’ love if they don’t spend enough time with them, said psychologists practising here. Nasir Al Riyami, a psychologist and hypnotherapist at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, said leaving children with relatives and nannies is a growing trend as we live in a busy world. But, families need to be aware of the risks involved. “Parents should know that they are under the risk of losing child attachment,” said Al Riyami.
“The child will feel neglected and this will affect their attachment towards parents. After they grow up, most of these kids will choose to spend their time with other people and not their parents. Parents may need to sacrifice and spend time with their children for proper upbringing and to strengthen the bond.
On the child’s safety and security under the care of nannies and maids, Al Riyami said parents need to know well about the caretakers or nannies before giving them the task of taking care of their kids.
“Parents should accept nannies as part of their family because they are left with the responsibility of taking care of their children while they are away,” he said. “Nannies and maids should be treated with respect. Pay them well and give them gifts for their services as this will boost their morale and eventually help in garnering more attention on kids.”
Dr Dolly Habbal, a PhD in clinical psychology at the Advanced Cure Medical Centres, highlighted the mother’s role in child’s upbringing in various aspects – religious, social, and psychological – stressing that the present trend of families leaving their children to be taken care of by others is not a good idea.
“Raising a child is something important and requires parents’ physical presence to instil good values, monitor what they do and watch on TV and teach them good morals and values,” she said. “Significantly relying on domestic help to raise a child can also negatively impedes a child’s linguistic development.”
She added: “A mother’s duty included taking good care of her child. Families should limit the role of domestic help to house chores.”
The psychologist noted that leaving kids to maids and nannies may affect their behaviours and actions alongside forgetting the customs and traditions of the family. “Upbringing of a child is parents’ responsibility. Parents shouldn’t let others do it for them or they will lose their love as they did not spend enough time with them,” said Habbal.