Most of us grew up in very strict and cultural homes which was not necessarily a bad thing in hindsight. The main problem with a lot of more cultural countries (like Nigeria) is that parents started training their children instead of raising them. Most parents have an idea of what they believe their children should be like, what they should like, what friends they should have, what food to eat, how to look, what career path to take and everything pertaining to their lives.
The definition of the Nigerian parenting style involves implanting a sense of responsibility and respect for everyone around you, very tough love, doing home chores and teaching the children to always be ahead of their pears. Ideally, there would be nothing wrong with but it has been taken to an extreme where you have parents belittling their kids, forcing them to live the dreams they do not want, allowing the public distort their perception of their own children to them, giving authority to people who don’t matter to disciple their kids in a disrespectful man and so on.
Children are being taught to be afraid of their parents rather than having them be the first call in a time of need. Parents forget little children are impressionable. They take everything you say on board pretty quickly. The unnecessary extreme lengths we take because there is a need to feel like each parent has the best child could do more harm than good.
I was saddened by a situation I witnessed a couple days ago. A child came 2nd in her class. The normal step would be to celebrate your child because she did really well but instead I heard the parents tell this little girl ‘The person that came first, do they have two heads?’ I was speechless. Why wouldn’t you celebrate your child but take every opportunity to criticize them?
We see conversations with dialogues like:
Father: Why are you just coming home?? You were with that boy again abi??”
You: ”Daddy.. I wasn’t with any…”
Mother: ”Shut up! Are you talking back at your Father??”
So concerned by what an irrelevant person will think about your child that you destroy their self-esteem in the process. IT IS NOT WORTH IT. Raise your children to be strong, respectful and independent. Don’t train them to be afraid or envy their colleagues or take on board the opinions of outside influences.
The older you get, you definitely see the humor in it but unfortunately, some children grow up thinking there is something wrong with them.
Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely parents who take the time to know their children and care for them without any outside influences but there is still work that needs to be done. There is a decline in the overly tough training but for those still training their kids rather than raising them, We need to do better, if not for ourselves but for our children.