(My) Nigerian Upbringing

[Editor’s note]. If you want to understand why I added this video, check out Ihuoma’s story below. Also, please be aware that it is not to say that this is true of all Nigerian families. Let us know about how yours is similar or different.

Name: Ihuoma O.

Country of Origin: Nigeria

It would be impossible to sum up what having African parents entails, but I’ll try. They are all so different but have a few major things in common. Having African parents is like having the voice of reason in your head manifesting itself in person. It goes without saying that there is a level of maturity that they expect even at an early age. In order to fully show the reader what I mean by this, I will contrast it to the American style of parenting.

American standard
1) spanking only teaches the child how to hit: instead, kids are grounded as a form of discipline
2) parents are to encourage children to do chores by giving them allowance
3) American kids are given their own room for privacy
4) getting a C is an average score

Nigerian standard
1) the only time out I had was after my mom did some butt wooping for forgetting to do my chores!
2)what am I paying you for, you don’t work
3) ehhh… five of you make room on the bed for little Chi-Chi
4) just you try and bring home a B and I will show you what average is

Now to the average American, African parents would appear to be abusive and even raw in their method, but in the end, most African children usually end up appreciating their parents’ style of parenting.

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3 Responses to (My) Nigerian Upbringing

  1. jutta says:

    I find this really funny and very interesting. Do you think Nigerian parents in Nigeria behave the same way? I am mainly referring to the strong interest and high standards in the education of their children (as displayed in the video and the comments on YouTube). I am curious because this is not what I see happening where I live in Africa.

    • That African Girl says:

      I often think about the same thing sometimes too, Jutta. I’ve heard many stories similar to this one. Not many stories of parents not putting a big emphasis on Education. However, I’m sure that every family is different. What do you see where you live?

      • jutta says:

        I don’t what it is but I have never seen parents put any pressure on their children to get good grades. Or get involved in any way except maybe choosing another school. More often I see parents shrugging their shoulders when their children are not doing well in school. It could be all kinds of things: lethargy with the whole school-system here, the French colonial style of schooling where it is basically impossible to get an A, the fact that efforts need to be accompanied by “something” for you to pass, most parents feeling inferior to the teachers, their inability to speak to the teacher because he does not speak the local language and they don’t speak French. This of course leads to an inability of parents to give their children any assistance with their homework. Or maybe that I have never been present when a child brought home his or her report card. Probably there is more pressure where the parents are highly educated but their kids have less problems anyway. In any case, it seems to be very different from what you describe.

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