by: Ifeoluwa Kayode-Dada
“Rebecca, if a boy uses his hand to touch you, you will get pregnant” Mama Rebecca says, as she gives Rebecca, one of many insightful talks on sex education.
Nigeria is a very complicated country and this trickles down into various aspects of our culture, parenting inclusive. A parent should be a watchful guide over his/her child who seeks to grow the child into the best he/she can be. In Nigeria, a parent is a delightful solider who seeks to bend, twist and break a child into the future leader he/she is to be.
The general idea is that children are kids (no, I mean literal goats); they need to be traumatized into giving up the stubbornness and idiocy brought with them from birth. The approach to parenting in Nigeria involves molding one’s child into society’s approved standard of behavior regardless of what the kid feels or says.
Nigerian parenting has a lot unique of features worth studying. Intending parents should examine and digest these features as it guarantees success in parenting.
The following are some of these features (as elucidated by various therapists around the world dealing with the results):
1. EMOTIONAL ABUSE IS KEY:
There is power in the tongue; use that power to shape your child. Ensure your words make your child to question his/her self-worth; it is the perfect recipe for growth. For instance, when a child doesn’t sweep the compound to your taste, do not just say, “Bisi, you didn’t sweep this place well”. You must say “Bisi, you can never do anything right”.
2. YOUR CHILD KNOWS NOTHING:
Remember, children are not only stubborn, they also are quite foolish. You must remind him/her of this at every turn particularly whenever a decision about their lives is to be made.
For instance, your son, Tade wants to study Mass Communication but you want him to study Medicine. Be sure to highlight his childlike foolishness then compel him to study medicine instead (because what does he know, can he know more than his parents).
3. FEAR SAVES YOU STRESS:
Always imagine they are doing the worst and be on guard perpetually (Àwọn ọmọ ìsìn burú, children of this generation are spoilt). Their friends must also compulsorily be of the same gender as they are so as to avoid evil.
4. COMPARISON IS THE FUEL THAT DRIVES YOUR CHILD:
Yes, competition fans the flame in your child, make sure to always compare him/her to peers. For instance constantly repeat statements like “can’t you see what your mates are doing” to keep your child driven.
5. FOOD SOLVES EVERYTHING
Your primary aim as a parent is to ensure that your children are well fed; it is the most important aspect of parenting. You also must apologize with food at all times (why would you stoop so low as to apologize to someone under your roof that you feed).
Confinement protects your child: You can’t trust this generation of children so your best bet is to cage them. Don’t allow them to socialize! God forbid your daughter coming home pregnant! Keep them within your four walls where they can’t misbehave under your watchful eye.
6. SEX EDU WHAT?!!!:
This is the greatest taboo! Never mention that word around them (Jesus will not allow your child to be corrupted). They are too pure and holy for that just keep it a secret then ambush them when they get married.
An insight into why parents in Nigeria birth help us to understand why the approach to parenting is so perfectly chaotic. Marriage and birthing is borne out of society’s pressure and desperation rather than choice (once you are in your 20’s, ilé ọkọ yà, next stop husband’s house).
Many social vices in the world today are directly linked to the effects of parenting. We should read in between the lines of our children’s trauma and change our approach to parenting to ensure that our future is not dim but as bright as we would want it to be.
Ifeoluwa Kayode-Dada is a writer and a 400 level law student in the University of ilorin, Kwara State. She writes satire because it merges two things she cherishes; humor and intelligence.