Parents, especially Nigerian parents, want to raise their kids in a morally right way. They want to raise a smart kid who is also ‘God-fearing.’
Over the years, there have been some parenting tips for Nigerians which serve as manuals for how parenting should be done. Most parents now have unique yet related ways in which they parent their children, some of which could be as a result of their cultural backgrounds or otherwise.
Nigerian parents, for instance, are known to be strict and are the “no-nonsense” kind of parents and have learned distinctive parenting tips for Nigerians from their parents.
Parenting in Nigeria used to be based on communal efforts. Now, everyone seems to be running after the ideal parenting tips for Nigerians rather than finding themselves and what works for them individually.
So many of us desire to have kids later in life but the daunting task at the back of the mind of those who desire children is how to raise them.
For many of us young adults, we simply didn’t like the approach our parents raised us with. We do not want to use the same parenting tips for Nigerians manual as our parents did for us. We feel like they should have done some things differently.
This article will talk about parenting tips for Nigerians and also talk about the things we all wished our parents knew.
What is Parenting?
Parenting is said to be the process of nurturing, supporting, the general well-being of a child from infancy to adulthood. It is a lifetime job and this is why one needs to be deliberate about one’s choice of becoming a parent because then again, parenting is a daunting task; one mistake, and you’d spend decades trying to mend that mistake.
According to child development experts, parenting can be good or bad. The consequence of each parenting style can have a lifelong effect on the child, the family, and even the society at large.
The “manual” for parenting tips for Nigerians passed on to our parents from their parents is great but not without their flaws. Parenting might not be the same all over the world, but childhood is. So, parents need to take the better part of parenting tips for Nigerians they grew up with and leave behind the not-so-good ones as you do not want to damage a child through that kind of parenting.
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The Evolution of Parenting in Nigeria
Before now, parenting for Nigerians involved tough love, disciplined love, and a sense of responsibility. Children were not so close to their parents and they existed as they learned early in life to be afraid of them.
Flogging a child was the norm as the parents see this as a form of discipline and keeping their children grounded. It is why when kids hear the horn of their parent’s car, they quickly make themselves invisible to avoid the wrath of their parents.
Parents during this time did not see the reason for conversation to be held with their kids. Parenting for Nigerians before now were based on authority. It is either you obey them or you get flogged. They speculated that when a child erred, the next step is to discipline them by inflicting pain through flogging.
While some will argue that this is the best way to correct a child, some of us have differing opinions on that. If flogging a child would stop them from erring, maybe our society would not be the way it is today. Maybe so many children won’t harbour so many secret resentments for their parents.
Today, Nigerian parents have chosen to raise their kids in a much healthier way than they were raised. This could be seen in the way they relate with their child, in the way they listen to them, and also in the way they have made their kids comfortable being around them.
In the 80s, kids in Nigeria could not even be in the same room with their parents. They could not have a different opinion from that of their parents and also could not do things they want for themselves for fear of rebuke from their parents.
Parents these days sit their kids down and explain to them why they can’t have certain things at the moment or why their demands can not be met. They are more involved in the day-to-day life of their children.
While it is okay for the new generation parents to take a cue from how they were raised by their parents, it is also important to note that times have changed and so the “guide” for parenting tips for Nigerians used by their parents might not work on the new generation kids. You can not bring up a child the exact way you have been raised because the world has evolved greatly.
Here Are a Few Things Many of Us Wished Our Parents Knew
- We do not appreciate being compared with others. I was compared so much with other kids growing up and this led to me constantly seeking assurances.
- We do not appreciate it when our opinions aren’t respected. We know our parents are wiser and have been here longer than we have but we want to have a say in our lives too.
- For the girls; we do not appreciate being told: “learn how to cook so that you can make good food for your husband”. We want to know and learn how to cook because it is a survival skill for every human. We also do not appreciate the phrase “boys would always be boys” to justify bad behaviour.
- Parents should not avoid the topic of sex. It is an important thing to talk about. They should stop treating sex like a taboo. Sex is a natural thing. Explain to us the pros and cons of having sex.
- Parents should stop choosing a career path for their kids. They should understand that being in art class doesn’t mean one is dumb. And everyone can’t be a lawyer or a doctor. We need entertainers too.
- Nigerian parents should learn to say the words “sorry” “please” “thank you” to their kids.
- Nigerian parents should know that they cannot always be right. It’s okay to be wrong.
- Parents should avoid having a favourite child amongst their children as this causes a rift between the kids. Every child is as important as the other.
- Parents should stop being overly protective. It’s okay to allow your child to go out and mingle with others. Trust that you have done a good job raising your child and that the child has a good head on his/her shoulders.
- Parents should stop imposing their beliefs on their children. A child grows up to evolve and become whoever they want to be.
- Nigerian parents should be more accommodating and approachable. The parenting tips for Nigerians during the 80s were not accommodating, so, new generation parents shouldn’t embrace it in totality.
Parenting Tips for Nigerians
Affection matters a lot to kids of this age. They want to know that their parents love them. Show them and tell them that you love them every day. Do things that they enjoy doing. A child who is not shown love from home ends up seeking it outside and this might lead to dire consequences.
Stop comparing your child to another
Every child is born with unique traits and is different from another in so many ways. No two children are ever the same even if they are born by the same parents. Each child with his/her own capabilities. Parents mustn’t compare the ability of a child to that of another as this would lead to overcompensation in the said child.
The child would grow up to become a people-pleaser without a mind of his/her own. Parents should know and learn the strength of their child and nurture it to the child’s advantage.
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Praise your child’s efforts
When your child does something worthy of praise, applaud him/her. Let that child know that he has done something well. Gift them. Applauding your child helps with self-confidence and also helps with the need to do more.
Read with your kids
Reading with your kids helps them to understand more. This helps with the child’s cognitive abilities. It enhances their chances of becoming a success in their lives as the saying goes, “readers are leaders”
Teach your children sex education
Teach your kids everything they need to know about their bodies. In the parenting tips for Nigerians borrowed by parents, parents do not know how well to start a conversation about sex with their teenage kids and this has led to so many abuses from pedophiles.
Most females were told when they saw their periods for the first time that, when a man touches them, they’d fall pregnant. And this information messed with the heads of so many young girls growing up. Female kids are told next to nothing about periods and raging hormones and this has led to them experiencing various abuses from the opposite sex.
Teach them so that they can be fully aware of what they are getting into and the consequences involved.
Read also: Dreadful Cultural Practices in Nigeria that Need to be Abolished/Reform
Set rules in your home to keep your kids grounded. Develop a firm no. Communicate why a certain rule cannot be broken and also communicate what would happen if the said rule is broken. This keeps them aware and also communicates boundaries to them.
Listen to your kids
Practice active listening with your kid. Understand that they are humans with feelings and emotions. Validate their feelings as this will make them feel heard and wanted. Listening to your child will open the gate of communication as they can begin to trust you with their problems; they know that they can always run back to you when they need support.
Read also: How to improve your child’s brain capacity
Always show up for your kid
As a parent, it is your job to always be present at functions for your kids. Be there at the appropriate time. This would make the child feel loved and valued.
The parenting tips for Nigerians before now were much easier as there was no room for questioning as one is always told to obey whatever order has been given. At this age, children ask a lot of questions and if answers are not provided to alleviate their curiosity, they simply look for answers elsewhere.
parenting in this age of technological advancement demands total concentration and awareness. Have conversations with your child. Know what your child is exposed to and know the type of information they consume daily.
Know the things your children like and also spend quality time with them. Be their best friend; this is only achievable by always being there for them and always listening without judgments and sentiments.
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Parenting is not as easy as people make it seem. It’s a lifetime job and that is why one is always advised to be sure and be mentally and physically prepared before embarking on the daunting journey to parenting.
Parenting tips for Nigerians shouldn’t only be based on though love. It should encompass many other things like care and respect because every child deserves to be shown respect too.
In Nigeria, the economy is not so friendly to the average parent. Most people are dealing with unemployment and limited access to basic needs such as health, infrastructure, food, etc. So, bringing up a child in an environment such as the above would be harder. However, it is important to know that your child is your priority because that child didn’t ask to be born.
You’ve decided to bring a child to the world so the best thing to do is to provide for that child to the best of your ability because when you fail at being a better parent, you won’t be the only one to deal with it. The entirety of humanity would have to deal with your shortcomings.
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Rabi Yahaya is a content writer whose works have been published by prominent websites in Nigeria.
Remotely works with local and international clients to create engaging content for brands. Creating compelling articles and stories that talk about issues concerning women. A budding SEO writer.