Hello WordPress. I’ve come again with my main monthly blog post. This month I’m doing something different and courageous – writing a letter to dear Nigerian Parent. Read and enjoy. I also had the opportunity to patronise my brothers Oyale Peter @ Precise Designs and Philemon Pam @Phix Designs Dear Nigerian Parent, Please read my letter.

Dear Nigerian Parent,

It’s been a long while since I wrote to you and in this span of time, I have been thinking really deep on some issues. I had many issues to write about but I was waiting to find a very strong one to write about and today I have. I want to write on Discipline in Instilling Discipline.

I know my heading has already caught your attention and you are wondering what I could possibly mean by Discipline in Instilling Discipline. Well let me start this way, I’ll start with 2 real life stories I overhead Parents like you discussing.

The first story, a boy in the Polytechnic was under the care of his uncle. His Uncle was nice enough to solicit money for this boy’s school fees as he worked relentlessly to provide for his own children. This boy got his girlfriend pregnant and in the aftermath committed suicide.

The second story, a girl daughter to both nurse parents got pregnant. She didn’t tell her parents but bore the baby for 9 months and delivered the baby. She then put the baby in the care of one of the maids working for her parents and began a double hustle for herself and the baby. Then she ran out of funds and put the baby in an orphanage. Years later her aunt will unknowingly visit the orphanage and ask the child’s name only to hear her family name. The Aunt won’t connect the dots till the girl (mother of the child) comes to her for help. When her parents eventually find out, they get angry at the girl for concealing her pregnancy scold her for punishing herself.

I’m sure you are wondering now. What do these 2 stories have in common? Let me tell you. Both the guy who committed suicide and the lady who hid her pregnancy and baby suffered from the same fear – the fear of their parents.

Dear Nigerian Parents, I know you are very well aware of the hard and tumultuous times we live in where immorality is almost an amiable virtue and I understand perfectly with you. I also know you can’t bear to see the child you labored 9 months and many more years for ruining his/her life. And for the Christian parents, I also know you know that the end-times are here. Just a minute let me elaborate on that. Yes it is true that we are in the last days, scripture and current world happenings testify to that and hence we need be very careful but I hope you realize that since we are in the last days, the great deceiver the devil is also at work in full force because he knows the time will soon be over. The devil is, therefore, even more, deceiving and cunning in this times. I know you like to believe that the temptations and trials we face now, you faced in your youth but whether you admit or not the devil is waging more war on the young people now – everything happening around including the increasing rate of young people dying is proof.

So what am I saying? What I’m saying dear Nigerian parent especially the religious ones is “Train your child in the way he should grow” As Solomon one of the wisest men who ever existed advised and leave the rest to God or Allah as the case may be.

Now in training your child and instilling discipline what I want to advise is that you let your child know there is grace and room for forgiveness.

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What you do most of the times is scare the child from puberty and instill a sense of dread and doom in the child’s mind if he/she makes a mistake especially when it comes to premarital sex and pregnancy. That is why we have so many abortions and suicides around. In your child who is now a young adults mind, keeping a pregnant child is almost equitable to death. If you want to see a fictional account of how this ruins families and lives, check out my Short Story ‘The Silver Lining’ published in the Kalahari Review here.

Dear Nigerian Parent, there is something else I want to advise and that is sex education. You see Dear Parent, most of the things your children learn after age 11, they learned on their own.

You became so obsessed with preparing the way for your child that you forgot to prepare the child for the way.

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When your child left to JS1 you started distancing yourself emotionally under the guise of preparing his school fees and with the belief that he/she was mature. What you were essentially doing was conferring adulthood on the child and expecting him/her to act like the child you knew before JSS1. As such most of your children learned what they knew about the other sex and changes in reproduction hormones in Secondary school from other children something you should have had the responsibility to teach the right way hence a lot of misconceptions potentially occurred in your children.

Dear Nigerian parent asides the puberty, your child needs your emotional support in this generation and there is no graduation age for talks with mommy and daddy. Most of you drive depressed children around with no idea what is in their mind. The only time you talk to them is when you are shouting at them for something they might have or not done intentionally and my Dear Nigerian parent that can contribute to suicidal thoughts.

I could go on and on Dear Nigerian parent but I have to stop here. Remember my 2 main points in this letter. Firstly, discipline your children warn them but let them know there is room for grace instead of instilling dread. Secondly, don’t miss your connection with your child and teach them sex education as they approach the age.

Dear Nigerian parent till you hear from me again.

With Affection,

Nenkinan Nehemiah Deshi

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20 thoughts on “DEAR NIGERIAN AND AFRICAN PARENT – DISCIPLINE IN INSTILLING DISCIPLINE

  1. But let them know that there is room for grace almost got me tearing up here. I think cause of our parent’s generation …how they brought us up, a lot of us will raise our own children a little differently. More grace, more empathy, more understanding. God help us.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Very deep and true. There’s such a disconnect between parents and their children, and many children find themselves unable to approach their parents when they really need some advice because they know they’ll probably get the typical reaction – shouting and whatnot. So they bottle it up, or go to the wrong people. On sex education, I once saw a video which I believe was an ad campaign for safe sex or something like that. The girl went to the clinic to ask for condoms, and the woman who was there was an older lady or something like that. Can’t remember the exact details, but the woman was shouting at her and the typical African parent reaction. Chai, I need to see the video again. Anyway, yeah there needs to be more communication. I’ve suffered in silence a lot because of this. There’s more to parenting than just providing the basic needs – school, home, clothing .. emotional support is also a need.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is need for more enlightenment on this issue. It’s an interplay of religion, culture, societal norms, and limited resources that produce stories like these. Curbing these types of problem starts from talking about it and raising awareness. This is a great post.

    Like

  4. You wrote well. Sometimes parents don’t know when they come off this way (I mean, being harsh and not wanting to talk about certain things), although that’s not an excuse. I believe that this thing is 2 way. Both the parents and the child has to make an effort. The child has to make effort by making good choices, so they don’t disappoint their parents because most of the things parents do or situations where they curse is truly as a result of great pain. Yes, the devil is working even harder and Yes in our time immorality is seen as normal most times, so it makes it hard for children or youths to do what’s right, that’s why we need constant counseling and to know God, who helps overcome these things and also think of the future and all the people that could be hurt by the decision you take or about to take. But when we fall or do something that is so bad, parents should let us know that yes what we did was wrong and they are hurt and so on but at the end, they should let us know it’s not the end and encourage us to pick ourselves up and support us too.
    There are situations where parents really trained their children well but they ended up making wrong choices. That’s on the child, the parents tried. that’s why it saddens me when a child misbehaves and you hear things like, “The parents did not train him well”. Yea most times, they were not given proper home training but other times, it’s definitely not the parents but the individual. I like this part “Now in training your child and instilling discipline what I want to advise is that you let your child know there is grace and room for forgiveness.” as I strongly believe parents should make it clear that no matter what happens, they are loved and would always get through it.
    There’s something my mum always says. that when she screams or overreacts, its as a result of the extent or should I say intensity of the news she’s given, doesn’t mean she hates us or something as we don’t expect her to hear something bad or wrong and keep shut then go buy us ice-cream.
    The part about parents teaching sex education to their kids is very important. i really don’t know why most of them shy away from it.
    I’m so sorry this is long, I didn’t really know when it got this long lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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