Growing up with Nigerian parents is definitely different from how parenting is handled elsewhere. Reflecting on things that happened during the period I lived with my parents makes me crack my rib and sometimes thinking "things could be handled in a better way". Check out some facts about growing up in a Nigerian household.


You know the feeling of  " Just starting to enjoy your sleep" and you hear a big bang on the door with your mum or dad, trying to wake you........ Yes, you do get that. Growing up, my mum always told us stories of how she and her brothers wake by 4am to go fetch water more around 400 meters away from their home by feet. For my brother and I, we had to walk by 5:30 am to fetch water, wash the dishes, sweep the apartment and leave for school before 8am and you must do these every day. 😓


I am not against salutations or exchanging gesture, but when you make it feel like a "do or die " affair, I start to raise an eyebrow. Growing up in Nigeria, you must not forget to say "Good morning, Good afternoon, Good evening, even welcome to your elders except you want to receive an oven-baked slap. Most times people talk bad about you and automatically categorize you as a bad person, disrespectful or an untrained child because you didn't greet them. This could be quite depressing when you find out you have more haters as a result of not greeting.😞


Growing up in a Nigerian family, automatically turns on the respect mood in your. You are required as a young person to show the highest form of respect for older persons. You dare not sit with your parents when they have a guest except you were invited because it's a form of disrespect and assumed that "You intend to enjoy seniors joke",  Talking back to your parents is the beginning of swollen face. 


Fear is a major part of a Nigerian child's life, where everyone sees the other as a suspect. You hear things like "don't let anyone touch your head" " Don't collect anything she gives you" "If an unknown person calls you, do answer but run". We are always made to believe something is outside waiting to crush us and most times it makes children timidly, unaware and afraid. Even Nollywood does not help matters, they are another category that sends wrong or unclear information to the children. 


Being a young person in a Nigerian family, you are not permitted to have any other relationship aside from that of your family, involving yourself in any external relationship is a problem. I remembered a friend of mine told another friend not to come to his house again because his mum doesn't like the way he looks and these young persons are of the same gender.

On several occasions, my dad has told my friends he doesn't want to see them in his house and this made me friendless, I couldn't go to do an assignment with my friends or even attend birthday parties. Can someone imagine the chaos of them finding out you have a boyfriend? Hmm. I guess that's why most children hide intimate things from their parents. But not to worry, when you are 28 yrs of age and not married, they are very able to refer you to a pastor for deliverance.


This aspect is very complicated because I have been in a situation, where my mum called me from outside together something in the fridge and she was seated 10 meters away from the fridge. And I started asking questions like was I born to suffer? It is very possible to run more than twenty-five errands in a day and fifteen are unnecessary.


If you intend to have things your way, kindly tell God to send you to another country aside from Nigeria because, in Nigeria, there is no word called "Freedom"

  • You don't have the freedom to eat what you want but what your parents give to you, I beg you don't attempt to tell them you can't finish your food, just eat it.
  • You can't wear what you want, but what they ask you to.
  • Forget parties, the only thing you are free to do is to go to school and church.
  • Your phone calls and messages are also monitored.


When the word punishment is mentioned, different means of correction come to mind, but in a Nigerian child "PANKERE, BELT, WIRE, KOBOKO, PEPPER", comes to mind. I must say the means of punishment used in Nigeria is very cruel. In different cases, I have torn skin, swollen body, even bleeding from being corrected. And the sad truth is you can't escape this part because even if your parents are nice and correct you in love, you still have to go to school where you have teachers with their hands inching to beat you. Trust me, I hate this part.


In Nigeria, children are made to believe that when they are mature, it is their responsibility to take care of their parents in all ramification. So, the reason they are training you presently is so as not to suffer at their old age. 


If you are the quiet type and people walks all over you, be sure to have someone defend you within your family especially when you are being bullied. I remembered my mum going to school with me to confront the teacher who keeps eating my food and after that scenario, the whole thing stopped.

But if you report a case of being beaten by your mate to your parents, be sure to get an extra beating because they will be like "so, it's your mate that hit you and you cry Abi? Come on! Go and beat him back".

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