Parenting and Upbringing In An African Home – By now most of you have seen the video circulating on social media about a Zambian dad slapping his son for failing and missing some of his exams after he paid $21,000 as tution fees. (Fun side is he passed Music and Geography so man’s planning his world tour already)
PARENTING AND UPBRINGING IN AN AFRICAN HOME
Growing up in a typical African home, our parents used “Spare the rod and spoil the child” as a mantra to dish punishment to their kids.
Caning is the most common corporal punishment; be it a cane, belt, wire, the tee square from our drawing boards etc. Your palms, back, butt or your whole body (according to the seriousness of your offence) is were these caning instruments will land.
As the first born to first generation Ghanaian parents, my childhood was pretty much formulated. Doing well in school was top of the list, being a good Christian followed, then helping in the household chores and physical activities (which was limited and sometimes I got beaten for doing this same physical activities).
Luckily I was good at school, church and the household chores. Sucked at football but always went back to play. I was low key troublesome but my parents, dad especially will find ways to discipline my siblings and I. Our offence, not doing “enough”.
We had a studies teacher who’ll come teach us after school, so my parents wanted us to be between 1st and 3rd. Fourth downwards was seen as a failure because most of your mates don’t have extra curriculum activities.
Mind you there were “sharks” in year group, anybody who attended St Peter’s Mission School can attest to this.
“Why did you fail Twi?” when I can’t even get a grasp of my native language Ewe.
“Why is your French satisfactory not excellent”
“87% in Social Studies is not good enough”
After passing BECE, it was a quarrel on which schools I should choose. My mother wanted Legon Presec because it was close to Madina so I could be going from the house. My dad wanted Mawuli School (I eventually ended up there) because he was transferred to Ho.
I wanted schools in the Central because of the tales I heard and my best friend at that time was choosing schools there.
After offering Business and passing my WASSCE, my dad wanted me to pursue Accounting because he was an accountant.
My life had already be planned out for me. Which is typical for most of us.
After my first year I hated accounting but are you the one paying your fees? Chin up and finish this course. Fast forward I completed and found myself in an account office of Ghana’s biggest insurance company and the head office to be precise; guess what my dad also works there.
After service I decided to pursue Digital Marketing. Come and see the disappointment on my folks faces when I told them. This was a problem and there became a disconnect between my parents and I because of what I wanted to do.
African parents want to be able to proudly say “my son is a medical doctor, pilot, chartered accountant,” instead of opening their minds and supporting new career ventures that are very promising.
African parents don’t believe in your craft until the money is coming in. After I landed my first job and started paying some of the bills at home, then they started to respect my choice. Till now my mum hasn’t wrapped her head around remote working and freelancing.
The father in the video isn’t angry. He’s super calm and slapping his boy. My father, that has paid $21,000 and you did not only fail but also didn’t write some; RIP Elorm Sangbey.
Most of the comments under the video are being hypocrites. A typical African patent will do worse than that in the given circumstances.
There were times my folks sat me down to talk to me and times they beat the sh*t out of me.
Firm parental control (reasonable corporal punishment) and encouragement, appears to me the most effective parenting style, at least, but that doesn’t mean parents wouldn’t get a little over physical.
Child discipline that includes favoured conditional corporal punishment has reduced defiance and anti social behaviours than non-physical discipline. I know a lot of you will argue over this.
If any of the Tamara Jonah, Henrietta Osei (Despite) or Boatemaa Duffuor got pregnant as teenagers, it won’t make a difference. Her future will still be safe.
But if a girl from a poor family in Wassa Akropong gets pregnant, she’d likely never get control of her life again.
Some families need more than talking to raise their kids.
At the end, people will choose what parenting style suits upbringing of their kids.