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How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? - Culture - Nairaland

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How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by Ndipe(m): 9:17am On Apr 07, 2007
For women, married to foreign spouses, it isn't a big deal, but for men, it is a conundrum, when your child, explicitly proclaims "I am an American". You may feel a sense of betrayal, because of our paternalistic culture that automatically confers the father's heritage on the child, to be passed on to the future generation. While some parents have attempted to instill in their kids, the essence of our culture, by reminding them of their Nigerian roots, by taking them to ethnic meetings, conversing with them in their local dialects, and introducing them into our ethnic dishes, all these are not the sole determining factors in influencing a child's world's views on their heritage.

I was confounded when my cousin told me that she is an American. Her parents are from Nigeria, but the girl has made a resolute effort to distance herself from her Nigerian heritage, almost to the point of a disavowal. No big deal, she is a woman, so when signs the dotted lines, her marital life, would take precedence in her life. But for the boys who would later on become adult males, what is their stance? A generation lost from their father land, because of America? The sweat of their ancestors in establishing roots in a certain village, long erased in their memory. The ancestral home in the village, overtaken by pests, the oral history of the village, long forgotten by future generations. And you wonder, what can be done to inculculate our culture in our future generation? Do we just fold our hands and give up, the gradual erosion of our heritage? Our presence (meaning this generation) in America, may perhaps be the last link between Nigerian culture and the Western world.
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by oyinboaja: 10:59am On Apr 07, 2007
Their minds are molded by the things they read and hear. If they keep hearing negative things about the place, they are not likely to want to associate with it.

If you dont talk to them about the place, they will not understand and associate with that part of their lives. Some people expect that their children will just automatically understand and love their origins.
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by Seun(m): 12:42am On Apr 09, 2007
We've discussed something very similar in the past:
Raising Your Children The Nigerian Way When Married To A Foreigner
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by Ndipe(m): 3:18am On Apr 09, 2007
Quite similar, but it is different. My topic has to do with instilling your heritage in your kids, while living abroad, because that is a challenge. Kids born and raised here, usually care less about their heritage. If I can recall, the discourse that you have posted had to do with a dilemma posed by a Nigerian on how she could raise her kids (discipline or no discipline) while married to a foreigner.
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by dafman(m): 4:11pm On Apr 09, 2007
I'll suggest the parents take the child home at list once a year for vacation, this would give the child fond memories of his country and he can get to know family members in Nigeria.

I have an aunt in the U.k with two kids, one 6 and the other 11, she brought them home to Nigeria for the first time two years back, that was during the christmas period. Though they were very british in every sense, but the new surroundings, meeting their cousins and visiting places gave them fond memories of home. They are always telling their mum to bring them to Nigeria for the holidays. Isolating the children abroad makes them feel like there's nothing in Nigeria to relate to.
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by MP007(m): 8:11am On Jun 26, 2007
how? u better dont smack the crap ou t of them, they will surely 911 ur asx, its crazy here, na for america 8 year old pickin dey talk say him mama craze, che! i trust naija, na that day that pickin go know sauy kaki no be ledal
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by omogenaija(f): 8:40am On Jun 26, 2007
MP007:

how? u better don't smack the crap ou t of them, they will surely 911 your asx, its crazy here, na for america 8 year old pickin dey talk say him mama craze, che! i trust naija, na that day that pickin go know sauy kaki no be ledal
undecided undecided harsh

but america is full of poo , can u image a parent calling the cops on their child b/c their child hit them ? oshi
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by Theblessed(f): 4:19am On Feb 09, 2009
Hi my sister Ndipe

I have read your commentary but it does not surprise me on bit.  I brought a 3 year old child with me on my way out of Africa to the West and, into a multi-racial relatioship.  Now, a well developed and beautiful woman in her own right - highly educated with a good job in the City.  At the time of her upbringing, my inlaws were even worse than yours but I stood my grounds for what I believe in.  I ruled the roast in my house and there was nothing my husband could have done to stop me so, he left me with it.  I would not spare the rod and spoil my own child (at the end of the day, whose the looser ) By that I mean, there was discipline in the house and there was some spanking too but I stopped doing so when she was 10 years old.  From my own experience, by the time a child is 10yrs old they had already gone through their formative years, have learnt most things they need to know - most basic behaviours they can muster in preparation for teenage and adulthood.  Any other thing is just an icing on the cake.  How could children learn if not by teaching and how could parents correct errors/mistakes if not by discipline, I wonder?  My daughter turned out well. It still surprises some members of my black community here how I did it - how I managed to raise a child that listens to her parents, never answered back, ran errands, had respect for elders and even called and still does call any black person she considers her seniors (whatever race or tribe) Auntie or Uncle.  Such was her upbringing.  Yes, I was strict with her and that's what made her who she is today.  My inlaws called me all sorts of names - I was even the worst mother that ever existed because I would not bow to their pressures.  Now, that she's turned out well, the tongues that said negative things about me are now congratulating me for a job well done, how fickle people are? Then think of, if it had all gone wrong who would have been blamed? 

You did the right thing in banning the sleep overs as I believe children can learn bad behaviours or even get abused from such interactions.  It is true the sleep over were with their cousins but think of when friends invites them to sleep overs, you are not there and do not know everything about the family? Their beliefs, values and moral stance. There could be child molester/abuser in it you don't even know about and there you are exposing your children to risk in the name of socialising with friends - the world would not forgive you for allowing such interactions.  Mine never left my house to sleep over/out (I never even allowed visiting her cousins without me being their) even for once except when she went on a camp with her Brownies group and also when she left home for University, that was it.  Having said that, I want you to understand that raising Children is not easy, especially here in the West as you can see.
You see, a child that would listen would listen and learn but one that would not listen would not irrespective of how discipline or how you bring them up.  That's why some parents here, have accessed every avenue and concludes that sending their children home until they are due for University education would be better than loosing them to the Social Services system here - To me that, seems too harsh but I don't blame them and also, it depends if one has relatives you can trust to look after them back home e.g your mother/father etc. It's not only black community that is affected - Asians are suffering too. It hasn't been long since a Philipine family with 3 children fell victim of the state's intervention over their 13 year old first daughter who was taken into care beacuse, they were instilling discipline based on their own values and the state did not approve of that style of disciline. Both neighbours (mainly whites)and school reported them to the authorities and that was it. Social services got in and the child was taken into care.

To that I say, keep doing what you're doing (but balance it) because you're doing the right thing. Don't give a care about what the world is saying about you, a confident woman don't give a toss.  It's even good your husband is on your side and it goes to say that the children are in line as a result otherwise, it would have been difficult in your situation with the inlaws and please, do take them home regularly to their root.   Good luck with raising them, you are now alone !
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by TOYOSI20(f): 4:55am On Feb 09, 2009
Theblessed:

Hi my sister Ndipe


I think the Op is a "he" not a 'she'. . . undecided
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by davidif(m): 9:36am On Feb 09, 2009
Theblessed
Wow, what an amazing story you have. You are a very very strong woman. I don't think i would have been able to hold out like you did and that's why i have a lot of respect for you. God bless you.
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by birdman(m): 10:29am On Feb 09, 2009
I dont have any kids, but I observed that people who tend to mingle with others in Nigerian churches have an easier time raising their kids with a strong cultural background. It seems to insulate them from the more negative influences, and keep their head right", in my opinion.
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by JJYOU: 10:45am On Feb 09, 2009
birdman:

I dont have any kids, but I observed that people who tend to mingle with others in Nigerian churches have an easier time raising their kids with a strong cultural background. It seems to insulate them from the more negative influences, and keep their head right", in my opinion.
my observation is different from this. if what you said is true why do they send many of these kids back home for schooling? why do many of this kids become tenage mum and dad? it is too early so we wont talk the abortions. i know many people who will not teach sunday school because of the rudeness of the so called made in england kids.
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by birdman(m): 10:54am On Feb 09, 2009
JJYOU:

my observation is different from this. if what you said is true why do they send many of these kids back home for schooling? why do many of this kids become tenage mum and dad? it is too early so we wont talk the abortions. i know many people who will not teach sunday school because of the rudeness of the so called made in england kids.

I dont know about England. My experiences are based on the few states I've been in the US. The dynamics in England may be different. Obviously, not all are model kids, but the vast majority are level headed and are not ashamed to declare their Nigerian background.
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by JJYOU: 11:58am On Feb 09, 2009
it is notthe kids that failed it is mostly their parents and their quest for money and all things good.
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by tpia: 3:35pm On Feb 09, 2009
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Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by tpia: 3:38pm On Feb 09, 2009
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Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by michelin89(f): 3:52pm On Feb 09, 2009
Also see

Raising Your Children The Nigerian Way When Married To A Foreigner
http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-10762.0.html

It Takes A Village To Raise A Child
http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-137543.0.html

Would You Rather Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child
http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-207383.0.html

In Family section
Children Raised In Nigeria Are Better?
http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-188339.0.html

Parents: Is It Time To Spare The Rod?
http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-22794.0.html
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by Nobody: 9:47am On Feb 10, 2009
speaks and can even write some yoruba and igbo language.
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by prittigrrr(f): 1:08pm On Feb 11, 2009
I am an American woman and think that if possible, the children should return home often. In my family, our history is passed down @ family reunions as far back as we know. Also, the family made a video tat tracked our family's migration thru the south as sharecroppers. It instilled great pride in me as a child for our history and my forebearers.
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by binahmad(m): 1:18pm On Feb 11, 2009
You really tried there.

Keep the spirit up and shining, ya hear?

undecided undecided undecided
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by iwe oru: 11:36pm On Dec 24, 2012
I know this is an old subject post but I want to respond to it anyway because my African heritage is very important to me. My siblings and I are half Nigerian (Yoruba) and half Ghanaian (Ashanti) but we were born in North America. Regardless of the location of our birth my parents raised us to have pride in being African. We ate traditional meals and also have our cultural clothing given to us by our relatives. Some people may be ashamed of their heritage but I am proud. Africans are resilient, entrepreneurial spirits and while we may have our shortcomings (as every human on the planet does) we need to collectively acknowledge our greatness and our strength while improving on our weaknesses. Only then will our children and our children's children continue to have pride in who we are as a diverse continent.

Ndipe: For women, married to foreign spouses, it isn't a big deal, but for men, it is a conundrum, when your child, explicitly proclaims "I am an American". You may feel a sense of betrayal, because of our paternalistic culture that automatically confers the father's heritage on the child, to be passed on to the future generation. While some parents have attempted to instill in their kids, the essence of our culture, by reminding them of their Nigerian roots, by taking them to ethnic meetings, conversing with them in their local dialects, and introducing them into our ethnic dishes, all these are not the sole determining factors in influencing a child's world's views on their heritage.

I was confounded when my cousin told me that she is an American. Her parents are from Nigeria, but the girl has made a resolute effort to distance herself from her Nigerian heritage, almost to the point of a disavowal. No big deal, she is a woman, so when signs the dotted lines, her marital life, would take precedence in her life. But for the boys who would later on become adult males, what is their stance? A generation lost from their father land, because of America? The sweat of their ancestors in establishing roots in a certain village, long erased in their memory. The ancestral home in the village, overtaken by pests, the oral history of the village, long forgotten by future generations. And you wonder, what can be done to inculculate our culture in our future generation? Do we just fold our hands and give up, the gradual erosion of our heritage? Our presence (meaning this generation) in America, may perhaps be the last link between Nigerian culture and the Western world.
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by PAGAN 9JA(m): 11:39pm On Dec 24, 2012
give your children tribal marks and initiate them into a cult. then they will understand.
Re: How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad? by anonymous6(f): 3:54pm On Dec 26, 2012
PAGAN 9JA:
give your children tribal marks and initiate them into a cult. then they will understand.

That is unnecessary, my parents are Nigerian and born and raised me and my siblings in the Nigerian yoruba culture in America without tribal marks and we understand the language, foods and etc and have been to Nigeria many times. It is a 24/7 effort on the parents especially when the kids are young to raise your kids Nigerians once that effort is not there it becomes difficult

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