I laugh as I watch this video of our Nigerian Parents but deep down I am scared that some of us will use this parenting style to raise our kids.
A lot of Nigerians children including myself were raised with an authoritarian parenting style.
I learned in college that there are four types of parenting styles:
1. Authoritative: Here the parent set rules and boundaries. The parent is responsive and nurturing and the parent is less likely to control their kids by induction of shame, guilt or withdrawal of love (Source)
2. Authoritarian: Parents are very strict with their kids (Most Nigerians can relate)
3. Permissive: Parents act as a friend towards their kids.
4. Uninvolved: Parents don’t care about the child.
I grew up with parents who used authoritarian parenting style and I have seen its damaging effects. It scares me that more Nigerians couples and future parents will use this parenting style without questioning it.
I am pleading with you present/future Nigerian parents to use a different parenting style because an authoritarian parenting style doesn’t help kids develop emotionally. Based on my observation of myself and siblings, I can say this parenting style has different effects on children. For me, I noticed that I became emotionally distant from the people I love. Agreed, this parenting style produces obedient children but at the cost of their emotional development.
This parenting style produces negative results because God created parents to be nurtures not dictators. You can discipline your kids without withdrawing love from them. A lot of Nigerians think that discipline is a form of love and I completely agree, but discipline is not the only form of love.
Providing for your kids financially caters to their physical needs not their emotional needs. Nigerians parents, your kids need to know and feel loved by you. I knew my parents loved me by their actions but they didn’t do much to make me feel loved. This is why I hate this parenting style because it focuses more on discipline and neglects the emotional needs of children.
You need to balance the discipline with love. You need to make sure that your children feel loved. Cater to their emotional needs because it is important. You need to hug, kiss your child, talk and play with your children regularly this will help them with their emotional needs. Once in a while sit down and have a communication with them without scolding.
Again, your children knowing you love them is not enough; you need to physically hug, kiss, talk and play with your children to help them develop emotionally. Be affectionate towards your children. Children are a gift from God, enjoy the journey.
Rule of thumb: As the discipline goes up, the love needs to go up as well.
In summary: Discipline your kids and still be affectionate because it is important for their emotional development.