By Nkem Ndem On the first day of November every…
African parents are gifts that keep up on giving – they are loving, there are tough, they are inspiring and can sometimes drive you crazy (then again, all parents, regardless of race or ethnicity, are all guilty of this), but we can’t deny that they are the absolute best. Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, shares 4 interesting things African parents do.
Calling their Children From far Away to Hand Them Things Less than a Meter Away
Okay that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s not uncommon for African parents to ask their children to do things they can easily do themselves, or send their children on errands they can easily go on themselves. They argue that the point of this is to teach their children duty and responsibility, and considering how resourceful African children eventually become, African parents just might be onto something.
Prohibiting Children from Calling Elders by their First Names
In African homes, it is considered disrespectful for children to call an elder by their first name, and African parents are zealous in ensuring such disrespect does not occur in their homes. It is more appropriate for children to address elders as ‘uncle’ or ‘aunty’ (though the children might have no familial ties or relation with the person). In less Afrocentric homes, the children are allowed to address elders with ‘mr’, ‘miss’, ‘mrs’, ‘sir’, ‘ma’ or ‘madam’ in addition to their actual names, but never with just their names.
Speaking to their Children in Proverbs and Metaphors
This is done often by African parents when they are upset or dissatisfied with the actions of their child/children. African parents use the proverbs and/or metaphors to better drive home their point to their children, and ring a note of warning and/or caution. If an African parent speaks to their child/children with a proverb and/or metaphor, they mean business and it’s definitely not something to be taken lightly.
They Seldom Admit they are Wrong
For some reason, African parents seldom admit they are wrong. They might acknowledge they have erred through their actions, but they will hardly ever verbalize it or apologize for it. It is difficult to understand, but some argue that it might have something to do with the fact that they believe that admitting their faults and verbally apologizing to their children will put the respect the children have for them at risk, and humanize them to the point of possibly losing the respect of their children.