Tolu’s Thoughts on African Parenting Culture!!!

I really do not know how to put down this thought but it’s just one of those crazy stuffs running through my mind about parenting.

Some things our parents ignored while raising us have actually become our identity. For instance, I had a friend – who while growing up was an introvert, never talked or played with other kids. He was always sitting alone. It was so bad that I used to think he had mental issues but after 10 years, I ran into him again and guess what, he had metamorphosed. He is now very social, outgoing and playful.

What changed?

As a child, he grew up in a fenced house. He was not allowed to go out and no one was allowed to visit him until he went to a boarding school where he broke out of his shell.

I just can’t imagine how he would have thought all his life that he was supposed to be a quiet person and much more, I can’t imagine how many people still remain confined to beliefs about themselves based on identity via wrong parenting.

It was just recently I learnt how to look people in their eyes and talk to them, I had to learn because it killed my confidence in the eyes of the other person listening to me. It actually took me a long time to know that looking down while talking to people wasn’t being shy nor being respectful as a typical Yoruba person would think. It was a combination of low self-esteem and false humility.

I know a lot of people who were sexually violated at their tender age and they couldn’t say a word, not because they didn’t have parents but because their parents gave the impression that adults can never be wrong. They continued enduring the abuse because of the sick ideology passed down to them which in turn, killed their confidence. Even till now, some cannot even talk to an elderly person without shivering with fear.

When other people come reporting your child to you, how do you react? Do you punish the child without asking his own side of the story? Do you enjoy being tagged as the great disciplinarian, without putting your child’s self-esteem into consideration?

Maybe that child is not shy after all… maybe she is battling with low self-worth…maybe he is not supposed to be all moody and angry… maybe you have locked up his ability to express his emotions.

I think we need to look back at some of our parenting cultures in Africa and review them again.

Let’s raise Confident and Bold children!!!


Penned down by Adekuoroye Tolu

Photo Credits: ToluAde Photography

* Yoruba is a tribe of people located mainly in the Western  part of Nigera

About the Authortolu-ade-2

Tolu is a professional Nigerian photographer based in Oyo State Nigeria. You can contact her on Facebook – Adekuoroye Tolu or on Instagram –

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