How are we (parents from Africa) doing?
I am not sure how many of you have heard about it, but a school district in Missouri state in the US are returning spanking as a means of disciplining children! A Missouri school district reinstated spanking if parents give their OK. 1 I don’t know how parents from the Africa continent who came to the US/EU after growing up in Africa, reacted to this news. Some may have supported it. Some may be confused about what to support and what not to support. My friend said “what is wrong with spanking? I have been spanked several times by my parents and my teachers…and look I am good” Well, the problem with such statements is “what does good mean?”
Whatever the case, many African parents who are bringing up their children in the western world, must adapt to the new reality. To the reality that the parents are solely responsible for the kids… no collective responsibility or may be very limited. You can’t touch your kids, or else they will call 911. How many of you have wished you were back home, so that you can beat the shit out of your children? How many of you have been confused about how to bring up your kids while staying sane? How do you support kids to get ready for the adulthood for a modern and complex world? How do you make sure that they are growing up getting all he skills they need to navigate through life in the modern world?
The issue of language and exposing the kids to the culture of their parents. I once bought a bunch of Habesha clothes, and my two daughters outgrew them without wearing them even for once! The appeal of the music that you grew up listening to is nowhere near to the music they listen to. Not to mention the struggle to help the kids speak the language parents speak.
Do you struggle to connect your kids with grandparents back home in Africa? Do they stop the conversation after a few words? Do you have to tell them what to say at the background because they are staring at the person who they are on video call with?
There are many…. many… more challenges, encounters and experiences that are worth sharing. I am very interested in having such conversations. I would like to invite you to share with me your experiences so I can list agenda items for discussion. I will be trying to identify experts who can help us help ourselves to maintain our sanity and bring up the kids.