Nigerian Parents And The Culture Of Dependency

By Vivian Dimgba

The African culture of financial dependency on their children is totally unacceptable and tend to recycle poverty. There are families who wouldn’t wait for their young daughters to sprout breast so they can give them out in marriage, collect huge bride prices-all as part of entitlement for giving birth to them. These families do not care if their daughters are beaten to death, or their husbands are (maybe) into rituals or fraud. So long as the money keeps flowing in, then everyone is happy.

We are not advocating divorces, however, there are women in horrible marriages that can’t leave, because their husbands are one way or another their family’s ATM. And of course the man knows this, and abuses his authority knowing the woman has nowhere to go, and anyone who can defend her. There are divorced couples who couldn’t work because the man was unable to cater to the whims of his wife’s relatives. We also know that majority of women in this part of the world see marriage as a sort of meal ticket to better their family’s lot. This is wrong.

The culture of dependence has to stop. If you’re happy carrying all your family’s and extended family’s problems…good for you! Some of us don’t like it, and I think it’s a terrible mindset we have somehow adopted as an unwrritten law. People are going through hell because of insatiable parents who never stop.

Women have been pushed into prostitution so they can support and cater to the whims of parents and selfish family members who are too lazy or too proud to try and earn a decent living.

If you’re a parent, its time to change the narrative. No matter how well or how great your children will like to support you, have a little pride. Have a little thing for yourself. Invest in your growth now. Dont be a burden to your children. Don’t make them your retirement plan. Whatever sacrifices you’ve made, you did so because it was the right thing to do. Not so they can repay you. When you say your kids are your investments, it doesn’t sit well. Because you inadvertently put a lot of expectations on them. You overburden them physically and morally. They get into crimes to meet up to your expectations.

We are not saying you shouldn’t help your parents in their old age. Not at all. The discourse is for the younger generation . It will be foolish to keep doing something that apparently doesn’t work. We have to start changing the narrative with ourselves. And the time to start, is now. How do we achieve these:

  • You Save for your future.
  • Invest in your growth.
  • Have a life outside your children.
  • Learn a sustainable skill.
  • Make smart business choices.
  • Have the number of kids you can easily support, even in the absence of a partner.

Be a parent your child can be proud of even in old age. So peradventure they give you, which of course will happen.. You’ll see it as a thing of pride and not as a a right or a permanent obligation.

Dimgba wrote in from Owerri


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