Nigerian parents abroad have perfected the art of negative reinforcement to make their kids excel.
Nigerian parents are hard on their kids. This is a fact.
You are expected to be on the straight and narrow from an early age, excel in your studies and choose an honourable profession. Anything less than these and you will most likely receive a verbal thrashing or beating from your folks.
Nigerian parents don't play around. They use the tools of negative reinforcement and shame to put their children in line. Corporal punishment also comes in handy.
You might think that Nigerian parents abroad (especially in the UK and America) are different from the folks over here. You are wrong. They have the same mentality and in some cases are even harder on their kids.
Raising up children in a foreign country is tough. You are most likely working double jobs to put food on the table. Nigerian parents in America decided to become immigrants so that their kids can have a better shot at life. The stakes are high for them and they go hard on their kids because of this.
Nigerian-American singer Jidenna has always spoken about his father and how he was extra hard on him to excel in his studies.
"I remember coming to America, in the US you get the highest score on the test and your teacher says "bring it home to your parents. show your parents." So I brought it home to my father like "dad I got a 98 on my math exam", and he said "ah ah 98? Where are the other two points? Go there and bring them back, then I will celebrate with you" said the singer on Breakfast Club in 2015.
Managing Editor of The Bleacher Report, Kazeem Famuyide is a Nigerian who formerly worked at THE SOURCE. Famuyide spoke about his Nigerian upbringing even though he was raised in Nigeria during an episode of the Brilliant Idiots podcast.
"My mum was the queen of negative reinforcement but I knew where it was coming from because I had an older brother and that's the best thing about being the baby of the family. The older brother gets all the hard sh*t first" said Kazeem Famuyide about his experience.
"Negative reinforcement works. I am gonna whip my kid's ass because I got my ass whipped" he further said.
He also said that Nigerians in America excel a lot because of the shame they got as kids. "Shame, we shame our kids. We go super hard with that. They threaten you with sending you back to Nigeria. I swear to God. Anytime I ever acted up, my mum would hit me up with the 'ah ah we will send you back to Nigeria.' It's facts. My mum would say 'I did not come all the way here for you to get C- on your tests. You come here with a less than 80 average we are sending you back to Nigeria.'"
Kazeem Famuyide said this threat scared him straight especially when he found out that some of his bad cousins were actually sent back to Naija.
This method raising kids obviously works. The kids of Nigerian parents are known to do well overseas. There are a lot of Nigerians who studied Medicine in America. An unverified claim suggests that 77% of black doctors in America are Nigerians. Remember, being a doctor is one of the noble professions according to older Nigerians.
The Nigerian spirit has followed many Nigerians who decided to leave the country for greener pastures. Even in America, these parents raise their kids as if they are in Nigeria.
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