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How Do You Raise Your Kids As Nigerians When Residing Abroad?

For women, married to foreign spouses, it isn't a big deal, but for men, it is a conundrum, when your child, explicitly proclaims "I am an American". You may feel a sense of betrayal, because of our paternalistic culture that automatically confers the father's heritage on the child, to be passed on to the future generation. While some parents have attempted to instill in their kids, the essence of our culture, by reminding them of their Nigerian roots, by taking them to ethnic meetings, conversing with them in their local dialects, and introducing them into our ethnic dishes, all these are not the sole determining factors in influencing a child's world's views on their heritage.

I was confounded when my cousin told me that she is an American. Her parents are from Nigeria, but the girl has made a resolute effort to distance herself from her Nigerian heritage, almost to the point of a disavowal. No big deal, she is a woman, so when signs the dotted lines, her marital life, would take precedence in her life. But for the boys who would later on become adult males, what is their stance? A generation lost from their father land, because of America? The sweat of their ancestors in establishing roots in a certain village, long erased in their memory. The ancestral home in the village, overtaken by pests, the oral history of the village, long forgotten by future generations. And you wonder, what can be done to inculculate our culture in our future generation? Do we just fold our hands and give up, the gradual erosion of our heritage? Our presence (meaning this generation) in America, may perhaps be the last link between Nigerian culture and the Western world.

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15 answers

That is unnecessary, my parents are Nigerian and born and raised me and my siblings in the Nigerian yoruba culture in America without tribal marks and we understand the language, foods and etc and have been to Nigeria many times. It is a 24/7 effort on the parents especially when the kids are young to raise your kids Nigerians once that effort is not there it becomes difficult

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give your children tribal marks and initiate them into a cult. then they will understand.

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I know this is an old subject post but I want to respond to it anyway because my African heritage is very important to me. My siblings and I are half Nigerian (Yoruba) and half Ghanaian (Ashanti) but we were born in North America. Regardless of the location of our birth my parents raised us to have pride in being African. We ate traditional meals and also have our cultural clothing given to us by our relatives. Some people may be ashamed of their heritage but I am proud. Africans are resilient, entrepreneurial spirits and while we may have our shortcomings (as every human on the planet does) we need to collectively acknowledge our greatness and our strength while improving on our weaknesses. Only then will our children and our children's children continue to have pride in who we are as a diverse continent.

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I am an American woman and think that if possible, the children should return home often. In my family, our history is passed down @ family reunions as far back as we know. Also, the family made a video tat tracked our family's migration thru the south as sharecroppers. It instilled great pride in me as a child for our history and my forebearers.

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speaks and can even write some yoruba and igbo language.

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Also see

Raising Your Children The Nigerian Way When Married To A Foreigner

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-10762.0.html

It Takes A Village To Raise A Child

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-137543.0.html

Would You Rather Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-207383.0.html

In Family section

Children Raised In Nigeria Are Better?

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-188339.0.html

Parents: Is It Time To Spare The Rod?

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-22794.0.html

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it is notthe kids that failed it is mostly their parents and their quest for money and all things good.

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I dont know about England. My experiences are based on the few states I've been in the US. The dynamics in England may be different. Obviously, not all are model kids, but the vast majority are level headed and are not ashamed to declare their Nigerian background.

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I dont have any kids, but I observed that people who tend to mingle with others in Nigerian churches have an easier time raising their kids with a strong cultural background. It seems to insulate them from the more negative influences, and keep their head right", in my opinion.

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I'll suggest the parents take the child home at list once a year for vacation, this would give the child fond memories of his country and he can get to know family members in Nigeria.

I have an aunt in the U.k with two kids, one 6 and the other 11, she brought them home to Nigeria for the first time two years back, that was during the christmas period. Though they were very british in every sense, but the new surroundings, meeting their cousins and visiting places gave them fond memories of home. They are always telling their mum to bring them to Nigeria for the holidays. Isolating the children abroad makes them feel like there's nothing in Nigeria to relate to.

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Quite similar, but it is different. My topic has to do with instilling your heritage in your kids, while living abroad, because that is a challenge. Kids born and raised here, usually care less about their heritage. If I can recall, the discourse that you have posted had to do with a dilemma posed by a Nigerian on how she could raise her kids (discipline or no discipline) while married to a foreigner.

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We've discussed something very similar in the past:

Raising Your Children The Nigerian Way When Married To A Foreigner

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Their minds are molded by the things they read and hear. If they keep hearing negative things about the place, they are not likely to want to associate with it.

If you dont talk to them about the place, they will not understand and associate with that part of their lives. Some people expect that their children will just automatically understand and love their origins.

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Theblessed

Wow, what an amazing story you have. You are a very very strong woman. I don't think i would have been able to hold out like you did and that's why i have a lot of respect for you. God bless you.

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how? u better dont smack the crap ou t of them, they will surely 911 ur asx, its crazy here, na for america 8 year old pickin dey talk say him mama craze, che! i trust naija, na that day that pickin go know sauy kaki no be ledal

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