Author and cultural icon Chimamanda Adichie has advised patents against shouting at their kids. According to her, the act
is often counterproductive.
Thinking about communication as a value of the Igbo people, I thought about a young woman I know in Lagos.
She is twenty-five years old and she’s from Anambra state and she said to me that she did not want to come back to her home town for Christmas.
When I asked why? She said she is under so much pressure from her parents to get married and she said they don’t just want me to marry; they want me to marry a rich man.
Recently as two years ago, she said, if she mentioned a boy’s name to her parents they will shout at her because she wasn’t supposed to have a boyfriend.
And of course one wonders how she’s supposed to meet the man that will be her husband today. Most of all, what touched me while talking to her was when she said; I cannot talk to my parents.
MESSAGE TO PARENTS
So I want to ask parents here today, particularly parents of teenagers. Please keep communication open between you and your children.
Many parents today teach their children how to fear them but not to respect them. Fear is not respect, you can beat fear into a child but respect is what a parent earns.
Don’t shut your children up, listen to them. Give them advice without shouting. Actually, if you don’t shout they are likely to hear you better and as you give advice, remember the fallings of your own youth, nobody is perfect.