15 signs your Nigerian parents are toxic.
Who are toxic parents?
I like to think of them as toxic people with children. There are different types of toxic parents. They range from narcissists to people with personality disorders and even alcoholics and addicts.
The Nigerian parenting and it’s woes
The general parenting system in Nigeria is 50 shades of toxic. These toxic system keeps breeding more toxic people and it’s almost like a chain reaction.
When you try to tell people that the Nigerian system of parenting is toxic, they tell you it’s part of the culture. They claim that the parents love the children and that’s why they parent them that way. The reality is that most toxic people claim they love their victims but act otherwise. If you love someone, you won’t hurt them emotionally.
The not so funny thing
Growing up, children to think everyone is raised the same way. They see toxic parenting as normal until they get comfortable sharing their childhood stories with others.Almost every Nigerian kid has that story of how they were mercilessly beaten by their Nigerian parents.
When you talk about your toxic upbringing among people who grew up with toxic parents, it’s almost like a joke, a competition for the most the most disciplined parents. It is not until you share your story with people who were not verbally abused or flogged and still turned out well that you will realize that you were actually suffering and it’s not funny.
Changing the narrative
It’s not okay for anyone to grow up in a toxic environment. Some Nigerians will even say they turned out well and would raise their children the same way. Truth is they didn’t turn out well.
Pushing the narrative that it’s okay to be a toxic parent will only make things worse in Nigeria. It would only create more toxic people, failed marriages and angry Nigerians.
The first step to changing that is recognizing the toxic signs.
Signs your Nigerian parents are toxic
1) They are disrespectful:
Your parents do not respect you as a person. They rather treat you however they deem fit because they see you as a property they own. They make it mandatory that you respect them even though they don’t do the same.
You deserve to be respected. You are not anyone’s property, you deserve to be treated like a human.
2)They are Self centered:
They ever only think about themselves. It’s always about how they feel, what they want and how they want it. Your parents mostly care about their ego and how people see them. They never let you talk about how their decisions affect you.
Your voice matters. If their decisions will affect you, let them know. Do not be silenced.
3) They are too controlling:
Your parents try to control every part of your life and they don’t know want to stop. They want to control what you wear,who you talk to, what your hair looks like and even who you marry.
You own your life and what you choose to do with it. You don’t need a dictator to tell you how to live. They might say they are trying to stop you from making mistakes, but it’s okay to make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from those mistakes. No mistakes, no lessons.
4)They are manipulative:
They twist the truth to make themselves right and leave you wrong in other to justify their actions.
Recognize their truth manipulation. Let them know that no amount of manipulation will change the truth.
5) They blame you for everything:
If things are not very Rosy for them, they blame your existence for it. They blame you for every thing that goes wrong with them and guilt trip you. They may even blame you for your siblings mistakes and force you to take the blame.
If it’s not your fault, don’t feel guilty for it. Let them say whatever it is they want but do not let them punish you for what is not your fault. Voice out and stand strong. Whatever points they are in life are as a result of their own choices Most parents fear direct opposition.
6) They cricticize you:
They never praise anything good you do but always have something negative to say about it. They criticize the way you do everything and leave your self esteem broken.
There is a difference between positive criticism aimed at making you a better person and negative criticism which is usually aimed at making you feel less and not good enough.
7) They make silly comparisons:
They compare you with your siblings or neighbors. Sometimes they compare you to themselves. It could be your grades, sports or successes.”Why don’t you be more like our neighbor’s daughter?”
Let them know that you are your own person. You should not be compared with anyone. Yes you might have flaws but it shouldn’t be a source of ridicule. You should rather focus on working on your flaws and becoming a better version of you. Don’t try to be like others, be the better version of yourself.
8) They abuse you verbally:
They call you names and even curse you. “Ode, stupid boy, fool..” They sometimes even call you terrible names in front of visitors.
Those names have a huge impact on you and your personality. You might want to reflect back on days when they said hurtful words to you and how it made you feel. That they are your parents doesn’t give them the right to hurt you. Let them know that they hurt you when they hurl insults at you.
You do not need to scream it. Say it has calmly as possible. You are human and you get hurt when people spill hurtful words at you.
9) They abuse you physically:
They flog you for things that words can stop. This physical abuse comes in different forms. They make it a habit to inflict suffering or pain on you to teach you lessons.
All it takes is standing up to them. You are not an animal that should be flogged or tamed to be subdued. You are human. You are to be taught in love.
10) They embarrass you:
They ridicule you in public and tag it has teaching you a lesson. A woman once made her son kneel stark naked in public to teach him a lesson. The effects of that punishment could be bullying, resentment of parents or low self-esteem.
You are your own person and you do not deserve to be embarrassed under any circumstances.
11) They threaten you:
If you refuse to do what they want, they threaten to cut ties with you especially if you are financially dependent on them.
Try your best to liberate yourself financially. Unless you do that, they will continue to oppress you into doing what they want.
12) They share your private information with their friends:
They are always quick to share whatever things you do, weather good or bad woth everyone. They have no regard for things which you would rather not share.
Set boundaries and let them know that you do not want to be a topic of discussion.
13)They give you silent treatment:
When you confront them or refuse to listen to whatever it is they have to say, they deliberately ignore and distance themselves from you.
Understand the need to be free. It doesn’t matter if they shower you with attention or not. If they love you, they will help you improve on your decision making skills. They won’t force you to follow their own choice.
14) They transfer aggression:
They can’t control their emotions. They bring whatever negative energy they received during the day back home and direct it at you.
You are not a dumping ground for emotions, refuse to be treated as one.
15) They never apologize:
No matter how wrong they are, they never apologize. They will rather shift the blame and try to make you feel guilty.
If they are wrong, demand an apology. It might sound scary but it isn’t. If they hurt you with their actions, they should apologize.
For many Nigerian students these upbringing is their reality. It’s important to stand up against it or it will never stop. For me I tried my best to bring myself out and let my parents know when they do things that don’t seat well with me.
Understand that it is not disrespectful to ask to be treated like a human with choices. I will suggest that you try stating your mind with calmly when the parent involved is not in any sort of bad mood. State your mind and set out the boundaries. Here’s an article I wrote on dealing with toxic people.
Until you make an effort to liberate yourself from toxic people, they will continue to act as your Lord.
Let me know if you found this article helpful. Leave your comment and don’t forget.