It’s such a terrible pity that some religious African parents have been blindfolded with spirituality and pro religiosity, that’s fighting against their knowledge and quest to becoming ‘actual’ parents first and foremost.
Parenting as we’ve heard the term and know little or more about, is quite one of the most technical jobs one can ever sign up for. it doesn’t take just age, status, race, tribe, name or family wealth to take on this scientific and very practical role.
With the typical religious African parents, the struggle to accept modernity and transformation as part of the realism of the current world is a headache for them.
Their lens of deciphering and accepting things are spiritually and culturally influenced on a higher pedestal. There’s an invincible and negligible but very defensive ego that’s hauling their consciences away from what really parenting is.
Thus allowing strictly what has been taught religiously and traditionally to overrule the normalities and practicality of real parenting.
You’ll agree with me that the typical traditional-religious African parent doesn’t understand and is not ready to agree with some very factual issues such as; mental health, career, lifestyle, social choices, culture dynamism, sex, gender inequality, demeaning genetic traits, confidence, ego and many other personal and sometimes general life choices that young people tend to make or find themselves in or with.
Now there’s a strong but constantly rebuffing conflict between the older and younger generation which in no way should be considered as mere or an African norm and therefore be swept under the carpet.
The lack of communication relationships and firmer bonds between parents and children in such homes have caused very great distress and emotional discomfort thus, affecting the internal growth and psycho development of millennials in these current times. Very unfortunately, young people now confide in friends and other peers more than they do in their parents and families at large.
There’s a great disinterest in opening up to parents and really almost every older generation in such religiously traditional families because there’s not a fair and amicable established bond between the two groups.
Factually, some young people as a result of the emotional neglect that they have experienced from their families, have been welcomed to doors of depression, anxiety, confusion, substance abuse, loneliness and even suicide in some cases.
About some months ago, a very bright young and able medical student of my alma mater took his life and very interestingly was a child of my church’s pastor at a different branch.
After his death, a screenshot of an interaction he had with his friend circulated for quite a while. In the message, he was communicating to his friend how he’s been struggling with a dreadful thought about death which he was finding very troubling.
Unfortunately, his friend didn’t understand properly what kind of frustration he was communicating with.
He bantered it off and later found out that his friend hanged himself in their garage. Like many traditional-African parents, the first question my mum asked when I informed her about this was that “how can the devil find its way to a pastors house and cause his son to take his life” haha interesting right? yes! that is the kind of religiously blindfolded parenting I’m talking about.
This and many more similar events have happened as a result of some parents’ failure to really know and understand their children. You’d as well find some other young people in wrong marriages, jobs, relationships, environments, schools, religions and some very uncomfortable situations because it is against their will and they are only adhering because it’s exactly what their parents will be pleased with.
As a deeply concerned millennial, I find it very cankerous and destructive to the good growth of a well-equipped generation full of unimaginable potentials.
It is right about the time that religious leaders and doctrine teachers get very practical and more realistic with their groups of followers and congregations at large since they seem to have the most impactful influence on our parents, and I’m certain there’s a high possibility that the good Lord is disappointed in how some adults have forgotten what it means to be parents and therefore causing them to strictly stay glued to their spiritual obsessions, which is causing their minds to be overly influenced by their beliefs and then shunning the practicalities involved in real parenting and how technical it really is to understand the younger generation.
I find this reason as one of the many causes of the speedy increase of depression among the younger generation because we need to be heard, understood and accepted. It will certainly be a joy to not feel like a stranger in your own home and with your own family. African parenting needs diversity and transformation.
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