Indeed, it is very nerve wracking to know that unhealthy boundaries still exist between the youth and the elderly. In fact, there is really not a very healthy relationship established even between the parent and the child in the child’s youthful age. This can be observed mostly in the relationship between Nigerian parents and their kids and somewhat the youths and elders of Nigeria itself.
Taking a look at the current Nigerian style of parenting in comparison with the previous Nigerian parenting style, we can certainly see that this has evolved for better in many ways. However, majority of the Nigerian parenting population, particularly the mums, are still stuck in training their children a certain way, which can be linked to the past.
A number of Nigerian mums are still keen on raising their children the same way they were raised, with methods including: punishments (maybe not physical), verbal insults, public disgrace, and more. Over the years, these methods of raising children, especially in their teenage years are seen as frustrating to the children themselves and hence the gap in the youth and elderly relationship.
On the part of the children, (especially teenagers whose form of parental training is expressed through these methods), in their everyday lives with their parents, they tend to create the barrier between themselves and their parents as children, most especially teenagers and young adults want nothing more than to be understood and listened to by their parents in a comfortable manner.
Teenagers also see this method of training as ‘old’ and strongly support that they are different from their parents hence the same training should not be applied both ways.
As a result, a lot of average Nigerian parents deprive their children of being understood and young people are pushed more towards their peers, than with family, as they are much better understood by each other. The youths function as a safe group for each other against the elderly.
Meanwhile, on the other half of the ladder, Nigerian parents simply see methods of training such as; punishments, verbal insults, disgrace etc. as though yes, harsh but strictly the right traditional way of bringing up the Nigerian child.
They see that though the child may not understand at the stage of training, in the near future, they would be able to realize and visualize that it was all only for a good cause. Nigerian parents see this to be all out of love for their children.
Generally, the relationship between the average youth and elders in Nigeria is simply just another daily struggle. Yes! The relationship is deeply struggling.
In 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari claimed that “the youth are lazy and useless!” whilst speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum in the U.K. This upset a lot of young people, further emphasising the problem between the youth and elders.
Factually, all these seem to stem from poor communication and lack of understanding across both borders.
SO, DO YOU SEE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE YOUTH AND ELDERS OF NIGERIA TO BE A PROBLEM, IF YOU DO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM?
By Fadekemi Ademola
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