I have been meaning to put out this post for a while however I wasn’t sure how to discuss certain things or navigate this topic but I am ready as ever now.
If you didn’t know already, I am an African girl – Ghanaian to be exact actually and for me growing up in an African household has been interesting to say the least. I was born and raised in Ghana and lived there for about 11 years. During my time in Ghana, I lived with my grandmother who was very very lenient. I think it was partly due to the fact that we were in a familiar environment and knew everyone in our small community. Everyone was basically family so I was allowed to do whatever I wanted within reason and I had an amazing childhood there!
When I moved to the UK with my mum though, we were in an unfamiliar territory and in an unfriendly neighbourhood with people we didn’t know. This meant that my mum was a lot stricter and being the only child made it that much worse. I couldn’t do certain things I could do before in Ghana and even though I hated it at the time, I understood her reasons.
I think in an African household, parents usually have their reasons for setting certain rules and boundaries. I remember not being allowed to go to sleepovers and I absolutely hated it at the time but now that I am older, I am very thankful I wasn’t allowed because as we all know, we live in a very scary world.
I do think though that as you get older, you have to challenge these rules by simply breaking them. You honestly have to start living your life for you. The most they can do is be upset and complain about it, but over time they’ll get tired of doing so.
What I also came to terms with as I got older was that our parents come from a different era with a completely different set of upbringing so patience is required when dealing with them. This isn’t to say that it’s okay to tolerate disrespectful or abusive behaviour. Please I am not here for that AT ALL. I think I have accepted that sometimes our views on certain matters may clash however it’s important to correct them on views they may hold that you feel could be problematic or offensive! You’d actually be surprised that when done respectfully they actually take it in (well my mum does!)
One thing I can also add is that growing up in an African household builds character especially living in the west with parents who didn’t grow up here. African parents can really be a handful but you’ve got to love them. At the end of the day parents are also humans; they do not know it all and they make mistakes too. Although I am not a parent yet, parenting seems like a whole different ball game and seems like a journey in which you learn as you go! So I’ve definitely started cutting my mum some slack if I am being honest.
Lastly is it just me or do you feel like as you have gotten older your parents have become a lot more understanding and shock you (in good ways) with certain things they now say or tolerate?!
I would honestly like to keep this conversation going! What are you guys’ thoughts and are there anything you’d like to add? What were your experiences like growing up in an African household?
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