Parenting styles differ due to a lot of influences. Past experience, education, religion, politics, and more influence the parenting styles that people adopt. All of these help parents adapt to ways they can control and socialize their children. I thought to ask my African sisters their thoughts on how class or money influences their parenting style.
Let me also share that this is the last post in Stories of Africa during the Afrobloggers WinterABC Festival. If you have not read any of this week’s posts, then do so.
Stories of Africa:
- WinterABC2022: Amazing Reactions I Had
- 5 Ways To Care For A Baby On A Budget
- How To Effectively Market Products To Moms
- I Pray My Son Never Falls Victim To Mind Games
- How Workplaces Can Create Conducive Environments for Moms
African Women Share their Thoughts on How Class Influences their Parenting Style
This woman wakes up before sunrise to fetch water, pick firewood, and make breakfast for her family. As she sets her children off to school and her husband to work, she remains to clean her yard, and her house and does laundry. Most of the time, she will probably do this with another child on her back. She has to do these chores before they return.
Another woman wakes up, turns the tap on, and checks if the water is hot from the geyser. She goes to the kitchen and checks if there is enough cereal and milk, or bread, jam, peanut butter, and margarine in the pantry. Then she boils the kettle and makes whatever breakfast she chooses. She has the choice to leave all this for the maid to do, but she chooses not to because she has the day off.
The children stream in for breakfast with the usual morning frenzy. She gives them hugs and kisses as they leave, and she smiles as she enjoys the silence of a cup of coffee.
Yes, this is an extreme representation of both worlds but also a true reflection of how money does make a huge difference.
There is a fundamental responsibility that parents have that transcends class. For starters, it is important to emphasize that children are also human beings and they have needs, they have an inert desire for love. The word ‘love’ to me is all-encompassing and I may describe it as follows:
- Care; requires the presence of a parent wherever possible, and the provision of basic needs. Presence cannot be replaced with materials or delegation.
- Protection; children are not fully developed, they need physical and mental (psychological) protection from harmful and negative influences.
- Guidance; since parents are more experienced, they are better placed to guide the child to say yes or no depending on the benefit to the child for their well-being.
Guidance and protection do not mean shielding the children from everything, but rather allowing them to be exposed to different experiences. That way they learn from them and also strengthen their adaptability in the world.
It is a child’s right to have both parents, so all parents irrespective of class are obliged to fulfill all these responsibilities to the best of their capacity. Putting their children first, that’s true love.
Parenting transcends class.
Onyinye Udeh (Tory Teller):
I have never been one to focus on a class or societal standards. When it comes to parenting my stand is rather unflinching. I try as much as possible to ensure my children get the best things they need. And if possible, I intentionally neglect the idea of class because this does not influence my decision as to how I raise my children.
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cont’ Does Class Influence Your Parenting Style?
How to parent my child was one of the things that made me nervous as the days of meeting her approached. What if I won’t be a good parent? How do I know that I’m parenting her just okay?
Despite the parenting style that I had in mind when she got here I realized it was not about the way I wanted to raise her. I found myself adapting to the parenting styles that society expects of me. In my first two months as a mom, I had no idea about a lot of things despite reading a thousand books. First-time moms will agree that the expectations before the baby arrive and what happens after are different.
I thought I had to learn from other women who have more experience than I do. I looked up to my mom, aunts, sisters, mommy friends, and all other women. My plan was to be a cool mom who gives birth and boom, back to living the enjoyment life. That is not the societal expectation of good parenting.
Moms are expected to put their lifestyles aside and focus on their babies for some time. You are advised to live for your baby. It is worse for new moms because the amount of advice that streams in about parenting can be overwhelming which leaves one confused. Unfortunately, you cannot use “ignorance is bliss” because of the fear of being blamed.
Now, I have realized that observing my baby and knowing what works for her really helps me to parent the proper way. It allows me to be flexible and choose from societal expectations, however, it does not mean that I still have the freedom to do as I please.
issue of money
Money cannot be excused, but it is not everything. A child is a being with a lot of needs that increase as they grow. The availability of money makes it easier for parents to provide. How I provide depends on how much I have. But I know my baby would be spoiled if I had a lot of income. I also acknowledge that having little could have created obstacles in raising her, so money is important in parenting.
Looking around at the less privileged, I have questions as to how they raise their babies with little to no money. It made me realize that all we need is God’s grace is an important factor in parenting. Children in such homes lack resources and privileges, but God protects and raises them.
I believe it does. In any upbringing, just as how religion can influence our characteristics, similar “laws” apply to daily upbringing. If I fall into the middle class, it’s impossible to bring a child up in an environment other than but what I’m able to provide. How well I strive to do reflects on the child.
Yes! As a new parent having economic hardships tend to be more frustrating, and depressing, and these emotional characteristics can affect my parenting skills.
Share your thoughts in the comment section below.