I just completed a survey about parenting styles in Nigeria and I discovered some shocking facts. While I was about to start the survey, I had the idea that Nigerian parents were had very poor parenting styles as regarding how it affects their children’s self-esteem.
It has been discovered that children who had parents who are authoritarian (bossy and domineering) are more likely to have low self-esteem while children with parents who are democratic (allowing their children make their own decisions) and authoritative (guiding their children in making decisions) are more likely to have high self-esteem.
I expected most parents to be authoritarian just like my own parents but the results I got from the feild were the direct opposite of what I thought. Yes, you heard me. Nigerian parents are not bossy or authoritarian. The most practised parenting style in Nigeria as at 2022 is democratic parenting style, where children are allowed to make their own decisions and the least practised parenting style in Nigeria as at 2022 is authoritarian or bossy parenting style.
Since this is true it means the next generation of children are going to have less people with low self-esteem caused by parents. Of course, there are other causes of low self-esteem asides parents and their parenting styles.
In my survey, I featured 200 children: 169 of them were below 18 and 31 above 18; 106 were females and 94 males. They were randomly picked from both public and private schools in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State.
20 Stats and Facts About Nigerian Parents and Parenting Styles In 2022.
1. 24.5% of Nigerian children say their parents dictate to them what they should become in life.
2. 96.5% of Nigerian children said their parents chose the subjects they should offer in school
3. 71.5% of Nigerian children said their parents decide the kind of friends they should keep
4. 39.5% of Nigerian children said their parents do not allow them to express themselves freely.
5. 26.5% of Nigerian children find it difficult to ask their parents for what they need
6. 29.5% of Nigerian children are afraid of their parents
7. 22.5% of Nigerian children said their parents treated other siblings better than they treated them.
8. 16.5% of Nigerian parents do not provide for the needs of their children
9. 44.5% of Nigerian parents scold their children when they do not meet the parent’s expectations
10. 27.5% of Nigerian children said their parents do not find time to help them when they are in difficult situations
11. 26.5% of Nigerian children said their parents do not congratulate them when they pass their exams
12. 47.5% of Nigerian children admit that their parents compare them with other friends and classmates
13. 15.5% of Nigerian parents never consider the ideas or suggestions of their children
14. 16.0% of Nigerian children said their parents beat and insult them in front of others. (This is surprisingly lower than I expected based on what I see around)
15. Also, 17.0% of Nigerian children said their parents do not give them enough affection. (It is either children are becoming more understanding or parents are becoming more affectionate)
16. 26.5% of Nigerian parents blame their children even for minor issues that do not go on well
17. In 2022, only 4% of Nigerian children said that their parent have never asked about their plans and goals for the future. (Owing to the economic situations in Nigeria, I think that number will only continue to decrease as parents want to know if their investment in their children’s education is looking like a worthy/profitable one).
18. 27.5% of Nigerian children said their parents do not spend enough time with them.
19. 25.5% of Nigerian parents never ask their children what they like or what they are interested in.
20. 81.5% of Nigerian children said their parents guide them in character formation.
On an overall scale, these numbers aren’t too discouraging considering that a higher percentage of Nigerian children actually admit that their parents are performing their roles. But when you pick those small percentages and examine them in view of the population of the nation, the numbers can become scary.
For example, 53.9% of Nigeria’s population are under the age of 19. And Nigeria’s population is about 213 million. Meaning about 114 million Nigerians are under 19.
If 29.5% of Nigerian children are afraid of their parents, it means over 33 million Nigerian children are afraid of their parents. Now, you see how bad that is. And this is only a number gotten from children who have access to secondary school education. The numbers might become worse when uneducated parents and children are brought into the picture.
But on the other hand, we shouldn’t neglect that over 80 million (70.5%) Nigerian children are not afraid of their parents. So while we work towards better parenting, we should encourage and reinforce those who are doing well already.
Olusegun Iyejare is a career coach and certified counselor. He helps individuals discover and maximize their potential to live satisfying lives regardless of obvious limitations holding them back.