Family planning, the Nigerian parent and the Nigerian youth


What happens when you don't plan well for your kids

The blogpost you’re about to read can be summarized into the following sentences: well-to-do families beget successful children, while underprivileged families beget unsuccessful children. The underprivileged children that are lucky enough to make it good are few while children from well-to-do backgrounds have all it takes to make it big hence keeping the status quo. In addition if a couple is struggling with life but want a better future for their offspring their best bet is to birth only the number they can adequately take care of. Read on though to get the full picture.

Family Planning as used in this post does not just mean making the decision to have children but also making in-depth arrangements on how you intend to raise them.

Drawing from what Al Pacino said in The Godfather Part III (Don Michael Corleone addressing a letter to his children): “the only wealth in this world is children; more than all the money, power on earth, you are my treasure”, what truly matters or gives happiness in life is enjoying the children you raised. If you choose not to have them like Jeremy Weate of naijablog it’s ok but if you choose to the least you can do is to be a good parent and raise them well.

If you know financially and emotionally you can only properly take care of 1, 2 or 3 children then by all means stick to that. Don’t birth a battalion of kids and then end up: sending them out to live with relatives, always complaining that there’s no money when requests are made, loosing sleep over how to pay their school fees, abandoning them after their tertiary education but expecting them to perform miracles and bring you the goods (parent of a doctor, lawyer, senator etc).

Why I’m hammering on this is because ideally it’s the right thing to do. You do it for your children and they in turn will do it for theirs. There you go: a pleasant cycle of happiness (as against the vicious cycle of poverty we see too much in Nigeria). Just the same way you plan to marry right in order to avoid having sickler kids or ugly children which could make you look bad is the same way you should plan to raise children who can achieve greatness in order to be adequately taking care of in your old age.

In the western world you hear about parents starting very early to save for their kids’ college/university education fund but in Nigeria too much of the time it’s the hand to mouth or live-one-day-at-a-time existence, condemning children to a hard frustrating life. The result is there for all to see: 22-26 year old Nigerian graduates still largely dependent on their parents while their mates abroad are very much independent, married and some with children of their own. And the fact of work being not so easy to come by as it is abroad compounding the whole problem.

That’s why at times I don’t blame the children of well-to-do families, the type we like to call ajebota. A few of their parents might have acquired their wealth dubiously but at least they’re able to give their children the kind of education and comfort with which ideally nothing can prevent them from reaching the pinnacle of their success. They go to the best schools, socialize best, go on tour during holidays and they actually live their life enjoying the money that works for them and their parents (not the other way around…think rich dad, poor dad).if they want to be entrepreneurial when they reach adulthood they’re sure of full financial support from their parents which plays a big factor in their success. Look at the young people of the recent Future Awards, 90% of them were able to blow because of their parent’s moral and financial support. Not the no-money-to-pay-school-fees, go-to-night-vigil-as-Jesus-is-the-answer story the children of the less privilege have to contend with. People like Asa, Dimeji Bankole, Denrele Soundcity are testament to the advantages of having strong parents. Those that make it from grass to grace, on their own with minimal efforts from their parents are actually very lucky as for every one of them that succeeds a thousand others fail. Examples of this kind are John Mikel Obi, Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme (Aki and Pawpaw), 2face Innocent Idibia, Agbani Darego etc. It's actually kind of like the no-finance-no-romance creed.

Now for the wrap up I’ll have you know that I’m not parent bashing. I know what effort they put into our lives (not less what my parents did for me) and that life is a long process with changing situations that can mess up original plans. I’m just annoyed that too many parents get it wrong from the start. Capisco...capiche…capeesh?!

Comments (6)

I know a lot of parents who have said they'd have only two or three, but they end up getting carried away by the throes of orgasm and we have what one of my friends call an "Oops! Baby" or babies, as the case may be.

It takes a lot to stick to your guts when it's time to do the right thing.

The paradox of nature is that poor people tend to have more kids as insurance. Rich people do not look up to their kids for upkeep in old age. With so much wealth, they could employ people to take care of them when they become frail and feeble. For poor people, it’s the other way around. Hence they tend to have more kids.

I believe it is better not to have kids than to have kids one cannot look after. But sex and reproduction appear pre-programmed in our genes. After all, we are animals and like all animals we feel an urge to reproduce after puberty.

But the good thing is that we also have well-developed brains (unlike other animals) that should allow us decide when and if we should have kids. We need to use these brains and forget about all archaic cultural and social norms that see women as nothing less than breeding machines.

Last time you came to my Nigerian Curiosity site, you 'complained' about all the political stuff. lol! Well, I've got a post up about Nigerian music. Banky W. in particular. You should swing on by....

Where you dey guy?

when are we getting a trae-dayz update? hope all is well.

@Chxta and nneoma: there's no cause for alarm (Saddam Hussein/idi Amin Dada...military dictator style) :-)