There are no two families that are the same. No matter how similar people are, or even siblings from the same family there will always be differences. When you add culture, religious beliefs, work life balance, economic challenges the list of differences gets longer. All families face different challenges with different values. See below the list of some challenges the modern Nigerian family faces.
Spending time Together
Families are lacking when it comes to spending quality time together. The average home has mum and dad working outside the home. Dealing with traffic means that parents have to leave home early while the children are sleeping and return when children are already in bed. Parents get home exhausted and there is very little time spent together. This lack of quality time spent sharing values and communicating takes a toll on family relationships over the years.
Things are certainly expensive if you live in Lagos which is listed as the top 50 most expensive cities in the world. The cost of paying rent, feeding, school fees, fuel, diesel and so many other needs can be quite high. When you add the additional wants such as internet, birthday parties, credit, salon visits, birthday parties, summer travel the expense list seems endless. Living in Lagos and wanting to keep up with the Jonses brings additional constraints. Cut your coat according to your size works wonders.
Outside influence comes both from culture and the media. There is a culture of the Nigerian way of doing things which believes fathers should be hands off and just pay bills or that raising children is the mothers job. Increasing reliance on domestic staff leads to exposure that influences the children. You must guard your home and ensure your values are being instilled.
Constant parties can be a drain on both the wallet and the time families can spend together. Regular weddings and parties means demand to buy and sew aso-ebi, plus the cost of doing makeup which all adds up. Aside from the costs, parents who have been busy all week have no time on weekends to spend with their children and families.
Everywhere you turn there is the influence from the internet and social media. We have a full fledged Selfie generation – have you been at the line in shoprite and suddenly someone in the line turns their smartphone into selfie mode and takes a picture to share on Instagram with the tag #FeelingMyself.
Corruption is at the height and it seems to have penetrated every level in the society. Everywhere you turn there seems to be a story of stolen monies being retrieved. Lack of trust when it comes to dealing with a handyman, getting good quality products or getting a fair price for services all adds to the challenges. Raising children who are allergic to corruption starts from home.
Lack of Infrastructure
The funds that could be used to save for the future or to send your child to a better school are used to give yourself basic necessities. Bad roads, blocked drainage and gutters, lack of electricity are all reasons to feel stressed in any household. When it rains it pours, roads and houses get flooded and cars get damaged. The poor supply of electricity means huge amounts of money is being pumped into purchasing petrol and diesel, every home needs to have power alternatives.
Raising a family and children is hard enough before you add in the peculiarities of raising children in Nigeria. There are no perfect answers except to focus on spending time on what matters and saving for the future the best way you can.