NIGERIAN PARENTS AND THE FIRST CHILD RESPONSIBILITY
A lady showed up today with her husband (a foreigner) and two beautiful children , for her mums burial ceremony and everyone thought she was a ghost. They had to pour sand on her to confirm she was not a ghost.
She is the first child of her family of five. Three ladies and two guys after the ladies. All grown up and married with their various families, doing better in life than their elder sister.They have not seen her for fifteen years until this day. No contact from her or anything. The last everyone heard from her, was fifteen years ago when they called for a family meeting. She was the topic of that family meeting. In that family meeting, her parents, younger ones and extended family expressed how disappointed they are in her for following her dreams of becoming a make up artist, instead of using her BA certificate to go get an office job. They also blamed her choice of a career as the reason she is yet to get married in her late thirties. She tried making them see that her happiness In life mattered more than material possessions, but no one listened to her.The meeting was all blame and the disappointment she was, as the first child of the family. No one reasoned with her or saw things from her perspective. She has been receiving the same treatment from her family members since the day they learnt she will not be using her certificate to go look for a job, but she will follow her passion of becoming a make up artist. This got her upset, so she took a decision to not be in contact with any of them again until she made it as a make up artist, and showed them all that they were wrong about seeing her as a failure in life, as the first child of the family . To get them to stop worrying about her, she sent some of her friends to the village to inform her people that she was dead. That the sea wave washed her into the deep on one of their visit to the beach and they are yet to find her body. Everyone thought she was really dead until that day she returned to the village. All these while she has been following her siblings and their family progress on social media but with a foreigners identify.
It’s a general believe in Nigeria that the first child of every family is suppose to be the first to be successful since him or her is the first to experience everything in life. This has forced a lot of first born to take decisions they later regret in life. In this part of the world, first borns are normally under pressure as they are expected to be the most successful of the family since the are the first fruits of their parents. Some parents even go ahead to choose what their first child must become in life and their choice of career , anything short of that will be at their disapproval. This normally happen in families with big business empires. When the business is handed over to them, the children will end up running it down because they are not passionate about it. It was imposed on them by their parents. It’s only few parents that don’t mind who succeed first among their children. Such families are more successful than the ones where the first child is expected to be the most successful.
Everyone in life has different abilities, challenges, exposure, likes and dislikes, cliques, passions, and dreams. Parents should stop making the mistake of thinking their off springs will make it in life according to the way they we’re given birth to. Your last child in life might make it before your first born. That does not mean that your first born is useless. Never give them that impression. Everyone has their time. Support your children as a parent and bring them up to respect each other regardless of their status in life. I know many families where there is no love among the children because of the way the parents make their status in life a criteria for who should be respected. The richest child of the family will be accorded more respect than the others regardless of his birth place in the family. The parents won’t care if him or her is the youngest. If him or her is the richest then, they will be accorded more respect than the elder ones. Many siblings crisis we experience in our various families is as a result of this. Parents should learn to teach their children to respect one another and support each other regardless of their status in life. This wrong mentality of the first born of the family is suppose to be the richest in the family should be abandoned.
Let’s go to the story above, if that lady’s mum had not died, I don’t think they would have seen her anywhere near the village. She is now doing well as a married woman and a well established make up artist but she chose not to contact her family because they didn’t give her the support she needed to pursue her passion and happiness because of what they had in their head of what the first child of the family is suppose to be. The authority in the family outside their parents. That they are more successful than her is enough reason not to respect her choice of what she wants to do or become in life. It’s very painful when one losses his or her respect in life because of his or her status. Not to talk of losing it to your younger siblings because of what they feel you should have achieved as their elder one, that you are yet to achieve.
, Have I been able to educate our parents on the first childs responsibilities and why they should stop pressuring them to meet the expectations they have for them, without considering what they want for themselves? Please let me know through the comment section below. .