You know, cool, doting and evolved like the movies and the internet describes. But you soon find that encoded in your DNA is the African approach to parenting. It involves shouts, looks and several other non-verbal languages. We've put together a quiz. Each answer carries 10 points. Come on, let's see your score on our African parent meter.
You know you're an African parent when:
Your bark is worse and more frequent than your bite...literally
Your kids' idea of an experiment is to test your limits, so when you say don't do it, that's the very thing they want to do. Sometimes it's cute, but other times it gets too much and you just want to tear your hair out - or give somebody a belting. So you issue threats to that effect, countless times a day. But you seldom actually do it.
You never say sorry or I love you
Your idea of an apology is taking the kids to eat ice cream or making your kids' favourite meal. There is no chink in the armour of an African parent, apology or not. African children understand this too, so they take your bribe and all is well again.
You don't spare the rod
Parenting in Africa involves using the whip or the hand, or the spatula, or your slippers. You're not afraid to wield your resetting instruments whenever you think your child needs it. They're your children, and they will not be spoiled on your watch. We somehow hope this changes to something more positive!
Your word is yea and amen, until...
Whether it's about your child's career choices or what time to go to bed, your word is law. God forbid that your son be interested in the becoming a dancer...until he actually becomes a famous dancer. Then you will excitedly tell everyone how he used to dance in his crib when he was 3 months old. Your word is still law, so we believe you.
You buy your kids clothes at least two sizes bigger
Kids grow really fast and without notice. So to save money from buying clothes all the time you buy them clothes several sizes bigger so that they grow into the clothes. And you save some money as well.
You communicate in looks
You have perfected The Look. It's also a resetting tool for when your child is being naughty. It says a lot, ranging from "don't do it" to "you're so dead."
Your drama radar goes from 0 to 1000 really quickly
The African parent is a badass, no kidding. One minute it's all laughs and jokes, the next minute you're wielding a resetting instrument and yelling "Are you talking back at me?" There's certainly not a dull moment in an African home.
Upcycling is your side gig.
Waste is a taboo in Africa, where so many families go without. So you cannot bring yourself to waste anything, even disposable bags and cups and bowls are reused over and over again. Until of course they are destroyed. The universe would be proud.
You often boast that you have the best kids in the world, just not to their face
Oh no! You'll tell everyone who cares to listen how your kids are the bestest ever. But they must never hear you admit it. You want them to be better, so you keep correcting, pushing them. And when it's time to celebrate them, they're the last ones to know you're actually proud of them. Way to go!
You call your kids from another room to hand you something that's literally beside you
This one is a continental tradition. You're not an African parent if you have never sat beside the remote control and called your child from upstairs to hand you the remote. Exercising power is a very important aspect of parenting in Africa.
Religion is a must and not an option
Whether it's church or mosque, going is not an option for your children. As long as they live under your roof, they must serve God religiously.
Your parenting is quasi-African. You're probably cool and sweet and your kids call you their friend. If your goal is to give them more African memories before they become adults and move out, you'll need to step your game up.
You're an African parent alright. Baked just right. Not too light, not brown, just the right shade of golden brown. Yes, we're talking parenting and not chicken nuggets. You know when to be friends with your kids, and you know how to be strict as well. Well done!
Hurrah! You're the full on, guns blazing, drama loaded African parent. Your children probably see you coming and take to their heels. Tone it down a notch, maybe?
I hope you had a laugh doing this. What did you score? Share with us in the comments.
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com