Growing up with African Parents

Growing up with African parents abroad was difficult to say the least. Most of the things my American counterparts could do was considered taboo in my home. If I wanted to become anything other than a doctor, lawyer, or engineer I was a shame to the family. I couldn’t get my nails done. I couldn’t go for sleepovers. I could not talk back or “speak my mind.” I couldn’t dress any how I wanted.  And this was just the icing on the cake.

A+K-233When it came to guys the level of strictness is unexplainable. My mother never had “the talk” with me. It was a mutual understanding that there was no such thing as a boyfriend in our house. The only boyfriend my parents have ever met is my husband! And even him they met on my graduation day!  I was not allowed to give guys a hug. I was not allowed to call boys and boys were not allowed to call me! I couldn’t have guys as my friends talk less of a boy friend.

Now that I am an adult I can laugh about everything. Missing parties and not wearing short shorts didn’t kill me. These things seem so tiny and unimportant. I understand that my parents mean well. They wanted to make sure that I grew up to be the best person I could possibly be. Being strict with me was the only way they knew how.

However, as a young girl things like parties and clothes were so huge! It was frustrating explaining to my friends why I had to be home at a certain time and why I couldn’t go to all the events that they went to. It was annoying knowing that I would literally have to beg to go to any outing when my counterparts simply told their parents where they were going and did as they pleased.

The culture difference for a young girl was a lot . At the time I felt that my parents were being too strict. I resented them. I felt they just didn’t understand me because they were AFRICAN. Now that I look back at the situation I realize they were just looking out for my best interest. They wanted to make sure I didn’t get invovled with the wrong group of people. They wanted to make sure that I succeeded in life. They wanted to make sure that I had a better life than they did.

 

Growing up with African parents was tough but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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