The other day, I got into a conversation with a friend about the relationships between Nigerian parents and their child(ren). The question of the day was if parents should be friends first or parents first.

The sense was that Nigerian parents of yesteryears had the right formula by caning/beating/brushing/smacking their kids on a periodic basis. The alleged result was that children that were beaten would usually act right while those that were not would invariably stray off the path.

In direct contrast, today’s parents appear to be too concerned with being their children’s friends to give them the much needed dose of beating. The alleged result being that children of today are an undisciplined lot.

So, I would like to know, based on your personal experience and from stories you have heard: Should parents be friends first or parents first?


Lily Johnson

I think parents should first be parents and as their kids approach adulthood, they should still be parents as well as friends to them. People talk about child abuse when a parent disciplines a child these days. Some even say the kid would grow up to hate the parent. It depends though. My folks canned the ish outta me but i still love them because what they did then was to straighten me out. It wasn’t done out of hatred. It was done out of love. Everything should be done in moderation anyways.


Most Nigerian parents are too concerned about being OGA and MADAM. There are some homes, where you cannot seat on Daddy’s chair, you can’t use Daddy’s cup, and all sorts of other abusive things, beating children like there is no tomorrow. What is then created is a respect based on fear, and you find out that when people raised up like this grow up, they are likely to turn their backs on the parent. Nothing healthy can come out of that kind of relationship, sadly.

There really shouldn’t be a demarcation on which comes first. The basis of every good relationship is mutual respect, which can gain trust and confidence over time. A Parent should naturally be a friend. It doesn’t mean that by being a friend there is an absence of discipline.

I am a Christian and the perfect model I see is God’s relationship with us, He is both parent and friend, there is no demarcation, one did not come after the other one. I

We really need to examine ourselves if we are even emotionally mature to have children, because many really shouldn’t, without that, this cycle of undisciplined, or over disciplined offsprings will last till eternity.


I <3 this comment. Why should there be a demarcation? waiting to be a friend is a bit dangerous isn't it..?? by the time you think your offspring just proceed to the friend find that they've already distanced themselves from you…
and might even be suspicious of this 'new method of parenting'.


I say you have to be a parent first because that’s your primary role in their lives, especially when they’re young. As they get older, I mean over 21, then a friendship element can become more plausible. But parenting is always your primary responsibility.


Parent first..then friend…blending both…discipline when NEED TO , & also play with them. I don’t believe in sparing the rod. The bible says, GOD REBUKES THOSE HE LOVES.


Both…if my mother had been a friend and not just parent, i think our relationship would have been so cool, but i know her discipline made me a better person all the same


From experience, i think there should be a good balance, but ultimately, a parent should be a parent first. But everything should be in moderation nau? I’m not saying break a ruler on your kid’s back. In fact, sometimes, embarrassment works more effectively than pain. There is always a time to be a parent, and to be a friend (especially needed when your kid is going through something notable)

Dee O.

Parents HAVE to be parents first and foremost. That is the most effective method for establishing respect between the child and the adult. But like others said, just because you are a parent doesn’t in any way prevent you from being friendly with your children. It’s all about BALANCE.



parents should be parents first. growing up, i was convinced my mum could kill me but now she’s my bestfriend and i’m glad she raised me the way she did.


Parent first, then friend. Most of the previous commentators have got it spot on. There has to be a balance.Disciplining your kids doesn’t mean you are not friendly with them or you don’t love them, it means you want them to grow into responsible adults.


While I agree that it depends, I was beat as a child and I still dislike/hate my parents to this day. Because the beatings had nothing to do with straightening me it, and everything to do with my parents going on a power trip in an attempt to try to gain some control over their lives. I will never claim that I didn’t challenge my parents, but nothing I did deserved the amount of pain and fear they put me though.

My take on beating is this: it is generally done as a way to get your aggression out on the cause of the aggression. It doesn’t really do much but make the child afraid of you. If your goal is the scare your child to the point that they will never talk to you in the future, then beat them. If that isn’t your goal, then beating a child should never happen. The problem is thinking of other alternatives to beating.


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