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Yetyne: My Mother Did Not Spare the Rod

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I grew up harbouring a strong hatred for my mother.

I remember the first time I realized I didn’t like her, I was in primary school. My siblings and I had finished dressing up for school and were seated at the dining table waiting for our breakfast. In between coaxing us out of our ‘Jonah sleep’, rushing us in and out of the bathroom, and getting us dressed, my mum had managed to whip up breakfast as usual. My worst fears were confirmed when she placed the dishes of Yam pottage (Asaro) on the table.

I had been perceiving the painfully familiar aroma of the pottage way before it made its appearance in the plate before me but I had refused to believe that was what she was busy cooking. After all she knew how much I didn’t care for Asaro; I would rather go hungry than stomach it, and that was what I told her that fateful morning, how I’d rather skip breakfast than eat the dreadful Asaro placed before me. My mum took one look at my resolute face and headed straight for her room, reappearing moments later with her pankere. I recall my mother standing sentry over me as I cleared my plate, crying over my futile attempts to swallow the food without tasting it. As I watched her walk away with my empty plate, I angrily wished she wasn’t my mum.

My mother believed in tough love. As a civil servant employed by the Government to discipline other people’s children, charity definitely began at home. Any infraction of any kind attracted its requisite punishment. Hiding my mum’s trusted pankere was at your own peril, her palms were quite handy…pun intended. We came to discover that my mum’s disciplining sessions simply couldn’t be evaded, like death and taxes, it was certain. Postponing it didn’t work either, if I knew I was in trouble with my dad I’d simply sleep early just to avoid getting a beating from him. My father didn’t believe in waking a child up for corporal punishment. My mum, however, didn’t have any qualms about that. It was in my best interest to stay awake and receive my beating rather than have my blissful sleep rapidly disintegrate into a waking nightmare.

My sister and I got into trouble a lot and as a result repeatedly got spanked by my mum. After each beating my sister in between her wails would reiterate to me that our mum wasn’t her birth mother, after all one’s biological parent wouldn’t inflict such physical pain on their offspring. My sister was of the firm belief that she had been switched at birth and given to the wrong family. I on the other hand couldn’t afford the luxury of that escape from reality. You see, I’m my mother’s child, even at that young age I knew I was the spitting image of my mum. Relatives said it, my teachers paid us compliments, strangers marveled at the resemblance. My mum would blush amidst statements of mock denial while the compliments rolled in, and I? I would look on silently while I pondered why my mum could be so mean to me despite this fact.

There was a day my sister had had enough. We had just watched The Jungle Book then. The movie must have really struck a chord in her, because immediately it ended she declared she was running away. My brother and I watched in awe as she packed her prized belongings and scribbled down a ‘goodbye note’ stating that she could no longer take my mum’s stern treatment and was going in search of her real parents.

It was the perfect time to run away; my parents were out at a function, she would be long gone before they returned. However, we decided that she needed to take a power nap before setting out on her adventure, I would wake her up at the agreed time way before our parents were due to arrive. It was in that sleeping position at the dining table that my folks met us roughly an hour later. We had overslept; my parents had also returned ahead of time for some reason or the other. My mum read the goodbye note, looked at my sister’s packed bag and proceeded to spank her out of her slumber. It took my Dad’s intervention that afternoon to save my sister from further beating. That was my mother, she had zero tolerance for emotional blackmail.

I used to fantasize about going away to secondary school then. The plan was that I would attend a boarding school. I, being naïve, envisioned it as the solution to all my problems. I would be far, far away from home, surrounded by my peers, free to do whatever I wanted with no fear of retribution from my parents. I spent many a day daydreaming about this and could hardly wait to finish primary school and kick start this exciting stage in my life. The long awaited day finally came and my parents couldn’t understand why I was so ecstatic during the long drive to school. They were shell shocked at the way I was brimming with joy when it was time for them to leave, considering the fact that other kids were dissolving into tears and refusing to let their parents go. I simply couldn’t hide the fact that I was on cloud nine as I waved goodbye to them and skipped all the way to my room. I jumped into my bed, a happy smile etched on my face as I visualized my new world. Life was good.

Boarding school made me realize the difference between discipline and sheer wickedness.
At home, breaking a rule earned me my mother’s ire. In secondary school my mere existence at the bottom of the food chain was enough to guarantee me any type of suffering imaginable. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time earned junior students chores ranging from fetching water to cleaning the dreaded pit latrines. It was common for juniors to be bullied out of their fancy slippers or drinking water just because a senior student coveted it. The manner with which students were stripped of their possessions and sense of being was degrading to say the least.

Trying to reason with senior students who were simply perpetuating a system of bullying because that was ‘how they met it’ was quite suicidal. Back at home, I could haggle with my mother on how many strokes of the cane I was to get if my offense was light, we would even crack jokes while at it then reach a mutual consensus. Saturday mornings were devoted to rating my parents individually and recommending areas of improvement. My mum would remain stony-faced while we gave her a thumbs down as usual and reported her ‘wickedness’ to my Dad. Yes, she was strict, but I had a voice.

My handwriting always got me into trouble with the seniors. By some stroke of misfortune someone had discovered that my penmanship was above par and almost immediately the notebooks from senior students to transcribe started rolling in. When my tactic of deliberately misplacing the notebooks failed to work, I had to flat out refuse and then suck up whatever punishment came my way. It was while serving one of those punishments at night prep that I recalled how I had acquired my handwriting.

It was the end of the session, my Primary 1 teacher had called me aside just before my mum came to pick me. She told me she would be busy during the holiday and therefore needed my help in copying her class notes to a fresh notebook. At the time I didn’t think much of the request, I was simply pleased that I was helping my favorite teacher out. I would later come to know that my mum had planned the whole thing. That holiday was marked with a lot of sweat and tears but I’ll never forget the pride I felt when at the start of the new session I presented my former teacher with her new notebooks decked out in my impeccable calligraphy.

My love for my mother got me through one of the worst phases of my life. She would plead and make all sorts of promises to cajole me to resume each session during my junior secondary school days. Every visiting day ended on a sad note when it was time for us to part, she would continually wave goodbye, with tears streaming down her face as her vehicle disappeared into the horizon. Considering how eager I was to leave home because of my mum, it was ironic that I would escape into my memories of her to get through unpleasant situations in school. Memories like how my mum had snuck in food to my room after my Dad had locked me in and declared that I was to go hungry the whole day; my punishment for stealing popcorn. She had waited until my Dad stepped out briefly in the evening, then slipped the plate of food under my door. I had learnt my lesson, my Dad had disciplined me, and my mum had ensured that I didn’t starve. We were all winners.

I bounded down the stairs into the kitchen and pulled my mum into a crushing bear hug, all in an attempt to avoid the harassment I was bound to get. I had overslept and left her to prepare breakfast for the family. It was to no avail, as her complaints spewed forth. I went through the motions, interjecting with the ‘I’m sorry’, ‘I was tired’ statements on cue. When I sensed that she was done sounding off, I reached out for my food flask. My face fell as I turned the food into my plate, only to discover it was Asaro. She burst into silent laughter when she saw the sad look on my face, the laughter became audible when I asked her why she had subjected me to the additional torture of her nagging. I finished the food in silence at the dining table.

Over the years I had come to learn that there were worse things in life than an undesirable breakfast. I passed her on my way to the kitchen to wash my plate, and complained to her about my awful breakfast while pointing out the unfinished food on my plate. She replied by making a sarcastic remark about the tiny crumbs I was calling unfinished food. We both laughed and exchanged a knowing glance. We had come full circle since that fateful morning over 2 decades ago when I thought I didn’t like her. However, at this point I knew without a doubt that I loved her with every fibre of my being.

What are your thoughts on corporal punishment, do you think it should be incorporated in the ideal parenting style? Let’s share.

Photo Credit: Mary Katherine Wynn | Dreamstime.com

66 Comments

  1. Ms B

    February 22, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Your article is hilariously on point! God bless mummies! I can definitely relate to your story

    • Femfem

      February 22, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      How can you not love asaro though ?. How can you hate any yam based meal. Yam is the food of the Gods?

    • "changing moniker"

      February 23, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      I don’t like asaro too….
      But there’s this thing called “farm house pottage”. Has more beans than yam, more ripe plantain than yam, vegetable, fish, ede, etc….I love it!!!

  2. Banks

    February 22, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    This write up captured my childhood years succinctly, my mother reports us while my dad carries out the punishment, ranging from grass cutting, flogging with “pankere” and “koboko” , frog jump, stooling down after reading out the appropriate Yoruba verses of the bible that refers to your wrongdoing. It wasn’t funny. My brother ran away from home twice when he got tired of the whole arrangement. Not like today, when kids are so rotten, morally bankrupt and uncontrollable, teacher dont dare shout at students anymore

  3. Asa

    February 22, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Good stuff! Thumbs up to the writer. It was engaging all the way to the end I laughed at some parts even.

    I was convinced my Mother hated me but for other reasons. Even when I grew up, I still had the feeling that even if she did not hate me, she harbored some sort of resentment for me. I was an only girl and everything about how she treated me, was different.

    She had a rule saying all of us had to wash our plates after eating while we were growing up and as a child who never wanted wahala, I always did. My brothers though, sometimes did not wash their plates, if I reported them, she made me wash the plates for them saying, “you are a girl”. I was in tears everyday over being a girl. I hated cleaning bathrooms and I was always glad when it was another person’s turn to clean the bathroom. If the person did not feel like being fair, then he would not clean the bathroom and my Mother would say “clean it you are a girl”. When I was more grown up and could flat out refuse to do any chore she reassigned to me, she punished me by going weeks without talking to me or responding to my greetings. Every time she stopped responding to my greetings, I too stopped greeting her! And on and on the cat and mouse thing went.

    Now I am all grown up, I speak to my Mum every other day, my brothers don’t call her as much. She sings my praises from the rooftops, she doesn’t sing my brothers’ praises as much. There has been a dramatic shift from when I was a child to now and I don’t know how. despite all her unequal treatment growing up, my brothers are still handy around the home though, the eldest ones moreso than the ones about my age.

    • Temi

      February 22, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      Asa, you reminded me of my daughter, she is just 16 and I am tough on her, indeed she is the only girl… I treat her the same way your mother was treating you, I guess i should stop.. she has became resentful and as an American-British born she always said to me: Why Are you not telling the boys?? why do I have to do this all the time..I guess I have learned from your post. Thanks for sharing.. I feel that in my old days.. she would be my friend. God’s willing

    • The 'hustool'is real yo

      February 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      Ah mommy, please stop. I am glad you read this. You would also subconsciously be telling your sons that they do not always need to do their part and they can expect women to pick up after them.

      Girls are raised too much to pander to the whims of men, we complain everyday of how our Nigerian men are badly behaved and spoilt, this is how it starts. We hold girls to a higher standard of good behaviour.

      This lady is fortunate to have been able to to repair her relationship with her mom, you do not know if you would have that same opportunity, don’t risk it.

      Please retrace your steps, your daughter and your future daughters in law will bless God for you. God bless you as you do so.

  4. jean17

    February 22, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    My eyes welled up while reading this, because I had the same feelings towards my mum while growing up.

    Sadly she died the year I went for NYSC, so I barely had time for a do over.

    Those of you that still have mums do not know how lucky you are.

    Excellent writing too. Thanks for this piece.

    • Temi

      February 22, 2017 at 6:57 pm

      Oh dear Jean17 take heart.. Thank you for your post.. you have taught me something important.. indeed we all have to cherish our parents because we might not see them again one day.

  5. nammy

    February 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    I can soo relate, I believed my mum wasn’t my mum, and I am also a spitting image of my mum. Tried to run away many times but never got past the Gate.
    Corporal punishment should be reduced, the way my mum beat us was way too much and though it was meant to be discipline it came off as wickedness. There are many ways of disciplining that involves little or no beating

  6. Becoming

    February 22, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    I loved your lengthy piece. I endured corporal punishment too but mostly from my dad, I’m 25 now and he still scares the shit out of me. Unlike your sister I ran away twice in search of my real parents, I returned the same day though, I just needed them to sweat a little. First time I ran to church to report my parents to my favorite Rev Sister (it was quite a long walk), second time I walked and walked and walked until I was tired and started walking back home. I didn’t turn out too badly in the end and I love my dad especially so much. I wouldn’t exactly flog my kids, but in retrospect, the memories were so much fun.

  7. ENIOLA

    February 22, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    I remember threatening to run away once too, my mum in turn threatened to beat me more while my dad stylishly paid extra attention to me.

  8. Mawi

    February 22, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    This article just made my day! It made me laugh, cry & think! Well done to the writer. Shout out to mothers who showed us pepper but instilled proper sense into us. We love & appreciate you!

  9. Mz smilez

    February 22, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    My mum probably wasn’t as tough but I had the same feelings of her not being my biologocal mom too while growing up.Now with kids of my own,I dont want to replicate those feelings inside them ever .I do believe parents can be firm with little or no spanking and still mould their kids into great adults. This is because i have a hubby and siblings whose parents didn’t flog, yet they turned out very well.Suffice to say that his older siblings who were severely flogged as kids were the ones who got into a lot of growing up.

  10. hadiza

    February 22, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    African parents need to learn the difference between discipline and abuse. They abuse their kids in the name of discipline. It’s not right. There’s no need to burn your child with iron or flog them till their skin peel off in order to discipline them. African parents are abusive. Dear writer, ur mom was abusive. That’s not discipline, it’s plain wickedness. There is a way to discipline the child without beating their brains out.

    • Authentic Sunshine

      February 22, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      You are very wrong. It is not abuse. I have enough evidence to show that using the rod helps. As long as irreparable damage is not caused and the relevant massage is passed. Let me tell you something, up to the age of 10, kids are melleable and resilient. They are tougher than you think. How you train them at this stage is crucial. Did you read where the writer said they negotiated how many strokes they got and evaluated their parents on weekends. That’s the key…open communication and understanding what works for your child.. Always always make sure to explain why you are taking your stand and on the other hand show them love. Let them feels the love. They would even begin to feel the connection long before understanding the rationale behind the treatment. How do I know?. I lived it and I’ve adopted it and it works.

    • True Talk

      February 23, 2017 at 10:49 am

      Thank you authentic sunshine haba! what is abusive about the writers mother. Was it the forcing a child to eat a meal she detest ot the beating she did not say the beating was extreme.. We took turn to pound yam in my house a job u detested till today. When it was obvious I will not pound well the punishment was no food for me. So every Saturday afternoon I stayed hungry. There was this day my immediate senior sister whose turn it was to pound yam sneeked some yam and gave me to eat the devil just appeared and made mother to come back home before time and we were caught, what happened next is better imagined. Thank you God for giving me my mother as my mother, I remember your omorogun ( Turning stick) that in a way helped us out to be what we your children are today. Iya ni wura iyebiye.

    • tunmi

      February 23, 2017 at 3:24 am

      This is a losing fight with Nigerians. We have learned to romanticize abuse. We will rather stay than leave (in high proportions) and we keep electing the same people who we let rob us blind.

      Abuse is abuse. Both cases were abuses. Just because it’s your parent doesn’t make it love.

  11. teekay

    February 22, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Well for me corporal punishment was needed in the Nigerian home, yeah it should be reduced a little bit. But I am sure we can see the positive effect in our respective lives. When you see all this Oyinbo children talk to their parents you appreciate been Nigerian coz they lack manners. As much as you give punishment always show them love so they don’t become desperate for love outside. I love and appreciate my mum and can’t wait to spoil her. Nice write up…

  12. Adeleke

    February 22, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Does this story have a flipside with boys being punished by their dads? Cos this is my story literally with my dad. Boy, he whooped my ass it was borderline wickedness. I also think such corporal punishment bore out of some emotional issues these folks were suffering too but only suppressed with religion and alcohol.
    Personally will I whoop my 2 sons like that, hell f*cking NO. All I do is tell them how upset I am with them and they have broken my heart, I can’t trust them any longer and our friendship is broken. Just by the time I get to the part where I say ‘ Kanmi and Kanyin, we are no longer friends and Daddy’s heart is broken’, they well up in tears that they beg for forgiveness and I feign onion tears too and we all hug. Hope it still works when these boys are teenagers cos they only 5 and 3.

    • Femfem

      February 22, 2017 at 10:42 pm

      ?that won’t work always oo. Add smacks when necessary. Now i hardly smack them, the threat of smacking does the trick now

    • Becca

      February 23, 2017 at 1:34 am

      Adeleke, it works well. My father did the same and I couldn’t bear to do anything that would upset him or let him down. I was always on my best behaviour with him.
      My mother on the hand beat me so much I stopped caring. I didn’t curb my behaviour, I grew acustomed to the pain, I’ll weigh my actions against the likely beating…at most i’ll cry then shut up. no sweat. I owe my high pain threshold to her.

    • nammy

      February 23, 2017 at 9:50 am

      I owe my high pain threshold to my mum too. At school I was one of the few girls who could take a beating with a straight face and not jump around and perform any antics. Obviously I have had enough practise at home.

  13. o

    February 22, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Buhahahahaha…… Too funny??? This article reminds me so much of my mum. She didn’t spare the rod with my brother and I. Even having sickle cell didn’t spare me from her rod. Lol. Teachers were never allowed to beat me in school, but my mum did at home. Most times she pampered me, but the few times she beat me, she made sure I would never forget???? one day she beat me and then gave me painkiller afterwards. This is minus the twisting of ears n the tongue lashing o. I am actually better off for it. I believe in corporal punishment, however, nothing too extreme. God rest my mother’s soul. I miss her so badly??

  14. Becca

    February 22, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Nigerian parents don’t have the patience or time for discipline through effective communication & doing naughty step . The cane is quicker.
    They run their home as dictatorships, dictators aren’t communicators.

    • Lara

      February 22, 2017 at 7:39 pm

      I’m so thankful I never had this experience. People always said my parents raised me “too American” because they didn’t believe in beatings but I have a beautiful relationship with them. We have always talked through everything even when I was a child. I remember I was so scared of the sheer thought of disappointing my father by misbehaving because I knew how much he loved me and I didn’t want to hurt or embarrass him. Nigerians really need to do away with running their homes like dictatorships, it just builds resentment.

  15. Authentic Sunshine

    February 22, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    This is my my dad. He made me who I am today. He taught me all I know. I am a survivor in ‘the abroad’ cos he taught me resilience, tactfulness and wisdom. He showed how to negotiate, to be shrewd and smart. He was firm but had passion in him. Passion to succeed. He has an uncanny sense of honour and takes everthing in his stride. Does not allow things bug him down or keep him from soaring. I’m ashamed that I have not achieved half as much as he did at my age but he taught me that the wisest people make the most with what they’ve got and never give up. I love my dad. He is my first lover and best friend. He taught me honesty, pride, love and being sexy. Kudos to parents who are firm, instil discipline and still genuinely loved their kids. It shows at the end of the day..

    • Anonymous

      February 22, 2017 at 11:30 pm

      **tact

  16. Dami

    February 22, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Eloquently written. One of my top favorite article I’ve read on here. I love it. I’m looking forward to read more from you.
    Corporal punishment should be incorporated in parenting but with discretion, wisdom and balance.
    Some parent take it too far where it can easily translate into sheer wickedness.
    I didn’t attend boarding school in Nigerja but I’ve heard horrific stories of the different punishments juniors endured in the hand of their seniors.
    I will never forget when I visited Nigeria as a young girl. We spent a night at my aunt’s place. And she made some amala and okra soup which happens to be my favorite combination. However, it’s her son’s least favorite food. He will rather go to bed starving than eat it. Unfortunately, my aunt forced him to eat it. He threw up right after.

    WARNING
    She then told her son to eat his vomit with a cane in her hand to whip him if he refused to. I was mortified and enraged. As a little girl I couldn’t do much to stop her. I became more terrified, confused that her husband sat on the dinning table and looked on with a sense of fear. He did nothing to stop it(word on the street is my aunt emasculated her husband, he has no voice). I concluded at that moment that this guy has to be adopted for my aunt, her husband to torture him like that. However, he is their biological son and that’s their own version of discipline and punishment. I never became close to her after that, till today I still choose not to talk to her. But my cousin and I became closer.
    Now that we are older, we talked about the incident. He shared more traumatizing punishment incidents that occurred during his childhood. We dissected, analyzed and came to the conclusion my aunt must suffer from some form of mental illness that was never treated. It makes no sense for a mentally healthy person to intentionally inflict physical and emotionally pain on her children in the name of discipline. My cousin has some resentment towards his mom, so they are not as close as a mother and son is. And he’s definitely against any type of corporal punishment and will not practice it on his children.

    • Ms smilez

      February 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm

      Since BellaNaija has swallowed my first comment??..I totally agree that being ‘too mean’ can cause some form of resentment between a parent and a child.I have never really forgotten the negative emptions my mom storred up ine as a child.This affects our relationship frlm time to time. I may be wrong but I believe too that over flogging and nagging affects kids’ self esteem.It is better to be firm and loving without going over the boundaries. Parenting is hard though but no tough love for me. As a parent, I struggled very hard with constant beating and nagging at the slighest provocation with my first.However, with hubbys help,I’m learning to get the kids obey using ‘dialouges’ and explainations first, before ‘ordering’ / beating them.Seems to be working. I also know a lot of people -French though;who are very affectionate with their kids but firm with them when there’s need.(raise their voices too and yea the kids do behave.)

    • Seriously

      February 22, 2017 at 9:47 pm

      Telling her child to eat his vomit? That’s child abuse. What’s the big deal if he doesn’t like a certain food, that’s his right.
      You really don’t have to whoop kids to instill discipline.
      Some bad kids need tough discipline but not crazy beatings.

    • Idomagirl

      February 23, 2017 at 2:27 am

      What kind of sadist makes their child or anyone else for that matter eat their vomit?
      Christ!!!!!

    • Manny

      February 23, 2017 at 5:28 am

      Eat vomit????? I wish I could unread that.
      That was most certainly child abuse by a mentally unstable mom.

  17. Adeleke

    February 22, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    BN, E ti bere, why u not posting my comments????

  18. Mz smiles

    February 22, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    ??..I totally agree that being ‘too mean’ can cause some form of resentment between a parent and a child.I have never really forgotten the negative emptions my mom storred up ine as a child.This affects our relationship frlm time to time. I may be wrong but I believe too that over flogging and nagging affects kids’ self esteem.It is better to be firm and loving without going over the boundaries. Parenting is hard though but no tough love for me. As a parent, I struggled very hard with constant beating and nagging at the slighest provocation with my first.However, with hubbys help,I’m learning to get the kids obey using ‘dialouges’ and explainations first, before ‘ordering’ / beating them.Seems to be working. I also know a lot of people -French though;who are very affectionate with their kids but firm with them when there’s need.(raise their voices too and yea the kids do behave.)

  19. kaysoft

    February 22, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Interesting piece and I could relate to it 100%. I had the thought of running away at some point. But I thank God my parents didn’t spare the rod. Their discipline has brought me this far. Mum was known to be the reporter while my Dad will whip your ass even at midnight. Well done @yetyne?

  20. Mz smiles

    February 22, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Typos. Sorry. *Negative emotions my mom stirred up in me as a child

  21. Olly

    February 22, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    So you too planned to run away! I thought I was the only one! Hahahaha. I didn’t like my mum much too when I was a child. She literally beat the hell out of me for I was a naughty child. I too thought she wasn’t my mother *eyes rolling*. Boy, was I stupid. Like you, I have realized that my mum would rather go through the worst pain than see any of her children suffer. She’s now my best friend and mentor. Thank you for this tribute to African mothers

  22. Temi

    February 22, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Hehehe.. I cant stop laughing because it reminds me my old chidlhood with my mum, dad and siblings and also my own kids who are now in their late 20’s telling me how tough I was .. But thank God.. for tough love.. My kids one in Ph.d , ONE A MEDICAL doctor in the U.S Army and one a Project Manager.. usually when we have family meetings at my house they say they remember my :: LOOK… the look meant everything.. my look talks loud… Well thank goodness for mothers.. I love African mothers.. they are so brave, dedicated, and I love my mother.. When I was young, I remember well the spanking , the look, the same look I have learned from her and gave to my own kids.. But., MUMMY was just unique in her Kind.. This is a great article.. I just laughed laughed it reminded me my old days with Mummy who is now in her mid 80’s..

  23. Olly

    February 22, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Sorry, I forgot you asked about our thoughts on corporal punishment.?
    Regardless of how much ‘pankere’ I chopped as a child, I can’t bring myself to hit anyone. I won’t even hit a dog, let alone a child. I just can’t. In truth, who I am today had nothing to do with my mother’s beatings. It wasn’t until much later that my mother understood that the way to get through to me was with words; explaining why what I did was wrong and how it made her feel. I guess everyone is different. Some children may respond to corporal punishment but there is definitely a difference between corporal punishment and child abuse and I’m sorry to say, I think most of what we do in Nigeria is just child abuse.

  24. Spare the rod and....

    February 22, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Very well written and hilarious too. I can so relate to this. Just like some have said here, punishment should be involved in parenting. My 3 year old twins have started getting their little spanks and yes they cry. Before I spank them, I tell them sternly what they’ve done wrong, why it’s bad and why I’m mad. After the spank, I pull them closer with hugs and kisses and we even have a deal on what gift they get if they don’t try that again, and what punishment they get if they do it again. One of them did something wrong again and the other twin reported her to me, when I got there, she looked terrified cos she knew a spank was coming and said almost in tears; “Mummy, I’m sorry” I couldn’t lift my finger on her, I pulled her close, it was enough for me that she knew what she did was wrong, and regretted. I made her promise me not to do it again. I can begin to see how disciplined they already are now. They are very playful and make a lot of mess, but they know the rules, and sometimes I overhear them telling each other to stop that/clean up cos mummy will spank you if you don’t.This is true to what the Bible says about sparing the rod and spoiling the child.
    My parents were very tough on me growing up, and they later softened up when I entered the University. I don’t plan to go over the board with the punishments, but I must instill punishment whichever way when it comes to discipline.
    P.S You should not beat/spank your child on their DIRECT SKIN, Also, anything that leaves a mark on their skin (like belt) is wickedness and it is actually against the law, well at least in Canada.

  25. Ocean Beauty

    February 22, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    I ran away from home severally. She even came to my school to report me and look for me but I didn’t care back then. From garri turner (ugbeba) to wire to ladle. At some point, nothing worked. I find my real mama I no see. Even wished I was living with my grandmother because that one can’t spank her grandkids. I graduated to plucking my eyelashes and putting in my head when I commit an offense as it is belived to make your parent forget your crime. For where, e no work. It didn’t help that she was father and mother at the same time. But I still love her though we have never been close.

  26. Adeleke

    February 22, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    where are my comments BN??????????????

  27. Fisayo

    February 22, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    I enjoyed reading this piece. However, while yours was yam pottage, mine was bread. My mum was very stern but I think it helped in shaping the woman I am today. Do I believe in corporal punishment? Yes, but to an extent (it could be a slight smack on the bum or the hand). Hard enough for the pain to be felt but soft enough not to leave a scar but it will ALWAYS be followed or preceded with an explanation of why he/she is receiving the punishment.

  28. W B

    February 22, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Hehahahahaha. Couldn’t stop laughing as I read this post. Especially as I read in Yetyne’s voice

    I have almost the same experience with my mom. Albeit I was a tomboy and mom absolutely hated tomboys (dunno about now, I believe I’ve “grown” into something more ladylike & tolerant). It’s quite interesting though that apart from the occasional slaps and beatings, I can’t say I suffered much at Mommy’s hands. By d time I was 8 & in (boarding) school, mom had learnt d different punishment styles ( only God knows how she did ?). I’m sure I can count with my fingers how many times after then she’s laid hands (or any “rods”) on me.

    Recently as I approached and passed 30 (age), mom & I have somewhat become closer or shall I say more understanding to ourselves yet I can’t boast of d open love / affection that I KNOW @yetyne shares with her mom

    My take is every child should be treated according to his / her needs as d parents understand him / her. My dad for instance slapped me only once EVER & for a silly lie I told as an 6/7year old. After that, he had ways of seating me to “talk” (I swear that gets to me more than slaps / beating. I remember one time after d 10000th time of failing at maths, my dad called me to his room to chat, and with a grave expression after several mins of loooong silence, said “I’m disappointed. Thought u were better than this”. I was 12, & I cried (wept) for days after. I never failed maths too. In fact it became my best subject. (That said though, I also dunno how to lie after d once in a lifetime beating from my dad. I felt lying must be grave for him to have laid hands on him. Funny thing is pops didn’t necessarily treat my brothers d same. In fact I feel he had a template for each of us

    Yetunde thanks for sharing this. Bringing so much memories xxx

  29. chifire

    February 22, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Dt was how my mum flogged away d love I shud have had 4 her.
    I try 2 love her, God knws I try.
    My children, i try not 2 hit them, we talk.
    Seriously hitting kids make no sense. Think about it.

  30. john

    February 22, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    remove mom and put dad in ur article and no one will find it funny anymore but will ne raining abusive insults on the dad..sorry ur mombis a child abuser and should have never been allowed to raise a child

  31. john

    February 22, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    remove mom and put dad in ur article and no one will find it funny anymore but will ne raining abusive insults on the dad..sorry ur mom is a child abuser and should have never been allowed to raise a child

  32. Diamond

    February 22, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Abeg abeg abeg, her mum was abusive like my mum. Mum beat the hell out of me at the slightest provocation. if I’m lucky enough to escape, only dad can save me. I was suicidal. Imagined several ways to kill myself. She could throw whatever at you if she isn’t close enough to beat the hell out of you. I still have scars, I don’t say my mum inflicted on me. She fell ill and died when I was 16. She was ill, even though that was the time we were closest, I was still very much afraid of her. She died, but I didn’t appreciate or know what it meant to loose your mother. Honestly, her death then was a relief. So I thought, until step-mom came along. Okay, that one is a gist for another day.

    Discipline your child, but don’t be extreme with it to the extent of alienating them. I still wish my mom knew better and we shared mother-daughter bond.

    I would never parent as my mom did. So help me God.

  33. prospective writer

    February 22, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    wow! Dear writer, you can write. How can I improve my writing skills and write like this? Pls help.

  34. Lucinda

    February 22, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    I’m surprised at the comments. I can’t like a person who hits me. Whether done by a parent, husband, or LASMA official. I have absolutely no fund memories of anybody beating me.

    • Becca

      February 23, 2017 at 1:55 am

      ITA, that’s why sadly some are beaten by their spouses and take it as something done in the name of love provided no broken bones.
      I don’t get it at all. Intentionally choosing to physically hurt your beloved child in the name of discipline. if you need to cane then you’ve failed as a parent.

    • ogeAdiro

      February 23, 2017 at 3:21 am

      Thank you. Beating a child is actually teaching the child that it’s ok to get beat, sometimes. And that violence is okay, sometimes. If we can manage to deal with other adults without beating each other up and down, my guess is that we can find ways to deal with kids without resorting to violence.

  35. Smh

    February 23, 2017 at 1:33 am

    Good for you all that you have a great relationship with your mother’s. My own was not physical but emotional. She thinks she has a right to control and disrupt your life at will. For my sanity I stay far from her. She tries to curse when she doesn’t get her way with me. I guard my peace of mind and health jealously so I keep her out! Her curses bring me more success because God is on my side. My mother does not know her place in her children’s lives, she loves to nag and does not have limits to the nonsense that can come out of her mouth. Other kids can take it but I can’t! The relationship with my mum is indifferent and she caused this. She has done so much now I just don’t bloody care anymore. I will definitely raise my kids diffferently.

    • aj

      February 24, 2017 at 6:42 am

      Girl I understand you and I can relate

  36. Idomagirl

    February 23, 2017 at 2:45 am

    My mum flogged me as a kid but never to the extent of me hating her or wanting to run away.
    My dad never ever flogged any of us but he was strict and would give you lectures.
    Funny enough those lectures set me straight more than my mother’s floggings sef…

    Corporal punishment like with any other thing should be done with moderation.
    A lot of parents are too extreme and take it too far.
    I’ve heard stories of young children being whipped and rubbed with pepper afterwards, I’ve heard someone say his father will force he & his brothers to lie on the ground and he’ll walk all over them…is that discipline or abuse?
    Many parents let their anger get the best of them & they take out their frustrations on their offspring.

    Children can be quite exasperating, but I hope that we can learn that there are many other effective ways of disciplining them – it doesn’t have to be flogging everytime.
    Also, I hope we can learn to better communicate with our children and try to understand them sometimes of just shouting & flogging.

    Someone shared her story of abuse at the hands of her uncle, according to her after the first time it happened she didn’t want to be around him.
    Anytime her mother said, “we are going to visit so & so” and she said “no I don’t want to go” her mother’s response was either “will you shut up” or flogging her.
    Of course the abuse went on for many more years, imagine the trauma she would have been spared if her mother had tried to ask why she didn’t want to visit instead of the usual Nigerian parent “fire for fire” approach.

  37. [email protected]

    February 23, 2017 at 3:58 am

    Lol.. I was very stubborn as a child. I would never do what i was told. Mum u are the greatest. Now that i have my own kidz i wonder how she managed to raise me up. She never spared the rod though. Thank God for mothers.

  38. nunulicious

    February 23, 2017 at 5:00 am

    I experienced the same thing with my mom. Funny that reading your article makes it seem more awful than the memories itself.
    Currently, communication is difficult between my mom and I. My husband says when I start raising children, my mom and I would get closer and the gap would be bridged. I hope so. I really hope so. The whole experience has made me scared-would I be a good mother? would I go too far in training them? How about if i’m too lax and they end up rotten (like my cousins)? how do I instil my value systems in them and yet have a warm relationship with them?

    JAMB questions.

    But if I may say so, I turned out alright despite the corporal punishment na. All four of us did. So she must have done something right ehn. Mummy, I love you.

  39. Trudy

    February 23, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Well, let me tell you about what I feel for my mom. I do not hate her neither do I love her. I had a terrible low self esteem as a child and a teenager coz of her constant corporal punishment and insults (I was an ugly duckling). And so when I got to go to a boarding school and university in another state, I grabbed the opportunity with relish. My mom now wants to get close to me. But no. I don’t talk to her about anything . I can’t stand her ‘famzing’ways. You can’t spend years verbally, physically and emotionally abusing a child and get all close to her when she’s grown. African parents need to learn that , they have the power to create monsters or Angels .. African parents need to know that fear does not equal Respect

    • Adeleke

      February 23, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      Gbam!

  40. Jn17

    February 23, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Mine was emotional always nagging me out, i don’t love her neither do I hate her there’s always tension between us. now her tactics is always having one evil vision about my life, why I’m not married or why I don’t have a good job yet.she started talking to me about getting married at an early age of 17, I’m 26 now and she sees me like an old lady. I can’t wait to leave Nigeria to get so far away from her.

  41. Ummu AbdirRahman

    February 24, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Nice piece, I can relate, this always make my mum think we love our dad more than her cos we get pampered by him most times.

  42. Farida

    February 24, 2017 at 8:05 am

    I love this article, hilarious yet so true. Proud of you Yetyne

  43. hellboy

    February 24, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Quite well written…even the parts where she starts to ramble still manage to hold your attention.

    I am quite shocked and a bit saddened by all the comments about how any spanking is “abusive behaviour”. There will always be extremes of any course of action but excessive beating is just as dangerous as excessive mollycoddling of kids.

  44. Michael

    February 25, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Thoroughly loved this write up! You’re a captivating storyteller and even all the more amazing because your story is based on real life experiences.

  45. Myfathersdaughter

    February 27, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Dear writer, all I can say is: you’re in the wrong profession! I loved your write-up!

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