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BN Hot Topic: Is It a Good Idea to Send Your ‘Wayward’ Children Back to Nigeria to Discipline Them?



We’ve all heard the story before; we know at least one example. It often starts with a “wayward” child, one who has become too difficult to discipline.

The parents are tired. They’re at their wits end, out of ideas. Then it comes to them: “Let’s send our child back home. Let them teach her/him how to behave.”

I think Anthony Joshua had this same thing happen to him, his parents sending him over to Nigeria because he was just too much to handle in the UK.

There is a concern that being abroad softens children and that the environment in the West makes it impossible to raise well rounded, respectful children. As such, parents decide to ship their recalcitrant children ‘back home’. Stories abound of how children are told that they’re going to Nigeria for vacation and their passports are taken from them, to prevent them from leaving the country. Sometimes these children are shipped off to the village, to ‘correct’ whatever dysfunctions their parents spot. Whether the parents consider the propriety of where their children are being shipped to, varies from circumstance to circumstance.

Some believe in the procedure’s magic. They say it does instil discipline; you know to beat your kids over there is wahala, over here it’s free for all. But is abuse really discipline?

Others say it is not a good idea, that it makes those kids, children born abroad, to see Nigeria as a sort of punishment and not “home.” But is it really bad to have children experience their parents’ culture while still young?

This situation is not limited to people living abroad; we also see situations where parents in the village send their children to a relative in the big city, to help them become more disciplined. Children from single parent homes are often shipped off to relatives in other cities to help them get back on the path of straight and narrow.

What do you think? Should we keep sending “wayward” children back “home”? But is this really the solution? If you’re unable to train your child, why do you think someone else should become responsible for that child’s upbringing? Is ‘back home’ really the nirvana we imagine it is? Does ‘back home’ really possess the secret to upholding good morals and ethics?  Should we continue to send children back home? Or should we learn new ways to discipline our children while they live with us.

Let’s talk about it


  1. Ihekweme Joshua chisom

    February 10, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    Yes it a good idea

  2. omomo

    February 10, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    yes and no …I’ve seen it work like magic for a number of people i know … Anthony Joshua can attest to it .lol…however its not good to make coming to your hometown seem as a punishment but more as a cultural re orientation /education .

  3. AdaAda

    February 11, 2019 at 12:14 am

    It works. And No!! Spanking a rude, conceited entitled , foul mouthed child is not abuse… but very appropriate. I live in the west and yes their methods have failed seeing the quality of children that exist there. How rude and uncouth they are. No respect for parents or authority. It honestly makes me sick.

  4. Doris

    February 11, 2019 at 5:45 am

    We’re actually thinking of doing this for my kids but its not to discipline them. It will be for a few years and one of us, the parents, will be with them. It’s to help them know their heritage and roots, and also to show them how the rest of the world lives. Our plan is to keep the kids grounded, they are too sheltered here. We already told them and they are ready for it. As soon as we get all our ducks in a row, it’s off to Nijah for a few years and back to the UK after that.

  5. Ajala & Foodie

    February 11, 2019 at 7:01 am

    I see 2 different topics here, so is it sending ill mannered kids home or is it sending kids home period that is the issue? Topic says “way ward” kids but talks about sending kids (not just said “way ward” kids) home. Some parents send their kids home for discipline issues and some send them for the cultural connection. I know a lady (single mom) who already has her 1st in boarding Nigeria and she plans doing the same for her remaining 2. This has nothing to do with “waywardness” but wanting said kids to have the same connection to their roots as she does. I also know another that sent her 1st 3 girls to Nigeria because the 1st 2 were a handful. The 3rd was still too young to have followed in her elder sisters footsteps but in a bid to ensure that did not happen. She sent all of them. Well, guess what the 1st 2 found their way back to the States within months. The last girl today is her mum’s pride and joy, taking her out of that environment did help at least for her formative years. Unlike her sisters, she has since graduated college and is gainfully employed. I don’t know what it takes to raise a well behaved kid but many times I honestly think it is purely grace of God. I think environment place a role but again you see kids in the same “environment” thriving, doing their best despite the odds. Or why it is usually PKs are the ones with issues.

  6. Uberhaute Looks

    February 11, 2019 at 8:49 am

    I think it makes them appreciate the privilege they are enjoying in the West as opposed to what it entails in Nigeria.

  7. Hawt Talk

    February 11, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    I personally think you can instill discipline in children anywhere and spanking is not always a better solution either. Every society will produce adults that do not meet certain moral standards or behavior. As a fully bred Nigerian, I know many people whose their parents will be less than proud of today in spite of all the discipline.

    From the cultural conditioning perspective, I have 3 children all born and being raised in Canada and I can tell they are every inch Nigerian; their manners are as Nigerian as mine. My teenage son’s shakuku and gwarara games are on point. They love Nigerian food and are connected to the pop culture, politics and other aspects. Thanks to the internet and social media, the gap has been immensely bridged.

    At the end of the day in my opinion, it all boils down to how you chose to parent not the location.

  8. Joke

    February 11, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    I don’t know about other places, but the US wants children of color to be rude and belligerent because it a pipeline to jail. The worst behaved children in the worst public schools are mostly in communities predominantly of color because jails must be filled by us. If one is wise, it is glaring to see the lives set up as traps for people of color. And the environment definitely plays a part. A boy told me in Nigeria he dare not talk back to a teacher, but the same boy in America is cracking up the class by “proposing to the teacher,” in front of the class knowing the teacher can’t do much to him, shoplifting etc. Some kids will be good regardless of location, some will be good or bad because of location…God help us…

  9. Akara Pancake

    February 11, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Well, if you are sending them home to Nigeria, who are you sending them to exactly? Are you as a parent, passing the buck, by “dumping” your kid and your responsibility to raise them on another individual or school? I think certain Nigerian parents who live in the diaspora have a “nostalgic and romantic” but “outdated” view that Nigeria still has its old values of piety, restraint and rebuke of childish behavior. Truth is, Nigeria has changed and is not as traditional as it used to be in the 60s to mid 90s. You could easy send your child from an American High School to a Nigerian high school where all they do all day is get high, party and avoid class. Bringing up a child is not mean feat – it is a full time job.

    Or you aiming to spark something in the child by changing their environment, and hence giving them a new perspective? If it is the latter, it may work. As long as you are still involved and hands on, and if it is done right and not as “mere punishment”. To teach them how not to take the things that they see in the western world for granted, like wasting food, not being grateful for the simple things in life; being too drawn to materials not substance. To show them their traditional and culture of their fatherland which may give them the confidence to react better to perhaps the issues they have been secretly lashing out against which comes across as ill-discipline.

  10. CanBe

    February 12, 2019 at 5:28 am

    As a Nigerian who grew up in Nigeria, lived in the U.K. and Canada I can say categorically that too many Nigerian parents abroad are busy working 2 or 3 jobs to send money home, build mansions and drive the latest luxury cars while neglecting their roles as parents. Why would a nurse work on holidays, work over time, why would a man get back from his day job rest for a couple of hours to go and do care work overnight. The kids are left to take the school bus or walk to school and get back home on their own. An average teenager can not handle such freedom mind you the curriculum is not even rigorous with little to no homework. The kids become idle and don’t forget the adage an idle mind is the devil’s workshop no wonder the kids become bad some ending up dead (knife crime in London), in jail, or as baby daddies/ mamas. Parents can get away with this more in Nigeria because of the support system aunties, uncles, grandparents, teachers help in raising kids the whole village effect. Abroad the whole village raising a kid concept is missing. If Nigerian parents can put first things first then things would fall in place. Children need our presence more than our presents.

    • Ovine

      February 13, 2019 at 2:56 pm

      I totally agree with you. We need to be very intentional and hands on with parenting. You can’t delegate this role to another person, they can only act as support system.

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