Discipline and behaviour

It is the duty of children to wait on elders, and not the elders on children.

It’s a bad child who does not take advice.

African Proverbs

If children in Africa openly oppose or question adult opinion, they are considered ‘bad mannered’. They are not allowed to be involved in decisions that concern them, and cannot say no to instructions. Most African communities view the husband as the head of the household who is responsible for making all decisions on behalf of the women and children. Some consider that corporal punishment is the right of parents and that they should not ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’. In many African cultures, children, especially girls, are supposed to be ‘humble’, and are not expected to express their feelings, talk out openly, or oppose adult ideas. Children who do so are considered rebellious or disrespectful.