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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

5 ways Nigerian mums enforce discipline at home

Errmmm…first of all, if you’re not a Nigerian or, African – at least, then this might not be for you. Also, if you are one of dem “IJGBs” – I Just Got Backs – please run along. You might have some trouble relating to this too.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way; shall we begin? Hell, yeah!

Our sweet Nigerian moms, can we love them any less? They know how to smother us with overflowing love and affection and would do anything to see us happy. However, they won’t ever hesitate to wield the stick and call out any act of indiscipline, misdemeanor, or misconduct.

From the traditional: ‘spare the rod and spoil the child” method, to simple- yet-proven body language that can travel as far as the other end of the room: Nigerian moms really know how to put it down when it’s needed.

The hard reset

The Blackberry era has come and gone. If there is, however, one memory it left us with, it would be the Hard Reset hack.

All you have to do to put things right whenever it comes up with any of those numerous, random annoying fits of hangings and acts-up is to just perform a hard reset: remove the battery and put it back!

While this simple method proved to be effective with our Blackberry phones, the Nigerian moms’ version even boasts of a far greater success rate. All it takes is a spontaneous slap across your face to reset your brain and bring you back to your senses.

A whooze!! That’ll restore the factory setting of your medulla oblongata!!
This slap however comes with varying effects, depending on the gravity of your wrong. While it could sometimes have you hearing Christmas bells mid-summer, other times, it can take you on a snatch tour across the galaxies, giving you a vivid view of the stars.

The Medusa stare

Just as the legendary Medusa, according to Grecian mythology, was cursed with the power to stare people to stone; our Nigerian mothers would also freeze you up with a simple stare.

You go out visiting with your moms as a kid and all she needs to do to control you from anywhere across the room is to give you that death stare that freezes you up.
Sigh. You still don’t get me.

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Okay! You’re out playing with this cute little kid. And awwww, he’s just so adorable that you feel like giving him a little gift. You reach out and extend him a little piece of candy and his eyes light up with an appreciative smile. You can see him making a move to take it off you.

All of a sudden, he stops! Frozen! Dead in his tracks! And you’re left wondering why only for you to see him staring right at his mom who is seated not too far away with that devilish straight face. That’s it right there: the Medusa stare.


Kids sometimes have that tendency to play their manners away; Nigerian moms would hit them back in place with a brain resetting Knock. They call it the ‘konk’.

The palm is folded into a light fist, face-down, and, lightly yet firmly, delivered somewhere along the frontal part of the head of the errant child. Sounds so simple, but, this method could turn even a Ted Bundy into a T.D Jakes.

For you to, however, have this pulled on you, you must have been very naughty.

The brain tuner

Kids of nowadays won’t know nothing about the struggle of tuning that old Television box that floods our sitting rooms with joy and happiness in the 80s and 90s.

Instead of the easy scan buttons we have on our TV sets and remotes nowadays, those sets have a large metallic knob attached to their frontals, which you tune left and right to get your desired channels.

This might probably be the origin of the legendary Brain Tuner, where our moms grab our ears and tune it left and right when we act naughty.

There has to be something spiritual about the way they lightly, yet firmly, grip your ear and spend a couple of seconds tuning it side to side like a mallam’s transistor radio.

It’s almost as if they can hear your grey matters gradually shifting and tuning back to the right frequency. You need to witness it to understand.

Sometimes, both ears could be tuned simultaneously – depending on the severity of your misconduct.

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Snitching might be frowned upon out in the streets, but not at home. When our Nigerian moms have tried all they have up their sleeves and are seemingly frustrated with a kid’s stubbornness, they resort to that final ‘ever effective’ trick;
“I’ll tell your dad!’

At the mention of these simple four words, even the most troublesome or stubborn kid would sit upright and fall back in line. You hear them making all sorts of promises like “I won’t do that again’ and ‘I promise to change” to their moms in exchange for “Please don’t tell dad’.

A case being reported to dad is like a case getting to the Supreme Court of justice. Must be a serious one. Once your case gets to that level, only God can help you.


I understand that the above training or child upbringing method might sound a little awkward, ‘crude’, and ‘not woke’ to someone from another clime.

But, the fact remains that these methods were largely deployed by Nigerian moms in training children in the 80s and 90s, especially.

Kids nowadays, however, have it relatively easier as the modern age and ‘woke tide” have had a large chunk of the current generation of mothers adapting to current child training practices.

You ask me if those good old practices were any good? Well, they were, and I and a host of people I know are a testament to that.

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