Does it take a “village to raise a child” in a globalizing world?
by Cyprian Josson

nollywood france african child image

Every child has a dream to become something but at one point in the life of that child, the dream and fresh ideas can be influenced by different factors. In a fast-growing world where many children and teenagers have become addicted to the new information technologies: the internet, iPhone and social Media, African parents living in the west need to find ways to ensure they are equipped to face these new challenges. Many teenagers spend more time on the internet and their phones, and with this new technology, they can send messages to the other end of the world. This is a big problem because if they are not well guided, parents will discover that the “internet forest” is deeper and wider than just a small screen and that there are many bad kinds of stuff and a lot of bad people on the internet.

On the other hand, the internet can be a good thing too. For example, your six years old girl comes back from school with her homework and you have to go on the internet researching for stuff. There are lots of programs on the internet that can help her do her homework faster compared to the old school.

Our world today looks like a small village compared to the olden days. Many African families living in the west are going through rough times of how to reconcile the “homeland culture” with “the host country way of life” where there is the absence of “culture” except for the one created by the fashion makers.

The big question here is how to give the “homeland” education in a country like France where the law forbids you to even smack your child at home and talk less to correct a teenager on the street without being accused of violating their rights.

It’s hard to believe that “it takes a village to raise a child” in our modern world even if it was quoted by Hillary Clinton on how to train the American child. Today, parents and governments in the west do not accord any credence to this adage from Africa. However, it can be used to explain the violence of youths in America: carrying guns to school, joining bad gangs and the problem of drugs and bullying which has become commonplace in the West precisely in North America and Europe.

More collaboration is required between immigrant families and their community leaders in their “host country” on how to educate the children of “the second Generation are faced with the choice of two necessary cultures. Both sides stand to benefit from working together on how to prepare our youths to live in a diversified world cultural

Both immigrant parents and the community leaders may gain a greater understanding of their different cultures such as “greeting an elder” from the homeland and “mind your business attitude” from the host country. The sooner the questions of “culture shock” and cultural differences are answered, the easier it will be for society to enjoy the benefits that a disciplined future generation will undoubtedly bring.

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