9 Funny Things Nigerian Parents Say to Their Children

9 Funny Things Nigerian Parents Say to Their Children

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that Nigerian parents do an amazing job raising their children. As a result of the funny things Nigerian parents say to their children while raising them, one would say that they are the funniest parents on the planet. When a person utters such funny things, it’s a sign they were brought up by Nigerian parents.

One thing that fascinates me is how they all tell their children the same thing. It’s as if they all went to the same school where they learned what to say to their children at various times. If you think I’m being sarcastic, give a few Nigerian youngsters some of these phrases (the funniest thing Nigerian mothers say to their children) and see if they can’t connect.

Without wasting any time, let’s dive it them, shall we?

Funny Things Nigerian Parents Say

1. “How many times did I call you?”

This is one of the most preposterous questions that always come from my mother when she called my name, mostly three times; for an important conversation. She would be like ‘Ibraheem! Ibraheem!, Ibraheem! How many times did I call you? And as the crook that I was then, I would say ‘sorry I lost count’ (case close). However, as time passed, I got to realize that it might seem funny, but it was more of a strategy used to make sure that your attention is with her hundred percent.

2. “I did not kill my mother. I will not allow you to kill me!”

This is also one of the funniest things I grew up hearing from my mother. Oftentimes when I engage in rough play and she’s been calling on me to stop from the roar of her voice; like she would vomit her intestine out. Then the next thing would be, “I did not kill my mother, so I will not allow you to kill me”.

3. “Does the person that took first have two heads?”

This mostly was from my dad. Funny enough, it wasn’t as if I came last in the class oo. At times, I went home with a third or fourth position, feeling on top of the world. After showing the result sheet to him, expecting a pat on the back, ironically, I would be spatted on the face with;  “How come you came fourth, and from your result, you are about twenty in the class, (then the almighty word) does the person that took first has two heads!”. Even though he would later praise and encourage me, I will not escape those words.

4. “Come and eat me”|

The first day that particular word oozed out from my mother’s mouth, I almost fell for it. On a misty morning when I was about five years old, I woke up famished, then I walked to the backyard where she was making the morning meal. However, with a change of face, I said unto her that I was hungry. As if she was expecting that from me, she stretched forward her arm and said, “Come and eat me”. But I should have known that she was only being sarcastic, hence I was so naive to understand. But as funny as it might sound, I moved close to her, held her arm, and was about to tug my teeth onto it when she yanked me a knock on the head.

E don do, I was about 5 years old then.

5. “Put it on my head”

This is another one of the funny things Nigerian parents say to their children. At first, I thought it was only my mother that used that word, but not until one day I was in one of my friend’s house, not long, his father returned from work and instructed my friend to go pack the foodstuff he had in his car. A few minutes later, he returned with some tubers of yam in his hands. Afterward, he asked his father where he should keep them. Where I was, I was already thinking what kind of question that was, until his father responded by saying, “Put it on my head, mehh!”

6. “Sorry for yourself”

Nigerian parents are highly amusing individuals whom we admire. They often suggest that we apologize when we wrong someone, but when you wrong them, and you say sorry, they respond by saying, “Sorry for yourself”.

7. “It is not me you are doing o, you are doing yourself!”

I remember when I was in High School, a few weeks before my external exam, I got myself a girlfriend which was taboo for our parents to know about. Then this particular night, I was having a phone conversation with her, so engrossed in it to the point I was caught off-guard by my father. However, he started yelling at me, reminding me of how unserious I was, that I would be having my external exam in a couple of weeks, and all I thought was left in my life was chasing girls around. Then there came the word; “It is not me you are doing oo, you are doing yourself, but know that if you fail this exam, that is the end for you, as I don’t have another money for another exam”. But unfortunately, I didn’t make my result, twice. So when he registered me for the GCE exam, I knew I didn’t do myself alone.

8. “Shey you want to beat me? Oya beat me na!”

Most times when your parents are beating you and you held on to their cane, they would leave the cane to you and would be like, ‘Shey you want to beat me ni, oya beat me na.’

9. “When I was your age, I was…”

They say, “When I was your age, I used to wake up at 4: 00. When I was your age, I was the best in my set. When I was your age, I did not think about having a girlfriend, all I think of was my studies; I only faced what my father sent me to school to do”. Those were the words of my father. But he will never tell me that he met my mother in his second year in college, my mother would.


A wave of nostalgia swept me back while penning the funny things my parents said to me then, as those have helped in shaping me into a disciplined being, and to a great length reminds me of the child of whom I am, which I believe it’s the same as others that were brought up by typical Nigerian parents.

Those were the little I could remember about the funny things my parents said to me, which is also common among our Nigerian parents. It would be nice you share a few of yours with us in the comment section below.  

It may interest you to check out less stressful ways to deal with a difficult family member.

11 Signs That Show You Were Raised by Nigerian Parents

11 Signs That Show You Were Raised by Nigerian Parents

To be born in Nigeria is one thing. To grow up with Nigerian parents is another. But then, growing up with Nigerian parents comes with its perks. This is so because their methods of moral orientation will shape you in such a pattern that allows you to perceive the intricacies of life while growing up. Nigerian parents don’t allow their children to do useless things. Thus, they nurture their children until the ethos inculcated in them becomes unforgettable.

However, growing up in a Nigerian home can make some children feel suffocated by the iron hands used in moulding them. But it doesn’t kill them. It only makes them stronger. You know, sometimes, they can just be difficult to deal with. Moreover, when you see certain children or people behave in a disciplined manner, then, such is attributed to the proper upbringing. Nevertheless, Nigerian parents are often glorified for their nifty style of parenting.

Signs That Show you Were Indeed Raised by Nigerian Parents

1. Helping an Elderly Person with Work

One of the traits which exhibit that you grew up with Nigerian parents is helping an elderly figure do something. The thing may be heavy or not, it doesn’t matter. In Nigeria age is revered. Once you become an elderly person. Young people cannot just watch you carry anything by yourself.

Also, when you see an elderly person working, you give a helping hand to that person. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your parents who need helping household chores but it’s expected that the ethos inculcated in you must have given you common sense. It is more like a taboo for you to pass an elderly person without proffering any form of assistance.

2. Sneaking Out to Play With Friends

Nigerian parents so much believe in controlling the playing time of children. It’s as though they have no idea that playtime is an essential part of childhood development. For their child to play too much, it is better they read too much. If you really grew up with Nigerian parents, you can attest that it’s the strictness that makes you weasel out of the house to play with your friends.

“All work no play makes Jack a dull boy” is most common among the boys. They scheme their sneaking timetable in tandem with when their parents leave home. Nigerian parents don’t understand the language of harmonizing work with play.

3. You Never Cry When Lashed

Spare the rod and spoil the child, has always been one of the most cherished principles of Nigerian parents. They don’t want to hear you preach things like counselling their children to stop them from doing something wrong. The only instrument that serves as deterrence towards something bad is “Koboko whip”. They’ll batter your body black and blue, adding that, “if I hear pim, you’ll receive more.”

You are already in pain and wouldn’t want to be flayed alive, so you’ll cry inwardly. When they flog you, they warn you not to wail.

You may want to check out: Beating or Scolding? This is the Correct Way to Discipline Your Child

4. Wanting to Become a Medical Doctor

One of the most intriguing parts about growing up with Nigerian parents is the subconscious persuasion of becoming a medical doctor. (Nigerian parents are not moved by the mere idea of becoming veterinary doctors.) Nigerian parents love to extol the medical profession like it is in every child’s destiny to embrace it. They make it seem like any profession that isn’t MBBS is second.

A lot of Nigerian children out there were, and are still made to believe that becoming a medical doctor is one of the best decisions a child can make regarding future ambitions. But their parents preferred them to study MBBS as one of the most accomplished courses in one’s life. They imply that other professions do not have first-class regard like medicine.

5. Sneaking Out to See Your Lover

This point is mostly connected to girls. Nigerian parents are anti-boyfriend and protective when boys start seeing their daughters. They get this popular belief that boyfriends are a distraction as well as a harbinger of shame.

More so, parents are always cautious of the bad influence that comes with dating. A lot of girls on the other hand cannot do without seeing their boyfriends. Thus, they sneak out to spend time with their lovers.

6. Putting on a New Dress You Don’t Fancy

You just can’t escape this one if you’re growing up with Nigerian parents. From sewing dresses with mawkish style to buying clothes you don’t find attractive. Sometimes Nigerian parents don’t give you room to select what suits your taste buds.

It’s one of those annoying things Nigerian parents do. You must bend to their command, which is regarded as absolute.

7. Avoiding Eye Contact With Elders

Whenever an elder speaks to you, your eyes must never meet theirs. It is perceived as utter disrespect seeing a child look at elders in the eyes when spoken to. So when you’re growing up with a Nigerian parent, you’ll learn to lower your gaze when an elderly person is talking.

The moment an elderly person notices you look at him/her in the eye, the first thing that comes to their mind is that the child is from an uncultured home. And most Nigerian parents don’t allow such indiscipline to manifest in their children.

8. Early Morning Pleasantries to Parents

Nigerian parents love it went their children are well disciplined. Whenever a child wakes up in the morning, it is a ritual to greet his parents. When you grow up with Nigerian parents, early morning sleep isn’t an excuse. If one wants to be free from their drama, it is best to occupy oneself with morning chores.

In addition, Nigerian parents do not tolerate nonsense. They strongly believe in discipline from A-Z. If you happen to come across someone who greets his/her parents early in the morning, you should understand that that person comes from a Nigerian setting. It becomes part and parcel of that person.

9. The Joy of Guests’ Leftover

Truth be told, everyone knows how Nigerian parents regard guests, they treat them like gods. The way they appease them will amaze you, so much that their children will be craving for the leftovers of either juice, snacks, etc.

Nigerian children like to scavenge the packages given to guests. They will be yearning and waiting patiently for the guests to say “I think I shall be taking my leave” so that they can taste all the sweat their mothers broke to make such a masterpiece. Nothing excites Nigerian children like asking their mother, “can I drink the remaining Fanta?” They’re always hopeful that their requests become granted after their long-term patience.

Typical Nigerian children are crazy!

10. You are Always Greeting a Person You Don’t Know

One of the signs that shows growing up with Nigerian parents in one is when parents call their children to greet a distant relative or a family friend. “Mansur, come and greet my mother’s step-grand uncle. He used to visit us when you were born.” And then, the guest will respond, “You won’t know me.” Proudly, they will say it in a tone of jest. And as a child, you have no choice but to greet them.

Nigerian parents are funny people. You can’t take it away from them. Some of the things they do will just leave you shaking your head inwardly, especially as a child. “Mama why na?” can be one of the things that will cross your mind but then, you love them anyway because of their selfless sacrifice.

11. Assisting an Elderly Person Carry Stuffs

There’s a difference between growing up with a Nigerian parent and growing up with a “Nigerian parent”. The first one in bold means Nigerians who are hardworking and train their children to be disciplined in all ramifications, while the second one simply means Nigerian parents who do not strive to inculcate proper values into their children. In a nutshell, when we speak of Nigerian parents, we talk about the first one.

Another sign that shows one grew up with Nigerian parents is assisting an elderly person carry anything with a considerable amount of weight. It is taboo to see an elderly person carrying, let’s say a piece of luggage, and you confidently just walk past them or even ignore the elderly person. The ideal thing to do is to quickly collect the item from the elder, even if the elder says you should leave it. When they say leave it, you should have the sense not to “leave it”.

Nigerian parents don’t allow the infection of indiscipline to afflict their kids.


Summarily, it is reasonable to conclude that growing up with Nigerian parents impacts you in so many ways. Yes, Nigerian parents are strict, that’s unequivocally true. But then, they display their strictness at the cost of giving their children the best in everything. Nigerian parents hate to hear people blemish either their name or reputation.

So as a child, when you’re being raised by them, you’ll ooze with so many traits that whenever people see you, you’ll be recognized and also respected. Those signs can boldly be perceived like messages written on a billboard.

Please feel free to drop your thoughts and opinion on this article. Thank you.

You can also read on: How to Raise a Child as a Single Parent in Arewa.