Nigerian parents are a funny lot, who literally do almost ‘too much’ in training their children. 

One of those very ‘too much’ is the ridiculous myths they told us as children just to keep us from doing certain wrongs. And we, believing them, live our lives by these myths only to discover later in life that they are shams. Chaii! 

Here are a few we could remember.

1. You will give birth to a child with a resemblance to someone you cross over: Very funny how this has become an integral part of our habits even as adults. In a typical Nigerian home, you are trained not to cross someone because if you do, you would give birth to a child looking exactly like the person. Wawu!

2. Rat would eat your hands if you don’t wash up: Again, Nigerian parents came up with the stories of “if you don’t wash your hands, rat will rip off it”. No child hearing this could go to sleep and not have nightmares. So, one way or the other, you just find yourself doing it. Why was it so difficult for them to have told us that it is proper hygiene to wash hands after eating. 

3. You Don’t Sweep at night: Nigerian parents tell how sweeping at night could mean sweeping away blessings. I still wonder till now, how?

4. You don’t pluck leaves at night: Plucking leaves at night means disturbing some evil spirits. You surely, won’t want to dare.

5. If you eat too much, it will grow on your head: This was just a common saying in Nigerian homes just to keep you from eating your favourite always and wrecking them financially.

6. Throw your teeth on the rooftop: Remember when you removed your milk teeth? It was a culture back then to throw your tooth on the rooftop or bury it so that the adult teeth would grow back. 

7. Don’t broom to beat a boy: You don’t whip a boy with a broom because his dick would run in. How nao…This was really scary back then. We so took it to heart because you definitely would not like to render your brother impotent. 

8. Don’t serve food on fire to a boy: This is also similar to the previous one. Don’t serve food on fire to a boy or you risk getting him impotent.

9. Don’t whistle at night: Nigerian parents tell you never to whistle at night because you could be calling evil spirit. 

10. Put a thread on a baby’s hair: Ever had a baby sibling? Nigerian parents tell us to put a strand of thread on a baby’s head to stop it from hiccuping. So far, it has worked for them.

11. You will get pregnant if a boy laps you: Sex education is a huge task for Nigerian parents. They so twist it that a boy merely touching a girl, talk much of lapping, would automatically turn to pregnancy.

12. You leave clothes out overnight: You don’t leave your washed clothes out over the night. It’s a taboo in Nigerian homes. They tell us how evil spirit could evade the clothes and live in it.

13. If a Witch looks at the protruding stomach of a pregnant woman, it would abort the baby. For this reason, it is advised to attach a safety pin to the stomach of the woman. 

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