How My Belizean Upbringing Shaped My Parenting

There has been a lot of time to reflect on Motherhood these past few months while at home around the clock with these children. If you’re new here I am Belizean and my husband Ade is Nigerian, and we share many of the same principles when it comes to parenting. This post was sparked by a conversation in my group chat, hey ladies, and the uptick in the awareness of pedophilia online.

While there are many things, I’ve carried over from my own childhood experience, a few things I have changed. No shade to my parents, everyone is doing the best they can on their parenting journey. First and foremost, I have changed the lack of affection shown and hearing, “I love you.” I hug and kiss the boys often, I affirm them almost daily, they hear “I love you” more than I heard as an adolescent.

Growing Up Belizean
Young Karese circa 2nd or 3rd Grade

I have also changed the notion that boys aren’t supposed to do housework. Growing up in a Caribbean household, Saturday mornings you were being awakened by loud music and your Mom ready to clean. The entire house. My sister and I had to dust and do the household cleaning, while my brother just took out the garbage. 🙄 I have already started teaching my two boys how to do laundry, cook, mop, do the dishes, and clean the bathrooms. Because guess what? At some point in their life, they will have to live on their own and have basic life skills to survive.

Growing up we were not allowed to sleepover at anyone’s house. LIKE EVER. I don’t remember having a childhood sleepover at any friend’s house, hell we barely were able to sleep at our cousin’s house. The notion in a Caribbean parent’s mind is, protect your girl children. You know from possibly being molested by an older boy/man that may be in the household. I vividly remember my Dad drilling this idea in my head every time I brought it up. While Caleb & Joshua are allowed to sleep at their cousin’s house, they are not allowed to sleep at any classmates or basketball team member’s house. I know many of their peers have more freedom than they do, but I don’t budge on my core beliefs. While my parents worried about protecting their girl children, nowadays, all children are vulnerable.

Let’s talk playing outside. NOPE. Not happening. Unless an adult is present. While we live in a gated community, their friends have to come here to play, Caleb & Joshua do not go there. Their peers are riding their bikes around the neighborhood together in clusters. Caleb & Joshua are riding with us. I know it may seem overly cautious to some, but this is just something that is ingrained in me. I will let loose when they are 12 and 10……maybe. LOL! What have you carried over from your upbringing into your parenting style?

Many of these things I didn’t appreciate or understand when I was younger. But now that I am a parent myself, I definitely value many of the things that my parents instilled in me. Thank you so much for reading this post. If you can relate to anything here, please share a story below.

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4 Comments

  1. Shinese
    July 7, 2020 / 8:07 am

    My daughter hates how I parent her TOO BAD. When she is invited anywhere as you will discover no parents will be calling you. I’m so annoyed by this I’m one of the youngest parents and to her I act the oldest 🙄 because I care. As a result she knows now that I must see an invitation of some form; if she goes her location must be on at all times. She moving closer to being 18 which don’t mean a thing for most Caribbean parents cause I’m still paying her way. Therefore, I tell her she will still have rules to follow as long as she lives in my household. PERIOD!

    • July 7, 2020 / 8:28 am

      Yes Shinese, I am the same way. I need to see an invitation or I tell the boys to give my number so the parents can call me. She will appreciate it when she gets older, just like I am now. Keep up the great work 💜. Thanks so much for reading!

  2. Cara
    July 7, 2020 / 4:34 pm

    This was awesome. Got me thinking! So much of my upbringing influences all that I do…and some of what I don’t do. I have been thinking about how clearly my parents instilled a love for my culture and my blackness. Going to predominantly white schools my entire life…this helped me feel secure in every room I walked into. At the time I didn’t always appreciate the movie choices…or events I was dragged to, but I am so grateful now. I keep that in mind anytime my girls don’t seem interested. Sometimes do it anyway…because this is a memory or nugget of information that will be necessary for the future.

    • July 7, 2020 / 6:43 pm

      Wow, thank you for sharing your experience. I love that you said to do it anyway because that is exactly how I feel when they huff and puff about certain things. They will understand when they get older, just as we have. Thank you so much for reading!

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