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African Proverbs On Parenting

Guest Author - Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu

Many of us are familiar with the Yoruba proverb "It takes a whole village to raise a child" made popular by Hillary Clinton in the 1990s. However, there are many more Africa proverbs about parenting. Here is some of the sage advice and wisdom from Africa.


It is not hard to nurse a pregnancy, but it is hard to bring up a child. ~Swahili Proverb

When a four-year child is still crawling instead of walking it is time to cry out. ~African Proverb

The motherless child will suckle the grandmother. ~Bambara Proverb

Children will hate all those who give all things to them. ~African Proverb

A single hand cannot nurse a child. ~Swahili Proverb

A child's lie is like a dead fish in a pond that in the end, always comes to the surface, explains his mother. ~Luo Proverb

Haste and hurry can only bear children with many regrets along the way. ~Senegalese Proverb

Train a child the way he should go and make sure you also go the same way. ~African Proverb

A child who is fearless is going to bring tears to his mother's eyes. ~African Proverb

The art of negotiating is acquired from childhood. ~Congolese Proverb

A child who has no mother will not have scars to show on his back. ~Nigerian Proverb

By crawling, a child learns to stand. ~West African Proverb

What the child says, he has heard at home. ~Nigerian Proverb

If a child is not well-behaved, she is not sent by the mother to go alone to the market to buy things for her. ~Nigerian Proverb

A child one does not instruct on return, one instructs him when going. ~Bantu Proverb

When a child knows how to wash his hands well, he eats with the elders. ~Tshi Proverb

An immoral father-in-law cannot advise his children well. ~African Proverb

As you do for your ancestors, your children will do for you. ~African Proverb

You cannot beat a child to take away its tears. ~African Proverb

If your child is dancing clumsily, tell him: 'you are dancing clumsily'; do not tell him: 'darling, do as you please.' ~Twi Proverb

A child who is to be successful is not to be reared exclusively on a bed of down. ~Akan Proverb

When a woman has ten children, there is nothing that happens in the night that she does not know about. ~Nigerian Proverb

A child who is carried on the back will not know how far the journey is. ~Nigerian Proverb

What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn. ~African Proverb

A child brought up where there is always dancing cannot fail to dance. ~Nyanja Proverb

Respect a little child, and let it respect you. ~Bantu Proverb

When a man curses his own child it is a terrible thing. ~African Proverb

A child does not fear treading on dangerous ground until he or she gets hurt. ~Bukusu Proverb

When you take a knife away from a child, give him a piece of wood instead. ~Kenyan Proverb

It is the habit that a child forms at home, that follows them to their marriage. ~Nigerian Proverb

When you bear a grudge, your child will also bear a grudge. ~Rwandese Proverb

If a mother steals with a child strapped in the back what do you expect of the child. ~African Proverb

African Proverb Postcards
African Proverb Postcards Available at AfricaImports.com
As you bring up a child, so he will be. ~Swahili Proverb

A child who fears beating, would never admit that he played with a missing knife. ~Nigerian Proverb

It is the duty of children to wait on elders, and not the elders on children. ~Kenyan Proverb

A child is what you put into him. ~Nigerian Proverb

One should punish a child the first time he comes home with a stolen egg. Otherwise, the day he returns home with a stolen ox, it will be too late. ~Ethiopian Proverb

A child is a child of everyone. ~Sudanese Proverb

Patience is the mother of a beautiful child. ~Bantu Proverb

When the child falls the mother weeps; when the mother falls the child laughs. ~Rwandan Proverb

Too large a morsel chokes the child. ~Mauritanian Proverb

We desire to bequest two things to our children -- the first one is roots; the other one is wings. ~Sudanese Proverb

When a child is asleep a mother's attention is on the child's stomach. ~African Proverb

It's a bad child who does not take advice. ~Ashanti Proverb

The good mother knows what her children will eat. ~Akan Proverb

Parents give birth to the body of their children, but not always to their characters. ~Ganda Proverb

A child is an axe; when it cuts you, you still pick it up and put it on your shoulder. ~Bemba Proverb

Only a mother would carry the child that bites. ~Nigerian Proverb

He who fears the crying of a child, will cry himself. ~Swahili Proverb

A child doesn't breastfeed from a stepmother if its mother is still alive. ~African Proverb

Do not make the dress before the child is born. ~Tanzanian Proverb

You only understand the joys of parenthood when you have your first child, you only understand the mystery of death when in mourning. ~Bahaya Proverb


African Proverbs for Weddings, Marriage, and LoveAfrican Proverbs for Weddings, Marriage and Love
This eBook contains many African proverbs on love and marriage. Some proverbs are very sweet and romantic while others are tongue in cheek and almost making fun of love and romance.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Dawn Denton for details.

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