I’ve had conversations with my friends who were born in traditional homes – that is – homes where their parents still believed in certain traditional practices like tribal marking their children’s faces.
Now, on this issue of tribal marks, I get that many of our ancestors did this. Hundreds of years ago, it was a form of identification and cleansing. For the most part, my friends have come to live with it. But this does not mean given the option, it’s a choice they would make.
My Dad has tribal marks but none of us(his children) do. I suppose the tradition stopped with him and for this I’m grateful. I know that when I eventually have my own kids, there won’t be that struggle or pressure to mark them. Although if there was I’d still stand my ground and say no.
This also applies to everything else to be honest. Gleaning from your parents’ wisdom but also understanding that ultimately you are the decision-maker for your kids and not your parents can be a blurry line sometimes.
I do believe respecting your partner’s culture is important if their ‘practices’ are not a deal-breaker for you. (Again, things to discuss before marriage :D). I know a friend who got married to a Caribbean lady and apparently, (I had no idea this was the case) they don’t circumcise men in their culture.
Although she did compromise and agree to have it done to their son, she was unable to stay in the room when the circumcision was being performed. Now, this wasn’t because of parental pressure or anything but many times our culture is learned from our parents, so we just believe this is how things should be done. So when different cultures come together in marriage, these are things to consider. But I digress.
My husband and I have an understanding. I am ‘good cop’ to his family and ‘bad cop’ to mine and it’s the same with him and his family. This basically means if there is pressure from his family on anything, not even just tradition, that we don’t agree with, he deals with them and stands between them and me and puts out any fire before it gets to me.
If there’s any pressure from my family, I do the same. And this is how we shield our marriage from parental influence we don’t agree with. It also helps that we’re on the same page. So my advice would be to make sure you are both fully united on how you choose to raise your children, so that no outside influence, parental or not, can change that.