Wisdom on parenting and family relationships

Dr Silas Mwirigi has authored two books on parenting.
Photo credit: Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • The society, as we knew it a decade or so ago, has morphed and transformed into a global space where myriad cultures are intertwined.
  • Delegated parenting denies the parent an opportunity to fully understand their teenagers.
  • Family is the greatest refuge.

There is no doubt that the world is rapidly changing. The society, as we knew it a decade or so ago, has morphed and transformed into a global space where myriad cultures are intertwined. People continue to borrow and share various aspects of culture that make us unique, as global contact has become a reality through ease of travel. Much realistically, the cultural exchange that include shared cues on lifestyles are exchanged in a click of the button with the advent of technology, and more particularly, the social media. This globalisation has impacted many aspects of life, and different institutions that govern human civilisation. The institutions of parenthood and family have not been spared either.

In his timely book, Wisdom for Parenting Teenagers: Raising Upright Teenagers in a Challenging World, Dr Silas Mwirigi offers practical and realistic advice to parents of teenagers. He provides elaborate step-by-step guidelines on wholesomely understanding the teenagers. For example, he takes the trouble of defining the teenager in terms of their biological, physical, mental and psychological transformation. This clarifies the grey areas that seems to pose a great challenge in understanding the boys and girls who are undergoing the phase between childhood and early adulthood.

Mwirigi does not shy away from calling out the hypocrisy of adults and especially the parents to teenagers, which, in the end, bring to rise the challenges that they encounter while raising their children. For instance, he effectively tackles different parenting styles and the influence on the growth of children. According to him, delegated parenting, for example, denies the parent an opportunity to fully understand their teenagers, their growth processes, strengths and weaknesses as well as the challenges that they could be undergoing. This presents a great threat into the growth of the teenagers as they are left to confront the challenges and novelty of life by themselves, albeit not having the experience and all wisdom to do so.

He tackles different parenting styles and their influence on the growth of children.

Consequently, they end up being predisposed to other challenges such as drug abuse and illicit sex. Mwirigi calls out the society for closing an eye and pretending that teenagers are not exposed to such unconventional behaviours. He calls to consciousness the parents and the society at large to acknowledge the existential threat to parenting teenagers, the challenges that the task brings with it and the faith that all is possible. Ultimately, he offers tips to navigate the responsibilities and demonstrates that indeed, bringing up teenagers is a fulfilling task as it is a God-given duty. Wisdom for Parenting Teenagers: Raising Upright Teenagers in a Challenging World is for everyone who has a teenager depending on them for leadership and direction in life, and I believe that we all can benefit from the text.

Similarly, in Unmasking Repressed Violence in the Family and Society, Dr Silas Mwirigi tells us why there is hope for a relationship that has been through the rough patch. Published this year, the book broadly addresses the challenges that people in the family go through, and especially as left bare by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is not lost on us yet, as we are still in the middle of a pandemic, that family is the greatest refuge. Granted, it is the space where we all retreated to when the world proved to be unsafe and moving out or going about the normal activities proved almost impossible. However, the more time that people spent together, the more it became apparent to some that homes can be violent in different ways. Sadly, there were cases of people being abused by their loved ones or even being violently attacked.

Mwirigi offers the premises on which the challenges and the violence in homes stem. He explores the impact of the pandemic on people’s general and mental health, and what that means to the development of our society. Reading through the chapters, one can only breathe deeply and appreciate that there is a perspective that allows one to look beneath the surface and acknowledge the challenges that people face.

He boldly suggests solutions and steps that can be taken to deal with violence at family level, if we care enough to lead wholesome lives and to have a healthy society. As the pandemic persists to an unknown future, it becomes critical to understand how best to coexist with others and to remain united through the challenges.  

Read together, Wisdom for Parenting Teenagers: Raising Upright Teenagers in a Challenging World and Unmasking Repressed Violence in the Family and Society are timely guides for bringing sanity to the institutions of parenthood and family. The two gems elaborately guide readers on understanding the challenges in the society and how to go about solving them.

You can place orders for the book directly from the author by emailing him at silasmwirigi@gmail.com.

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