In the shadows of truth: the polarized family
In the shadows of truth is yet another of Rev. Can. Dr. Elly Kansiime’s interesting books that highlight the insights about family life. In his first book entitled “Integrating Faith with Work” a Ministry Transformational Model, he dealt with how poor work ethics affects Christian societies, families and individuals negatively. In his latest book, Kansiime deals with how families have been polarized due to circumstantial factors affecting parents and children. Families are living in the shadows of the realities. While life seems to be going on normally, behind scenes, there are worse things happening among the children living under the same roof with their parents, knowingly or unknowingly. The realities experienced in families have been overshadowed by the parental absence in the name of work and children’s education and these have resulted into polarizing family life. In this book the author deals with the hidden realities posed by parents who spend most of their time at work and less at home, while the children spend a lot of time at school and later with house workers. In the course of that long period of time of separation, children find intimacy with the school teachers, peers and house workers with whom they stay for longer hours as compared with what they spend with their parents. The parents knowingly or unknowingly have created a lot of space through which their children learn things that will affect them negatively for the rest of their lives. The author therefore attributes most of the negative aspects of life that are experienced in families as a result of the current trends where parents and children are separated by work and school life. These have denied parents to perform their roles and even spare some time with their children as parents. As a result the parental responsibilities have been shifted to teachers and house workers. All that children know and do, come from other most frequent sources than from their parents. He calls them “worlds” in which each world is seen as having an influence on the children. The time the children spend in those worlds is more than the time they spend with their parents, and therefore the impact of influence is greater than of parents. He points out that even when parents are available, they tend to spend their time on T.V, Radio or News Papers and seem not interested in their children’s concerns. Sometimes making children to lose confidence of their parents and suspecting them of non- responsive attitudes towards their concerns. They develop polarized relationships. The advice the author presents is that parents should not assume that their children’s concerns are dealt with at school or by the house keepers without knowing that each world of their experience responds differently against family norms, and imparts different behaviors which later contradict family norms and spill over to the wider communities. He says that despite all these, the parents tend to pretend that their children are free of bad practices and yet the truth is that many things are happening behind “curtains”, not of bricks and fabrics, but of neglect, ignorance and pretense. In that case children are found to live and do things less known and understood by their parents, even when the parents are aware that their children are highly influenced and are behaving badly, instead of helping them they protect them in order to safe guard their own parental position from those who are not happy with their behaviors. On the side the children try to hide away from their parents as if nothing is happening, yet under the same roof and in the schools they trust, many things are happening and when parents discover, it becomes too late to put them right. This book therefore focuses on parental ethical roles. It is a very moving family ethical exposition that will build parents and help them to rethink about what they have been doing without knowing that they were “killing” their families and their children’s future. I would greatly advise and invite parents and those intending to raise families in future to read this moving book with numerous examples that portray real life experience in order to guard against being held responsible for their children’s failures in life. Children also are encouraged to read it in order to be helped to guard against the influences of the “many worlds” at their disposal. It is a book that will help most parents and children to see what has been happening between them and be able to adjust where things have not been going the way they should have been. I do therefore recommend this ethical exposition to families, individuals such as house workers and schools as a tool for responsible parenting.
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