Tears, laughter and sincere appreciation. This was what 15 parents experienced at the final Positive Parenting Skills Workshop on Friday April 22 at the Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre library.
They spent seven weeks equipping themselves with parenting skills that will help to build positive relationships with their children. It is aimed at all parents and caregivers and was facilitated by Berenice Scott and Nasiera Ebrahim.
The sessions included topics such as understanding children’s behaviour, feelings, building children’s self-esteem, discipline, communication, assertiveness and co-operation, and problem solving.
Nadeema Cassiem from East-ridge said the effective discipline session was interesting and she was using what she had learnt in her home.
“I have learnt that talking about issues and taking time to listen to them are important. Regarding discipline, enforcing rules and letting (children) know what the limits and consequences are vital. I have a 16-year-old child, and I only want what’s best for him,” she said.
Tanya Nelson-Pearce from Rondevlei said happily: “I have my son back, thanks to Parent Centre”.
She said she learnt not to compare and label her children. “My middle child, who is 11 years old, never really listens, does his own thing and is always arguing with me. I have used some of the skills taught by the facilitators, and I have to admit, it is working,” she said.
Veronica Seegers from Eastridge said session two, which focused on understanding children’s feelings, had been interesting and informative.
“We think we understand our children, but we don’t. What I learnt is that we should ask them what makes them unhappy and what makes them happy. Let them have an input in certain decisions such as outings or activities. I loved these sessions. They had me thinking about my family and how I would like to improve things in my home,” she said.
Shamilah Salie from Hanover Park has five children and said the workshop was effective and the skills she had learnt made a positive impact in her home.
“I found the listening skills session very interesting. I have learnt that I have to take time out, to listen, be interested and attentive. They can tell whether they have a parent’s interest and attention by the way we reply or does not reply.
“We need to forget distractions and have proper eye contact to show that you are interested in what they are saying,” she said.
Ms Salie said the more parents listened and supported their children, the more they would talk about their feelings and what made them happy.
Ms Ebrahim said discipline was the cornerstone for understanding values and responsibility.
“Parents who are confident in their role as parents, have knowledge about child development and parenting, are physically and mentally healthy, are ready to deal with the constant demands of parenting,” she said.
The Parent Centre was established 32 years ago as a project of Cape Town Child Welfare Society. The project later grew into a branch of Cape Town Child Welfare Society, and in 1997 it became an independent NPO.
The Parent Centre will have another workshop in June and is open to parents. Call it at 021 762 0116 for more information.