Families learn about discipline and communication

Mitchells Plain parents completed a parenting skills course and teenagers a behavioural modification course with the Department of Social Development.

Many youngsters face problems they don’t know how to solve, and many parents do not know how to handle troublesome teens.

But help was at hand for them when the Department of Social Development (DSD) ran a six-week course on parenting and behaviour modification.

The parents and teenagers, from Mitchell’s Plain, received a certificate at the DSD office on Friday March 31.

“The parents came to us and said my child is not bonding with the family, they don’t obey the rules of the home, they come home late at night, mix with the wrong friends and parents do not know how to cope with a teen in the house,” said social worker Mervin du Plooy.

The participants were first assessed by a social worker before they were referred to the programme, which has been running since February 2017.

“The teenagers have been taught how to be assertive, they can now solve problems, if they are being teased they can decide whether they want to walk away, count till 10 and then respond or just ignore the person,” he said.

He said they gave parents and children the tools to communicate with and respect each other, and also conducted home visits.

Shahied Abrahams, 48, from Lentegeur, who has four children and works three to four days a week, received a call that his son, 15, was bunking at the train station.

When Mr Abrahams ap-
proached the department for help, his son was assessed and referred to the programme. His wife attended with their son and Mr Abrahams hopes to be part of the next programme.

“My son is now back at school and has learned he can talk to us. We have learned we can ask for help. They (the children) are more disciplined and they listen to us, when we talk to them,” he said.

Single mom Celeste Sauer, 34, from Tafelsig, has three children and is unemployed.

“I’ve learned to negotiate with my daughter. She knows she can come to me and together we can make it better,” she said, adding that: “It is a work in progress.”

Cloe Jacobs, 13, said she was caught attempting to smoke and that she had been hanging out with the wrong friends.

“Now I know the importance of discipline,” she said.

“You have a choice to make up with your parents. You must make that decision,” she said.

Grandmother Johanna van Sitters, 67, from Tafelsig, who cares for her daughter’s two sons said it was tough raising teenagers.

“I’ve learned quite a lot. How I can help them, the development of the child, from when it is in the mother’s womb and that they need to grow up in
a positive environment,” she said.

Ms Van Sitters said it was difficult to make ends meet because they were living off social grants.

She encouraged all parents to seek help and get involved in parent classes and support groups.

Her grandson Calem, 12, said he attended the programme because he was rude to his grandmother and “I wanted to hit my big brother”.

Calem said he had learned to communicate effectively.

For more information about the programme and to access help, call 021 001 2674.