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 from The Parent Centre.
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 Eastridge, said the effective discipline session was interesting and is currently implementing the points in her household.
“I have learnt that talking about issues and taking time to listen to them are important. Regarding discipline, enforcing rules and letting (children) know the limits and consequences are vital. I have a 16-year-old child and I only want what is best for him,” she said.
Tanya Nelson-Pearce, from Rondevlei, said happily: “I have my son back, thanks to The 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 said the workshop was effective and the skills she’s learnt has made a positive impact in her home. Ms Salie has five children and is currently building a healthy relationship with each of them.
“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 do 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 listen and support their children, the more they will talk about their feelings and what makes them happy. Ms Ebrahim said discipline is 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 in May 1983 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 which is open to parents. Call on 021 762 0116 for more information.