About 50 senior citizens from Mitchell’s Plain converged on the Mitchell’s Plain School of Skills in Rocklands to honour grandparents.
The event was organised by the school in an effort to express gratitude and show appreciation for their role in the school and the community at large.
“This is a special day to thank grandparents for their guidance to their grandchildren which are our pupils. They are using their pension money to support them and today we want to show our appreciation. They (seniors) are sacrificing financially, emotionally and even physically to support them,” said principal Graham Cupido.
He emphasised that a child supported well can perform better in the class than a neglected child. Mr Cupido also thanked stakeholders for having a good working relationship with the school.
Next month, Mr Cupido said, they plan to start a support group for senior citizens which will be open to the community.
“We will organise outings for them just to enjoy themselves because some of them do not have that time because they have to take care of their grandchildren,” he said.
Faried Barendse, 62, from Tafelsig said the event came as a surprise to him. “I was so shocked when I received the invitation because I didn’t expect it. And it’s my first time attending an event like this. I really don’t have words to describe how I feel. The atmosphere here is great. Everything is so fantastic,” said Mr Barendse.
“Being a grandfather is not easy but you need to make them (grandchildren) comfortable when they are around you. You don’t have to shout all the time but make them understand when they are wrong – because even if you tell them they must not play in the car they will do,” he said.
Mr Barendse advised other grandparents to give their grandchildren freedom of movement but be vigilant at the same time.
Kaamiela Christian, 65, from Portland said she felt “honoured and blessed”.
“We are relaxing and making new friends,” she said.
Ms Christian said it was important that grandparents learn to tolerate and understand their grandchildren. ‘Don’t get tired of them (grandchildren). Sometimes they will ask petty things but still you must be nice to them.
“Every morning my grandchildren ask me to make them porridge. Or even ask me to fetch them at school. I do all those things because I love them and I really enjoy that,” she beamed.
Angel Williams, 77, from Rocklands described the event as “memorable”
”This day is dedicated to us and I feel great to be part of it. I really enjoyed myself. I was so excited when I received an invitation,” said Ms Williams, who said events like these make one forget about one’s problems.
“It’s nice here. We are enjoying our food. There is nothing disturbing us and that make us forget about everything. We are free,” she said.
Sonje Pashche, a psychologist at Lentegeur Hospital’s Child and Family Unit spoke to the seniors about the stages of development adolescents go through and how to deal with children of this age. “Grandparents are playing a vital role in our lives and we need to appreciate them. And I want them to be aware about adolescence,” said Dr Pasche.