Caption: Khanyile Booi, volunteer facilitator at Mustadafin Foundation, participating in the trainer training for the parenting programme.

After gruelling reports surfaced about the missing children in the Cape Flats, Mustadafin Foundation channelled their resources to accommodate a parenting programme to their growing list of community services. The eight week Parenting Skills Programme is currently being rolled out to 47 parents in Khayelitsha and Delft and aims to enhance family communication and help empower parents in the relationship with their children.

The Sunday Times* recently published shocking statistics indicating that nearly 30% of child murders in South Africa have been perpetrated by mothers. Through this research it is evident that too many parents are ill prepared for the pressures and strains of raising children amongst the vast number of social challenges youngsters face within communities.

The Parenting Skills Programme specifically targets the parents of 150 children at Mustadafin Foundation’s Educare Centres in Khayelitsha and Delft. Through this programme, mums and dads with children aged three and older can find great value in understanding how their children develop emotionally and how to support them.

The comprehensive programme focusses on fundamental issues such as understanding child behaviour; building a child’s self-esteem; communicating feelings and emotions; developing listening skills; setting limits; discipline versus punishment; and dealing with criticism.

The programme involves group work, role play and journal reflections that help provide parents who complete the training with a new point of reference for themselves, their children and their family as a whole.

“After successfully completing the sessions, mums and dads are equipped to resolve problems through discussion and family meetings where each member of the family can express themselves without dreading negative reactions from other family members,” comments Hani du Toit, Project and Communications Manager at Mustadafin Foundation.

Suraya Twalingca, Parenting Skills Programme facilitator at Mustadafin Foundation and mother of three children reflects, “The parents attending the workshop are very eager to learn more about how to communicate effectively with their children and to ultimately understand what they are going through. The programme teaches mums and dads the different stages of child development and how they can be there for their children through each of these. We established that parents found it difficult to speak openly with their children about sensitive issues and the programme helps them to have an open conversation with teens.”

“I remember one parent struggled to communicate with her child who used drugs. All the signs of drug abuse were there but she didn’t know how to address and handle it. The programme taught her how to first listen to the child and acknowledge where the problem rooted from – being at home or peer pressure. The sessions provided her with the tools to tackle the problem correctly,” concludes Twalingca.

“When communication within families improve and families learn that love and respect can be expressed in positive ways, our communities will be safer and healthier. We hope to roll out the programme at all our centres, reaching 150 more parents during 2014,” concludes Du Toit.

For more information contact Mustadafin on 021-633-0010 or visit www.mustadafin.org.za. Join their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MustadafinFoundation

* The full article can be found here: http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2013/10/27/mothers-killing-children-report

ABOUT MUSTADAFIN FOUNDATION

The Mustadafin Foundation was established in 1986 as a result of political unrest and violence in the Crossroads Township. Crossroads, at that time was isolated and violence that erupted was due to faction fighting. It had a devastating effect on the local community, particularly women and children.

In order to support the community, a group of professionals offered their expertise, skills and resources. They provided medical care, trauma counselling, accommodation, food and clothing. This group encompassed such a wide range of people working constructively towards a common goal that it was decided to formalise the situation in the hope that this initiative could be maintained – this saw the birth of the Mustadafin Foundation.