Course breaks communication barriers

The group of parents with their certificates after graduating from a parental skills training course. In front, fourth from left, are Doctor Connie Valkin and Jenny Stead.

Lotus River parents graduated after completing a six-week parental skills training course aimed at strengthening the communication between parent and child, building self-esteem and discipline.

The graduation took place at Buck Road Primary School, on Thursday September 6, with the course having been run for free at a number of primary schools, by Both Sides of the Story (BSOS) a non-profit organisation.

The proud parents thanked facilitators and founder members Jenny Stead and Dr Connie Valkin for arming them with tools to make a difference in their community.

Ursula Dirks, who is a community worker who works with children, said: “If we can implement what we have learned we will create a healthy and wealthy commu-

Ms Dirks, who volunteers to help children read and write, said she had encountered many children with behavioural problems.

“We need some upliftment in the community and to help our children, to combat gangsterism. I also would like to become a facilitator myself,” said Ms Dirks.

Anotherparent,Belinda Slinders, said she worked for the City’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and that it had been a requirement as an EPWP workers to do this course and she did not regret it. “I have three kids. We grew up with parents who did not give us hugs or tell us they loved us. Now I have been given the guidance to interact and help build the self-esteem of my 11 year old.”

Newly-wed couple Faiza and Tagneem Jacobs said they also learned how to teach children to respect their parents and their elders.

The issues dealt with in the classes included how to motivate children, how to cope with bullying, how to protect children from bad influences and how to get a child to open up.