Botshabelo, May 23, 2024 – To commemorate National Child Protection Week, the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation’s Thari Programme hosted a two-day dialogue focused on enhancing positive parenting skills.

Positive Parenting: A Parent and Child Dialogue ran on Wednesday 23 May and Thursday 24 May. It brought together parents, teachers and experts for an open dialogue session at Rekopane and Nkgothatseng Primary Schools in Botshabelo in the Free State.

Over the two days, 50 learners and their parents engaged in meaningful discussions, supported by insights from the expert panel. The sessions featured in -depth discussions on the challenges parents and children face during the transition from childhood to adolescence. It took place under the official theme: “Protecting South African Children, 30 years on”.

“Every day, a child is born in South Africa without a manual on how to raise them into responsible citizens. Many of these children are born to teenagers or first-time parents who must navigate parenting with little information on child development. Positive parenting skills are crucial for shaping a child’s psychological adjustment and well-being throughout their life,” says Peter Mahani, Social Welfare Programme Manager at Adopt-a-School Foundation.

“Our event aims to create an open dialogue where parents and learners can discuss challenges and foster communication on important issues like ethical values, education, health, and overall well-being,” Mahani continued.

The sessions were facilitated by experts from the Department of Health, ChildLine Free State, Department of Social Development, Setshabelo Child and Family Services, and the South African Police Service. The experts provided a comprehensive platform for discussing positive parenting approaches and addressing underlying challenges.

Participants also shared their experiences and insights, fostering a collaborative environment where solutions to common issues were be explored.

One of the highlights of the programme was a group task, wherein parents and learners collaborated to identify actionable solutions for fostering positive parenting within their community. The interactive nature of the event ensured active participation and a meaningful exchange of ideas.

“We are grateful to all participants and partners for their active involvement and commitment to promoting positive parenting practices in Botshabelo. This initiative will mark a significant step towards building stronger, healthier communities for future generations. It will lay the foundation for stronger, more communicative relationships between parents and children, which is essential for their development and well-being,” Mahani said.