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An Open Conversation with Parents: Insights from Salesians ‘Yes I Can Programme’

On Saturday, December 2, 2023, a two-hour interactive session was held with the parents and guardians of some Year 4 learners who had participated in the Goals and Values Setting and Social Media and Me modules presented by the Rotary Club of Waterfront and Realty Learning SA.

The purpose of the engagement was to share with the parents an overview of the course; its positive impacts; and offer some guidance on how they could continue to support their young adults going forward.

Research shows that parental engagement in school is closely linked to better student behaviour, higher academic achievement, and enhanced social skills. By engaging with parents, children and adolescents are also more likely to avoid unhealthy behaviour, such as sexual activity and substance use.

During the session, parents openly shared their experiences on how they dealt with their challenging children. One parent expressed concern about her child’s disinterest in taking life seriously as she grows older each year, while another parent emphasized the need for his very authoritarian approach to parenting.

The parents expressed their gratitude to the Rotary Club of Waterfront and Reality Learning SA for offering the Goals Setting and Values, and Social Media and Me modules. One grandparent highlighted the importance of the Social Media and Me module. 
Seeing the pictures and witnessing the active participation of the learners brought a glow to the parents’ faces. They were pleased to see their children participating attentively and eagerly in the workshops through a video clip.

The key messages from the session are:

  • It’s important to acknowledge that parents are also affected by the increasing demands of their jobs and the unsafe communities they live in. To provide them with the necessary support, regular and structured sessions on specific topics are required.
  • It’s surprising to learn that the challenges faced by children are quite similar to those faced by their parents, which are also frequently highlighted in local community newspapers. Therefore, it’s crucial to help parents become better role models for their children, which can be achieved through effective communication, open dialogues, and avoiding the tendency to blame and shame.
Above: President Mymoena Ismail and Bernadette Duddy – CEO Founder of Reality Learning SA (Pty) Ltd – facilitating the group. 

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