Parents were encouraged to make space for their relationship with their children to grow by having regular one-on-one time, but at the same setting boundaries.
At the Mother’s Day celebration hosted by the Restoration and Healing House Church in Langa last Sunday, parents and would-be parents were also encouraged to do something they both enjoy with their children. However, they were cautioned that unnecessary spoiling was a no-no.
Pastor Vuyani Buwe, who shared his experience of being the parent of a drug addict, said while his son had been raised well, had all the love and care he needed – and attended good schools – he took a wrong turn in life.
“At around 17 years of age his behaviour started changing. We picked up that he was smoking dagga. We did our part in showing him the dangers of this but failed. He graduated to tik which turned him into a monster. We still did our best to get him help. He has been to three rehabilitation facilities and would relapse within the very first week of being discharged,” he said.
He said as a family they realised that their son was taking the family down with him. He stole from them, and as a last resort, three years ago they decided to put him out of the house.
“It was the most difficult thing to do as parents. But for now, we have turned our pain into purpose. We have started helping other drug addicts around our townships. We run drug awareness workshops and have established two support groups in Gugulethu to help kids like him. We now get joy in sending others to rehab and seeing them recover. Our son is in God’s hands,” he said.
He said the family has made a decision that he will have to reach rock bottom and want to change – and they will support him when that time comes.
Another speaker, Lunga Mazoko, a clinical social worker encouraged parents to develop their relationships with their children. “Be helpful to them when they need you. But buying a child expensive phones is no solution. Listen to them. It is important to be part of their life. But I repeat, do not spoil them rotten. A child should know when you have what she/he wants and when you do not have,” he said.