First Parent Child Workshop: BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP






The parents came out in numbers for this workshop as it was the first of its nature in the organisation. When the organisation mentioned under its objectives that its aim is to bridge the gap between parents and children relationships, it all seemed unclear and misunderstood.

When Mr. Skotoyi did the opening, he reminded the parents about the reason for the workshop. Emphasizing that ‘parents tend to forget that times have changed and the challenges they fought for had changed and yet parents still refer their decisions for their children based on the past. Children end up making uninformed decisions due to lack of information and support from parents, which leads them to all the socio economic ills they face’. Parents were well aware of that and could not agree more that they need some skills to help them support and encourage their kids into making informed decisions.



The facilitator, Mr. Mahlanyana started by asking the rest of the group to introduce themselves answering three questions

  1. What is your name what it means and who gave it to you?
  2. If you would win R100 000 from national lottery, what would you do with that money?
  3. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

The most interesting part of this first round was for parents to listen to their children saying what they would do if they won the R100 000 and what they want to be in 10 years’ time. Simple conversations like that do not take place at home, parents do not know the dreams of their children and what they think about their life statuses. Some children mentioned that they would buy houses for their parents if they would win that R100 000 and some even said that they would build orphanage homes for the neglected and poor. Parents were also given the chance to reply to those questions and answers included investing for children’s education and starting business. This type of conversation alone creates an environment where parents and children have something to talk about and to look forward to.

The second part was differentiating between listening and hearing. Parents tend to do a lot of hearing than listening to their children. When a parent is hearing, it is whereby it is busy doing something or thinking about something else and not paying attention to what the child is saying. This leads to children withdrawing from being open about their feelings and life activities.


The video clip

The facilitator decided to play a very inspirational video clip, which showed exactly how the generation gap exists between children and their parents. The video was about a boy coming from school and was very happy to show his father the questions he got correct answers for from school. This boy has recently lost his mother and was only staying with his father. So when his father heard the news from his boy, he put him on his lap and gave him a block of chocolate as motivation for the child to keep it up at school.

After a minute, the boy asked his father a question “Papa, what is SEX?” His father immediately changed his expression to a very aggressive expression asking the child where he heard about that, slapping him and pushing him to the floor. The father then decided to step out and make some few calls in connection to what just happened. The last called he dialed was to his female friend, but his female friend already knew what he would be calling about, so she did not give him a chance to explain. She just told him that he should support the child and be there for him as he just lost his mother. So father decided to go back inside the house, found the boy doing his homework and went to him. He apologized for slapping him and gave him a hug. The boy then showed his father the same word he asked him earlier, the name was in the form the received from school to fill, so the word he was asking about actually meant GENGER.

So the boy was not given the chance to explain or answer where he heard about the word.


Video clip outcome

So from this video, three types of fathers were identified

  1. The good father: When the child was given a chocolate as type of motivation.
  2. The monster father: When the father slapped and push his son to the floor.
  3. The apologetic father: When the father came back to apologize to the boy for slapping him and tried to listen.

So the question was to the parents that were I the workshop ‘The question to the parents that were at the workshop was’ which type of father or mother are you?’

Overall feeling of the workshop from participants

From being the observer and looking at the pictures of the workshop, 99% of the participant felt happy about the workshop and felt that there should be more of them. Parents realized that they do a lot of hearing than listening to their children. There is a difference between the two. When someone hear that you are talking, they are busy thinking or doing something else and are not paying attention at all in what you are saying. But when someone is listening, they listen attentively and ask question and even throw suggestions and advices. That is what these parents do not have and they did realize that.


WORKSHOP INITIATED AND SUMMARISED BY: The Chief Executive Officer-Mr. T Skotoyi