Parenting is a wonderful yet extremely challenging occupation for any adult in spite of buckets of love, compassion and tolerance for their children, particularly teenagers.
While it is easy to lend an ear and a helping hand when children are small, it is a totally different ball game when they become older, self-conscious and opinionated.
Raising teens is a time when parents' face an uphill struggle. It is a roller-coaster ride of peer pressure and not trusting or communicating their fears, concerns, hopes and goals to the people who love them most.
Teenagers are very sensitive and erroneously believe that their parents do not understand them. Parents on the other hand feel the same.
Teens are at a stage of their lives where they feel that parents alienate and mistrust them. They become involved in social and romantic relationships and most parents tend to be beady eyed and over protective. Parents regard their teen children's participation in extramural activities and youth-development projects with a degree of scepticism.
Parents myriad roles should include counsellor, supervisor, tutor or just friend - even though their kids' will resist it.
A grave mistake is to give children ample parental support in their formative years and then to leave them to their own devices when they are older. Parents must give youngsters - particularly teens - space, platform and time to express themselves. Knowing what they are thinking will help parents help their children.
A golden opportunity awaits parents and all adults from Sweizer Renecke, Klerksdorp, Mmabatho, Ventersdorp, Zeerust and Taung because youngsters from these areas will be displaying the folly and futility of crime through music, prose, poetry, dance and acting during the 11th annual Stop Crime Drama Festival at Mmabatho in Mafikeng, North West on March 28 and 29.
This unique programme features young professional artists auditioning productions written, directed and performed by themselves. Even stage-management, lighting and plotting is executed by themselves. There is no blasphemy or vulgarity and clean family fun is guaranteed.
The festival will highlight how youths can help inform and enlighten fellow youth and the general public about solutions and alternatives to crime and criminal behaviour. North West residents are also invited to a residents' anti-crime march on Saturday March 29.
Screen and stage celebrities Darlington Michaels, Seputla Sebogodi, Presley Chweneyagae, Carol Behane, Dieketseng Mnisi, Kere Nyawo and Thulani Didi will join the local community on an anti-crime march from Montshiwa Soccer Stadium to the Mmabana Mmabatho Cultural Centre on March 29 from 9am.
The march will be led by the local South African Police Services Brass band.
It has been organised by the project's innovators and producers Dramatists Against Crime and sponsoring partners Absa Foundation, Sowetan, Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation, North West Sports, Arts and Culture Department, National Arts Council and the Mmabana Mmabatho Cultural Centre.
Everyone is welcome. Schools, churches and all other community formations are invited to join the march at 8.30am, which is starting at the Montshiwa Stadium.