Harmony=Health: Using Positive Parenting Classes To Grow Emotional & Financial Health

Photo by David Snyder for CRS

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In a context of chronic poverty or illness, where resources are always in short supply, learning new skills for communicating with your children and for becoming a better parent may not seem like the top priority. But caregivers in Lesotho have found that when relationships with those they love are right, then that social support can lead to physical, emotional and even financial health.

The Coordinating Comprehensive Care for Children (4Children) project, a 5-year USAID-funded project, works to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV and other adversities. Improving parenting skills of caregivers affected by HIV is having lifelong effects for the caregivers and their children. Even in contexts of chronic need, caregivers are testifying to the value of positive parenting in bringing harmony and health to their families.

parenting in Lesotho

In parenting groups, family members learn how to listen to each other and solve problems together. Photo by David Snyder for CRS

Maisaka Tau, 69, is a caregiver to her 13-year-old granddaughter, Mpolokeng. Maisaka admitted to being short-tempered with Mpolokeng and beating her when she didn’t listen. During those days, Maisaka noticed her granddaughter was unhappy, fearful and sad.

Maisaka was introduced to a positive parenting program last summer and quickly learned how to express herself better.

“I loved talking about emotions, a skill taught in session four,” says Maisaka. “It helped me to be able to know how to share my emotions with my granddaughter, and this has made our life much easier.”

Maisaka says she and Mpolokeng are able to sit together, plan and budget as a family. What amazes her most is that her granddaughter now voluntarily helps her with gardening and crocheting hats.

“As a result, we are able to produce more hats to sell them in town. With the money we are making from these hats, we have planned that we should save for Mpolokeng’s school fees,” Maisaka says.


“We enjoy talking to each other about how we feel first thing in the morning and last thing before we sleep.” — Maisaka


Mpolokeng has also noticed a change in her grandmother.

“We sit down together and have our special times now. Even if I do things wrong, she doesn’t yell at me anymore, rather she sits down and talks to me in a polite manner with no anger,” Mpolokeng says. “I am so happy.”


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This project is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under cooperative agreement AID-OAA-A-14-00061. The story contents are the responsibility of 4Children and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.