Xoli Zondi: Teen mom, teen daughter

Xoli Zondi is known for her role as Zodwa on Generations. But she says her most important role to date is being a mother.

We asked her about her parenting style and advice.

Q: How do you keep the lines of communication open with your teenage daughter?

A: Mandy is always on the phone, so I WhatsApp her and send her voice notes every day. I make a point of listening to her favourite music and watching some of the programmes she likes so that we have a lot to talk about. It’s not easy for a teenager to open up about every tiny detail of their lives, but I don’t give up.

Q: How do you tackle the tough stuff?

A: I’ve had several talks with her about teenage pregnancy as well as about HIV/Aids. I’ve also opened the lines of communication about dating. Unlike me at her age, Mandy is focused on her studies and seems to have a clear understanding of what she wants in life.

Q: Advice for other moms?

A: Don’t rush things. Create a comfortable space for your teen to encourage them to open up and draw closer to you. It’s tricky but possible. Be patient. Instead of imposing your beliefs on them, rather lead by example. Show your child the path they should follow. And don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

Q: Is Mandy being parented the same way you were as a teen?

A: No. My mother never asked our opinion or how we felt. She had a lot on her plate as a single parent and simply didn’t have time to baby us. We never once doubted her love for us but she was strict! I’m raising Mandy differently. She can talk to me, ask me uncomfortable questions and tell me how she feels.

Q: Does your daughter want to follow in your footsteps?

A: She has no desire to be in the arts (thank heavens!). She started off by being interested in dentistry and then she was intrigued by law. Now she has her mind set on becoming an accountant.

Read more: 5 ways to teach your child respect.

Image: Supplied