Unemployment is a worldwide issue which is one of the toughest challenges that South Africa is facing. It has become a social problem because it has an impact on a large number of people. Unemployment has a serious impact on parents’ dignity and affects his/her emotional and socio-economic status, as he/she cannot function effectively. In the view of the above, the goal of the study was to investigate the influence of unemployment on parenting skills in the Waterberg District of the Limpopo Province. The research question that guided the study was: What is the influence of unemployment on parenting skills in the Waterberg District of the Limpopo Province? A qualitative, explorative research study was conducted, with the following objectives: <ol> <li> To theoretically conceptualize unemployment as a social problem and the family as a social system.</li> <li> To empirically investigate the influence of unemployment on parenting skills in the Waterberg District of the Limpopo Province.</li> <li> To make recommendations, based on the results of the study, regarding strategies to help unemployed parents to enhance their parenting skills.</li> </ol> The population of this study was all the black parents who were at least three years unemployed, who were between the ages of 25 – 50 years, parents who had children of school going age, stayed in an informal settlement in the Waterberg District and who were registered clients of the Department of Health and Social Department (DHSD) during the period January 2003 – June 2006. A sample of 10 respondents was selected by using a combination of stratified and simple random sampling to represent the population. The five sub-district offices in the Waterberg District were regarded as strata and from each stratum two respondents were selected randomly. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews guided by a schedule with a set of predetermined questions. The main conclusions drawn from the research findings were that parents expressed negative feelings about their unemployed situation and that they experienced a lack of certain parenting skills namely: communication, decision making, problem solving and conflict management. Based on the results of the study, recommendations were made regarding strategies to help unemployed parents to enhance their parenting skills.