Workshop Being the parents we want to be

Objective

  •  Making the link between how we were parented and how we parent.
  • Understanding that what happens during childhood has a lifelong effect on children’s futures.

Background information

When parents make sense of the way they were parented, they’re more likely to make ‘conscious’ parenting decisions for their whānau. And in some cases, they’ll parent their children quite differently to how they were parented.

Process

Begin the session with an appropriate settling in time — for example, karakia, gathering thoughts, waiata, simple hellos. This is an opportunity for people to share what’s going on for them, if they wish.

Introduce the topic — that today we’re going to spend time thinking about the kind of parents we want to be. We’ll be exploring what it was like for us growing up, and what effect that can have on how we raise our own children.

Activities

  1. Ask participants to think about a happy memory from when they were growing up, and invite them to share with the group if they like.
  2. Listen for common threads — playing outdoors, siblings, cousins, grandparents, making something with someone, being active, simple games, getting together for food.
  3. Make a chart: ‘Happy childhood memories are all about…’
  4. As a group, discuss the following statement: ‘What happens in our childhood has an impact on how we raise our children.’
  5. In pairs, share something your parents did that you want to carry forward. Write it on a sticky note and stick it on a group chart titled: ‘Good ideas from our parents’.
  6. Find a different partner and discuss something our parents did that we don’t want to carry forward, and why. In small groups, share about these things.
  7. Discuss each point and think of ways to do each thing differently. Make a chart with two columns: ‘Instead of …’ and ‘I can…’ Record all of the strategies for doing things differently.
  8. As a group, share ideas for different strategies and alternative ways of parenting.
  9. Wrap up the session with a statement from each participant: ‘Something I’d like my child to say about their childhood is…’

Other activity ideas:

  • Talk about where our babies’ names come from.
  • Think about our babies or little children. What do we want for them? Discuss with the person next to you.
  • Make a group chart with 2 columns: ‘What we want for our kids’, and ‘What we can do about that right now’. Ask participants for ideas, and write them in the columns.

Parenting styles

Introduce the ‘rock’, ‘paper’ and ‘tree’ parenting styles (SKIP Thinking about parenting, p. 3).

Give an example: Twelve-month-old baby is in the high chair and dropping food on the floor. What might the rock, tree and paper parent each do in response?

  • Ask participants to make a circle, then to step in if their mum or dad was a ‘rock’, and to stay in if they’re a rock-style parent. Ask why, or why not?
  • Suggest participants take the parenting style quizOpens in new window on the SKIP website.
  • Recommend that participants read the rest of Thinking about parenting and choose an idea to try.
  • Show the ‘Children’s voices’ video. What do participants think about how the children say they like to be treated? Which ideas could we use?
  • In SKIP Whakatipu booklet Te Kākano, read the legend of Tāne-mahuta and the creation of the first woman. As a group, create a ‘parent’ using playdough. Each participant makes a part of the body (head, torso, 2 arms, 2 hands, 2 legs, 2 feet).

Participants take turns to put their parts together and as they do so, name a quality or skill the parent needs. Participants listen to the qualities and skills and then have the opportunity to make a playdough gift to the parent of anything else that will be helpful.

  • Ko wai ahau? — Ask participants to complete their whakapapa using the page at the back of any Whakatipu booklet.
  • Read and discuss Te Pihinga 1, page 31, and talk about ways participants can introduce baby to their family, so pēpi knows who they belong to.
  • Look at Te Pihinga 2, page 7, and make a simple pepeha.
  • Make the link to brain development — our experience of being parented ‘wires’ our brain and makes the pathways in our brain for parenting.



Resources

Home visiting pages