Workshop Hikitia — Whakatau i ahau

‘Whakatau i ahau’ focuses on managing stress.


There are times throughout  natural child development that can be stressful for pēpi and their whānau. A settled world for pēpi depends on how their parents and whānau deal or cope with issues and stress.

Ngā taumaha — Managing stress

Stress can never be totally prevented, but it can be managed so it doesn’t become overwhelming (see SKIP Tips for under-fives, pages 18–19).

Taumauri — Mana tangata

The underlying philosophy of this wānanga is based on the Āhuru Mōwai principle ‘mana tangata’ — children experience an environment where they are continuously affirmed for who they are: their unique personalities, talents and characteristics.

‘Tikanga’ and ‘rongoā’ are words to learn that embrace the kaupapa of this wānanga.

Whakawhanaungatanga: whakatuwhera, whakatau, mihimihi

Welcome whānau as they arrive, encourage whānau to network with each other and catch up on how things have been for them and their pēpi. Have drinks, refreshments and comfortable seating arranged for the whānau. Provide a parent-and-child–friendly venue.

Open with a karakia and a waiata, your own or see the ones provided. Give an overview. Emphasise that this hui will centre on:

  • the potential for stress to occur
  • adjusting and adapting to stressful events
  • changing events so they are less stressful
  • conflict resolution
  • helping and teaching pēpi to cope.


Start the presentation by asking whānau to think about the natural development of their pēpi. What events might cause stress for them all, including pēpi, as pēpi passes through the different development phases?

For example:

  • 4 months — teething
  • 24 months — starting early childhood education, or adjusting to a new pēpi in the whānau.

Talk and share experiences about how whānau have managed during times when pēpi was stressed.

Create two columns on a whiteboard or chart paper. Call the first column ‘Stressors’ and the second ‘Solutions’. Brainstorm things that stress whānau, and add them to column one.

Then brainstorm solutions that could help to manage the stress, and add them to column two. Some solution ideas may fit the same stressors, so draw lines connecting the issues with possible solutions.

Watch Whānau talk about mirimiri (massage)’ from Tātai Kōrero on YouTube. Invite feedback and summarise the key points shared.


Explain this whakataukī and encourage whānau to have a 2-minute discussion about its meaning:

‘Tohea i te tohe i te kai.’

‘Persistence and perseverance.’


Mirimiri can help to comfort and soothe adults as well as pēpi. Invite an expert to show whānau safe baby massage. Ensure the room is suitable and warm, and that pēpi has a clean mat or blanket to lie on. Have baby massage posters and information available for whānau to take home as well.


Bring everyone together for closing, and invite whānau to share their experience of the day. Reflect on ‘Whakatau i ahau’. Close with a karakia and a waiata, your own or see the ones provided.


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