Workshop Roles of a parent


  • Provide a physically safe environment at home and in the community.
  • Promote safe, secure attachments.
  • Prevent child abuse.

Background information

When we become parents for the first time, we’re often unprepared for the many roles that we need to play in our child’s life. We discover that there are countless decisions that we often have to make almost immediately as different situations arise, or demands are made on us by other people or our baby.

If we’re lucky, we’ll have had some close contact with other parents and been able to observe how they manage the day-to-day demands of being in charge ‘24/7’. We might find that we agree with or approve of quite a lot of what other parents do, or we might think to ourselves, ‘I would never do that’, or, ‘I won’t ever let my baby do that’.

We’ll also have our own experience of being a child and being ‘parented’ to draw on, and this experience will probably shape the way we want to parent our child.

You’ll receive lots of information and suggestions from other people too, including your parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and acquaintances, and sometimes just somebody down the street who thinks they know what your baby needs! TV programmes can provide advice or model parenting too.


Discuss the following as a group.

When you think about the way you were parented:

  • What did you really like?
  • What did you really not like?
  • What would you like your child to experience?
  • What will you try not to do with your child?
  • What would you like your child to be like as a young adult, and as a mature adult?
  • What would you like your child to remember from their experience of being parented by you?

Discuss with the group some of the roles that parents play in their child’s life.

What might these roles have to do with:

  • keeping your child safe in your home or in the community?
  • building a safe, secure attachment?
  • protecting your child from any form of abuse?
  • ensuring your child isn’t neglected?
    • What might neglect look like?



SKIP resources

  • Whakatipu booklets, ‘Ngā tohu whānau’ and ‘Whānau say’ sections
  • ‘Children need 6 things to grow into happy, capable adults’ poster

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