All whānau experience raruraru (trouble/disputes) at one time or another — sometimes with their tamariki and sometimes with each other. Of course every situation is different, but sometimes it can really help to share feelings of frustration with others.
Unfortunately feelings sometimes ‘erupt’, particularly when anger or alcohol is involved. It is much better to talk about upsets when we feel in control and can speak in a calm way. Whānau can show their tamariki that talking about problems can help, as well as looking for better ways to address any arguments in the future.
Pages 7 and 8 of the Whakatipu booklet Te Kōhuri 2 are about tatau pounamu — both its historical origins and its implications for everyday whānau life. Traditionally a peace agreement between warring hapū and iwi, tatau pounamu symbolised the ‘closing of the door’ on the issues and an agreement for future peace.
Although what goes on in whānau lives is not exactly a war, it can sometimes feel like it when stresses are great and tempers are frayed.
Ask the whānau:
- Have there been times like this for you, either recently or in the past?
- What would it feel like to have this traditional practice of tatau pounamu in our lives today?
- How would it be to be able to ‘close the door’ on past troubles?
- Would you like to resolve an issue with someone?
- What would it take?
- How could it happen?
At this stage our tamariki are listening and watching and taking their cues from the people around them about how to behave. If the kōrero is negative, or people are aggressive or antagonistic, they will notice and they will copy.
- How do you create peaceful relationships in your whānau?
- How could we negotiate a peace agreement — hohou te rongo, and include tamariki?
- How do you restore calm after a raruraru?
- What are the things you do to calm yourself and others?
- What are ways to keep your own and everyone else’s mana intact during tough times?
- Who are the natural peace keepers in the whānau?
- What concerns you about raruraru when it happens?
- How would you like it to be in your home?
- What could you do to make that happen?
Ngā tohu whānau (on pages 22 and 23 of the Whakatipu booklet Te Kōhuri 2), and the ara mātua — parenting pathways resources (see link below), talk about guiding tamariki, negotiating limits and boundaries, as well as love and warmth.
- Are any ideas here that might help create the sort of home environment you’d like to have?
Helping tamariki to change their behaviour
One of the realities of life is that we can’t force a child to change their behaviour. What we can do though is change some of the things we do, which in turn may create a change in them. It doesn’t need to be seen as ‘giving in’ to them if we set up the house to be ‘child friendly’ or let them have choices over what they wear, or praise them when they do things we want them to do.
If possible, watch the SKIP Children’s Voices video which asks children 4 important questions:
- How should we talk to you?
- How can we help you behave well?
- How can we reward you?
- How can we help you when you’re upset?
The children in Children’s Voices are older than our tamariki, but the messages they share are relevant for all ages.
Is there anything you heard from these tamariki that could help you to create a more peaceful home?
Let’s look at the ara mātua for this 24-36 months stage and see if there are any ideas here to help keep things peaceful that you might like to try.
How does this relate to the SKIP resources?
Baby Wall Frieze - Ka taea e au ki te mātakitaki - I can watch. I will copy what I see you do and what I hear you say.
Six things children need -
Every one of the six tohu whānau applies to this kaupapa, as they each have a role in building positive relationships with our tamariki.
Te aroha me te mahana - love and warmth
Te kōrero me te whakarongo - talking and listening
Te ārahi me te māramatanga - guidance and understanding
Te tūāpapa mō te tika me te hē - limits and boundaries
Te mahi pono - ngā hua me ngā hapa - consistency and consequences
Te hanga ao tōtika, ao haumaru - structured and secure world