‘Winners in the community’
It’s not easy being the only man in a parent course but ‘‘Dubz’’ thinks other fathers should give it a go.
‘‘You don’t have to use your hands with your kids - you can use your voice.’’
The 23-year-old’s third child was born during the 14 week course and slept through Tuesday’s graduation ceremony at Waitangirua Wesley Community Action in Porirua.
Surrounded by prams, toys and toddlers, 19 parents collected certificates from Judge Jan Kelly - a fitting end to months of hard work, manager Liz Makalio said.
‘‘Its a big deal to keep whanau engaged for 14 weeks though winter with sick babies and sick parents. This is really huge for these people.’’
The 14 week course taught parents strategies to care better for their children, covering everything from play time to communication to teaching them ways to calm down when upset or angry.
‘‘We’re not big on time out. It’s more about teaching them to calm down and use words, which is important for when they grow up.’’
One of the graduates thought the course was so important it should be made a requirement for all high school students.
Challice Peita, 24, draped the lei she was awarded by Judge Kelly around her daughter’s neck and said she wished the course could continue.
‘‘It’s the really simple stuff you learn about that you didn’t even think about before. ‘‘It’s like learning about playing with your child that will make you a better parent.’’
Another graduate, Tianna Hyland said she learned more about herself during the course and would recommend it to anyone, regardless of age.
‘‘Everyone should do it, whether you think you’re the perfect parent or not.’’
Staff at Wesley were trained to deliver the Ministry of Education course to their own community - after putting a Porirua spin to the teaching - the key to good outcomes, Makalio said.
‘‘It’s about our own teaching our own, which is what we need in our community.’’
The parents will be encouraged to come back every few months to reconnect and keep up the skills they learnt in the course.
‘‘We need winners in the community,’’ she said.
Challice Peita and daughter Diamond Akavi, 10 months, at the graduation on Tuesday.