‘Win­ners in the com­mu­nity’

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

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.

PHOTO: VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

Chal­lice Peita and daugh­ter Di­a­mond Akavi, 10 months, at the grad­u­a­tion on Tues­day.

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