We must all try to put tamariki first
Children’s Day is a time for us to pause, reflect and honour our kids.
For every child in New Zealand, the world truly is their oyster. They’re precious, valuable and are filled with greatness and potential. They have their whole lives ahead of them. And they deserve to be nurtured and surrounded by people who can help them thrive.
That’s why, back in 2000, the first Children’s Commissioner introduced a national day of awareness and celebration for our kids. After all, we recognise Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, so why not put the same emphasis on our tamariki?
Whether we have kids of our own or not, every one of us has a role to play in making sure that Kiwi kids feel safe, loved and able to reach their potential. Children’s Day, which is held on the first Sunday of March, is a time to pause, reflect and honour our children, and an opportunity for all New Zealanders to think about the collective responsibility we all have to put our tamariki first.
There are so many ways we can come together to put our tamariki first, and often it’s the simple things you can do for a child or their family that makes a world of difference.
Giving up some of your time costs nothing but can be priceless. Just small commitments make a difference like taking the time to listen to children’s thoughts and views, sharing aroha and affection, and setting time aside to offer praise and encouragement.
It’s not just about what we can do; it’s important that we encourage our wha¯nau and friends to put tamariki first too. If your neighbour has children and at times life may be a little overwhelming, offer your help. If you know there is someone in your child’s sports team who is having trouble getting to practice, offer to take them. Share a friend’s load by offering to care for their children for a few hours, pick up their groceries, or just spend some time together.
JOIN IN THE FUN
Get involved with Children’s Day to help celebrate Kiwi kids. It’s easy to organise an event for the families and children in your community. It could be anything big or small – from a teddy bears’ picnic, to an art exhibition or children’s expo. You may want to organise something in conjunction with your local council, community group, church, school or ko¯hanga reo.
Consider getting your workplace involved (you could hold a ‘‘bring your kids to work day’’), or simply take your wha¯nau along to one of the hundreds of events held in communities around the country. Find a Children’s Day event near your place on neighbourly.co.nz.
While Children’s Day is just one day out of 365 for us as a nation to celebrate children, let’s all aim to put tamariki first every day. This year Children’s Day is on Sunday, March 4. To register and find out about organising an event, or to see what’s happening in your community, visit childrensday.org.nz.
‘’We all have a role to play to make sure Kiwi kids feel safe, loved and are able to reach their potential.’'