We must all try to put tamariki first

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS -

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.

SPEND TIME

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.

SUP­PORT OTH­ERS

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.’'

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