THE PARENTING PLACE
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100% Kiwi, The Parenting Place’s Toolbox courses are designed to encourage and equip parents and caregivers with the confidence they need to build strong, healthy families.
Each course is six weeks long, and delivered by local, trained facilitators – fellow parents who are passionate about inspiring families to thrive. The courses are practical, fun and filled with great take-home strategies that work. As well as giving participants ideas and insights, a huge benefit of the small group dynamic is the support and encouragement the group members give to each other.
Building Awesome Whānau
Building Awesome Whānau is the latest addition to the Toolbox family. Since its launch 18 months ago, it has come to represent 48 percent of all our courses. It is packed full of great ideas, positive stories from parents still on the journey with their own tamariki, and useful resources to help you build a great future for your whānau.
The Early Years (0-6)
The most important years in your child's development are these early years. During these six sessions you will discover and apply new tools and strategies to use with your family. Our hope is that by the end of this course you will have the skills to set appropriate boundaries for your child and develop a strong and loving bond with them.
The Middle Years (6-12)
Nothing gives parents more pleasure than seeing their children grow and mature in the family. The middle years are vital. They are your window of opportunity to stay connected, teach skills and build memories. It is now that children learn about right and wrong, and most important of all, it is during these years that they are still interested in what you as a parent think!
Tweens and Teens (12-18)
The Tweens and Teens Toolbox is ideal for parents whose children have not yet reached puberty, or are in the early 'tween' stage of adolescence. With this course, you won't be caught unprepared, and if your children are already in the midst of the teenage years, there is so much in every session you will be able to use straight away.
• Atmosphere • Boundaries • Communication
Discipline Self-esteem • Future focus
the parenting place
the marshmallow before the 15 minutes were up. The most successful children distracted themselves – they looked away, played with something else, talked quietly to themselves, sang, and made up games with their hands and feet. Some even tried to fall asleep.
Follow-up studies over the course of their lives revealed that the children who were able to avoid temptation were healthier, had greater success at school and in their careers, and had stronger relationships.[
3,4] Self-control is being able to manage behaviours and emotions to get to a longer-term goal. This means delaying gratification, controlling impulses, pushing through frustration, persevering with a challenge, waiting patiently for your turn, and controlling emotional outbursts. Most children seem to master self-control by the time they are 10 years old. Children who lack self-control don’t lack intelligence. People who are impulsive and quick to take risks have wonderful strengths. They are often the ones who become our adventurers, discoverers, entrepreneurs, and inventors.
They can also land themselves in a lot of trouble. Self-control feeds directly into decision-making. A shortage of self-control during childhood might lead to a bit too much fun food at the party, more time gaming than homework-ing, or a few too many tantrums.
In the short term, the fallout from these decisions might seem fairly benign. Nobody’s world has ever fallen apart from a belly full of cake on a Sunday afternoon. During adolescence though, the consequences of poor decisions and a lack of self-control, could be disastrous.
Adolescents who lack self-control are more likely to make decisions that close down opportunities and set them on a path to a more harmful lifestyle. These include decisions around their health (drinking, smoking, diet, sleep), money (gambling, irresponsible spending, choosing play over work) and behaviour (relationships, work, study, addiction, sex). Adolescence is a time of massive brain change, designed to support their preparation
Conducting an orchestra
Each child has a musical instrument and the adult has a baton. When you wave the baton, the orchestra plays. When you put the baton down, everyone has to stop – shh. When the baton is moving fast, they play fast, and when it’s slow, they play slow. Then flip the rules. Stop playing when the baton is waving, start when it’s down. Play fast when the baton is slow, and slow when it’s fast. All children will get frustrated and impulsive from time to time. This is all part of them growing up and finding their place in the world. Self-control is built over time, and there’s no hurry for them to become experts. It is a quality that can be strengthened, whatever their age. Building small humans into healthy, capable, bigger ones takes time. The important thing is to provide the opportunities that will nurture them along.
Moffitt, T., Arseneault, L., Belsky, D., Dickson, N., Hancox, R., & Harrington, H. et al. (2011). A gradient of childhood self-control predicts health, wealth, and public safety. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(7), 2693-2698. http -//dx.doi. org/10.1073/pnas.1010076108. Mischel, W., Ebbesen, E., & Raskoff Zeiss, A. (1972). Cognitive and attentional mechanisms in delay of gratification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 21(2), 204-218. http -//dx.doi. org/10.1037/h0032198. Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., & Rodriguez, M. (1989). Delay of gratification in children. Science, 244(4907), 933-938.http -//dx.doi.org/10.1126/ science.2658056. Schlam, T., Wilson, N., Shoda, Y., Mischel, W., & Ayduk, O. (2013). Preschoolers' delay of gratification predicts their body mass 30 years later. The Journal of Pediatrics, 162(1), 90-93.http -//dx.doi. org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.06.049. Tominey, S. L., & Mcclelland, M. M. (2011). Red light, purple light – findings from a randomized trial using circle time games to improve behavioral self-regulation in preschool. Early Education and Development, 22(3), 489-519.
of our Creator and should therefore be received and cared for with honour. This is manaakitanga. To extend manaakitanga is to enhance the mana of others, from the first encounter to the last, with no expectation of return or personal gain. It is selfless and genuinely about the other – “We were designed and created to be recipients of love.”
We teach our children about manaakitanga. It’s a significant part of what makes them who they are as Māori. One of their first lessons in manaakitanga was to greet each of our guests personally. For our daughter, Psalm, this came naturally. Psalm’s delight in meeting someone new has never discriminated. Her arms seem to find their way around whatever new neck is available.
One such neck belonged to a man who has since become a brother to us. His exterior is staunch, his arms covered in tattoos and he’s accustomed to people being guarded, if not nervous, in his presence so he tends to stay within his frame. Since he was first introduced as uncle, Psalm’s greeting for him has been to shriek his name and launch herself at him, arms outstretched. It has never entered her head that he might not catch her. This began when she was two. He had done nothing to deserve her love, yet she delighted in him, as uncle.
He later told us that for a long time, he hadn’t known how to react to Psalm’s assaults of affection. He would awkwardly pat the back of this wriggling, giggling, apparently legless child hanging off his neck and look at us wide-eyed, as if to question what the heck was happening. He talked about how he slowly learned to receive her cuddles.
Because of her unconditional, relentless delight in him, he slowly found the freedom to unfold and delight in her too. He now looks forward to the moment when he hears, “Uncle!” and that shriek of hers, and he catches her in a tangle of laughter. Those tattooed arms squeezing the wriggling, giggling child in reciprocated love. He said she has undone him.
“From the youngest to the oldest, we are all capable of much love.” This way of life comes with its own unique sacrifices which we try to insulate our children from, as my parents did us. Sometimes, when the benefits and beauty aren’t tangible enough in our children’s eyes, I find myself reaching for the words of my