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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 -// 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

real life

Han­nah's mum, Thelma, dad, Haami, three broth­ers - Hami Ora, John, and Luke, and Ma­bel, Han­nah's grand­mother on her mum's side. Taken af­ter Haami was awarded the QMS.

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