Tough love group marks 30 years

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

An or­gan­i­sa­tion that plays a key role in help­ing par­ents of youth at risk is to mark its thir­ti­eth an­niver­sary later this month.

Over the last three decades, TOUGHLOVE New Zealand has pro­vided sup­port­ive weekly fo­rums and tried and tested strate­gies for cop­ing, to tens of thou­sands of par­ents, faced with the stress and trauma of in­ap­pro­pri­ate teenage be­hav­iour within their own fam­i­lies.

The an­niver­sary is to be cel­e­brated with a gath­er­ing of TOUGHLOVE’s Par­ent Sup­port Group fa­cil­i­ta­tors and other vol­un­teers from across New Zealand at Auck­land’s Qual­ity Ho­tel Lin­coln Green on the evening of Fri­day July 25.

The gath­er­ing is to be ad­dressed by So­cial De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Paula Ben­nett. In ad­di­tion, a panel of vol­un­teers will be dis­cussing is­sues fac­ing par­ents.

‘‘Our thir­ti­eth birth­day comes at a time of height­ened con­cern over youth at risk, which cer­tainly acts as a re­minder of how much work re­mains to be done,’’ TOUGHLOVE’s Na­tional spokesman Peter Alt­mann said.

‘‘Even so, it’s no mean feat for a tightly funded, largely vol­un­teer or­gan­i­sa­tion to have freed so many par­ents from the pit of de­spair into which they’d been cast by the in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour of the chil­dren they love.

‘‘ Such be­hav­iour can take many forms. Per­haps a teen reg­u­larly plays tru­ant from school, fails to do home­work or has de­vel­oped a taste for al­co­hol, drugs or promis­cu­ity. ‘‘Al­ter­na­tively, he or she may be us­ing home as a dump­ing ground, fail­ing to help with house­work, stay­ing out all hours, go­ing miss­ing for days at a time or tak­ing the fam­ily car on joy-rides.

‘‘ And, some­times, a par­ent might be fac­ing worse prob­lems; liv­ing in fear of a po­ten­tially vi­o­lent son or daugh­ter and wor­ry­ing about whether other chil­dren and fam­ily mem­bers are safe,’’ he said.

Alt­mann said that most par­ents at­tend­ing TOUGHLOVE Sup­port Groups are sen­si­ble and con­sci­en­tious people dragged down by sit­u­a­tions they would have thought com­pletely man­age­able un­til it hap­pened to them and their child.

Alt­mann saidt that TOUGHLOVE Sup­port Group fa­cil­i­ta­tors have typ­i­cally ex­pe­ri­enced sim­i­lar is­sues to those faced by the par­ents they’re help­ing.

Feed­back from par­ents con­sis­tently em­pha­sises the im­por­tance they place on be­ing able to talk to people who’ve also ‘‘been through it’’.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.