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Parenting programme creates ripple effect in communities

Monday, 11 Nov 2019

The Real Talk parenting programme, run by Wesley Community Action, is helping bring out the best in parents and families by supporting them to connect the dots and create positive change.

“Parents who’ve come from challenging backgrounds told us that they wanted a forum for discussing parenting, but found they couldn’t relate to existing programmes” says parent leader Tualie Smith.

Wesley responded by drawing from a variety of parenting programmes, with Wesley Waitangirua staff lead by Lizzie Makalio, developing something unique that resonates with the local parents they want to reach. The free six-week programme was trialled in Porirua, and has now expanded to the Wellington’s eastern suburbs, led by Tualie. 

The programme encourages parents to take the best of what they had growing up and build on it. They also reflect on the negatives from their upbringing and make a conscious decision to parent more positively so they can share a happier life with their children.

“Identifying and developing parent leaders is a fundamental part of the programme,” Tualie said.  “They are then able to reach other parents who are facing a lot of life challenges and who are yet to build any trusted, supportive connections in their community.”  

“By helping parents in isolated situations to form meaningful connections with other whānau who live close to them, the programme is creating a ‘ripple’ effect, building confidence and increasing self-belief in the parents, helping to create a community within a community.”

Porirua Grandmother who participated in Real Talk parenting programme

Read more about the difference ‘Real Talk’ has made for one Porirua family

The Real Talk programme was made possible with support from the JR McKenzie Trust and the SKIP Local Initiative Fund.  

If you have a great idea to make positive change for whānau in your community, Skip would love to hear from you. Find out more about SKIP’s support and funding approach.