New parenting skills course for Māori families
Pio Terei is well known as an entertainer; less well known is the fact that for twelve years, he’s been presenting The Parenting Show with Pio to Māori audiences throughout New Zealand. His passion for helping parents and families has been combined with proven, research based material to create the new six-session course - Building Awesome Whānau Toolbox.
“We already have four different Toolbox parenting courses,” says Gill Williams, Toolbox Manager at The Parenting Place.
“5,000 parents do these courses every year - more than 40,000 to date - and the third party research shows they have a real impact on parents skills and confidence. This new Building Awesome Whānau Toolbox is a response to requests from both Māori and social service agencies that already run our other Toolbox courses for a parenting course more suitable for Māori parents.”
Terei has been the project leader. “I’ve wanted to create this for years. I know my parenting show goes over well with Māori audiences and gives some good skills and encouragement, but I wanted them to have more - a whole parenting course with a genuine Māori flavour,” says Pio.
“My whānau at The Parenting Place have been awesome at bringing all the ideas and people together to make it happen. Lots of consultation happened to make sure this is the real deal. This isn’t some imported course with a plastic tiki stuck on it - when you see the faces and hear the voices you know it has a Māori heart. It’s got more than just heart, though, there’s lots of very cool modern ideas and research in there as well.”
The project, the writing and choice of material has been a collaborative effort. There was consultation with kaumatua, the public at hui, educators, Toolbox facilitators, parents and partners in the social service field. Compared to other Toolbox courses there is also more discussion, less reading, and much more information is delivered by videos - featuring Pio and others such as Stacey Morrison, Henare O’Keefe, Tina Cross.
“I like the fact that as well as the celebrities and presenters, there are also lots of parents on these videos - Māori parents in real families with real problems, just like the people doing the course”, says Pio.
“The whole idea is that even young, shy parents will relax, relate to the people on screen and take away heaps of good ideas to try.”
Initial testing shows it is fun and engaging for participants and, even though designed for Māori, it has been very well received by Pākehā parents as well. The course is in English but liberally augmented with Te Reo, Māori cultural concepts and whakataukī (proverbs).
“We are very proud of this project - but because it is new we are cautious to say that we’ve got it 100% right straight off,” says Gill Williams.
“It can grow and change in response to feedback and research but, I have to say, the first people to do the course have raved about it!”
Pio Terei, The Parenting Place CEO Bruce Anderson, Toolbox manager Gill Williams, Hon Paula Bennett and creative producer John Cowan, picture at the Awesome Whanau Toolbox launch.
Minister of Social Development, Hon Paula Bennett officially launched the Building
Awesome Whānau Toolbox on Friday 4 July at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. OHbaby! were privileged to have been invited to the launch event. Hon Paula Bennett gave a clear endorsement for the initiative stating she had a lot of respect for the Building Awesome Whānau programme.
"This is an area where we cannot afford to make mistakes. The state cannot replace the role of the parent therefore we must build our families and strengthen our parents," said Paula Bennett.
Visit The Parenting Place website www.theparentingplace.com/whanau for more
information on the Building Awesome Whanau Toolbox and a video preview of the material.