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Helping tamaiti strengthen family bonds and their sense of belonging, and build their cultural identity.

Who are we?

Community champion Latu To’omaga is Samoan, and the mother of his children is palagi. Watch this short YouTube video(external link) of Latu talking to Vicky Ellison about how his tamaiti are developing a sense of their cultural identity.

In the video, Latu highlights how important it is to expose children to both parents’ cultures. He even asked a friend of his, whose parents are also of different ethnicities, to help him have a conversation with his children. This is a good idea to remember. Asking a friend for moral support when you want to discuss something with kids can be very helpful, especially when they have first-hand experiences they can share.

The important messages to the kids:

  • you’re loved by both parents
  • you belong in both cultures
  • different is awesome
  • we’re all unique.

Teach me about our family

A very important message found on the Tākai baby frieze is 'Teach me about my family’.

This Tākai resource, Teach me about my family, reinforces the importance of talking with children about their whānau. This helps tamaiti increase their sense of belonging and keeps family memories alive.

There are many things families can do to strengthen bonds and build cultural identity.

For example:

  • valuing family treasures and photos
  • sharing songs and dance
  • making sure our tamaiti feel connected to their heritage.

Share stories

Everyone loves family stories. Stories help build memories and cultural identity, and help us know who we are and where we belong. They can be as formal or informal as you like. Sometimes things you never thought would qualify as a story can turn into one!

You may hear tamaiti say, 'Tell me about when I first met grandpa'. It’s a normal thing for every child to ask, and because that story has been told before, the child wants to hear it again. Remember that repetition is an important aspect of learning.

Every family has its stories, for example:

  • the day you were born
  • how our family came to Aotearoa New Zealand
  • what it was like when our family first came here
  • when Grandma went to school
  • what’s it like in our family’s village.

Helpful resources for whānau