The foundation of good parenting is a loving and trusting relationship with your child, and it makes dealing with behaviours in positive ways easier and more effective.

When a child has many positive experiences, they build strong, positive brain pathways that will help them all through their life with learning and relationships.

Loving relationships

In the Whakatipu booklet Te Pihinga 3 (page 23), under ‘A structured and secure world’, it says:

‘Remember…a loving and trusting relationship is the best foundation we can give her.’

Ask whānau:

  • How does being loved give a child a good foundation?
  • What do they learn from it?

Offer a suggestion if needed. Maybe: ‘I’m loved, so I’m loveable, so I’m worth loving, and so I’m an okay person’.

  • How can a child know they can trust their family to care for them, and give them a good foundation?
  • What happens if they can’t trust their family to care for them?
  • Why are loving relationships so important?

Love as a foundation

When parents provide warm, loving relationships, other aspects of parenting are likely to go better. It’s the foundation for everything else that parents do – without a secure relationship, strategies like limit-setting won’t work nearly as well.

  • How do you think you can help your child understand they’re loved, and that they can trust people?
  • Around this time, some challenging or annoying behaviours may start to happen. Have you been noticing your child:
    • wanting to do things for themselves?
    • having a tantrum?
    • grizzling and whining?
  • What have you been noticing?
  • How have you been dealing with that?
  • How does your child react when you do that?
  • What do you think they might be feeling or thinking?
  • If you were the child, how do you think you’d feel?
  • Do you think your responses affect their feelings of trust and being loved? How?

Making a plan

If their child’s behaviours are causing parents to become angry or frustrated, help the whānau develop a good strategy that emphasises positive ways to deal with the behaviours.

Read the article on Positive experiences [LINK] for more help with this session.

Helpful resources for whānau