Happy memories reflect a happy childhood. Using simple tasks and activities, whānau can create happy, healthy experiences for their child.

In this video from the Ministry of Health, we meet parents Ria and Barry, who have 2 tamariki aged 3 and 4. They talk about caring for their children and working towards their goals for their children – to grow up happy and healthy.

Parents Ria and Barry talk about parenting (transcript)

Ria and Barry share the things that are important for them and their children.

Here are some suggestions to help start a conversation with the whānau.

Ask whānau:

  • What do you think of Ria and Barry’s kōrero?
  • What do you think about the goals they talk about?
  • Ria says that being a parent is difficult but has the best rewards. What do you think she means by this?
  • What are your thoughts about being a parent?

Remember the simple things

Ria and Barry talk about making memories: skateboards, drawing, gardening. It doesn’t have to be anything special or grand.

  • What were some happy memories from your childhood?
  • Are there any particular activities that come to mind, such as beach trips, walks in the , ball games, picnics, tree climbing?
  • What memories are your tamariki building now?
  • What memories would you like them to have?
  • What can you do about it?
  • What do you think about the advice that Erika, the Well Child Tamariki Ora nurse, gives?
  • Are there any questions you’d like to ask your Well Child Tamariki Ora nurse?
  • Would you like to put some questions together for your nurse?

Using Ngā Ara Mātua – parenting pathways

The 'ngā ara mātua' resource help us focus on the wellbeing and security of our tamariki. Look at Ara Mātua 3–4 years with whānau.

Ask the whānau if there are any ideas they want to try. Some new routines or activities can be refreshing and enjoyable to add into the family’s day-to-day existence.

Even simple things like spending some time every day playing and being with our child can make a difference. Although it sounds pretty basic, sometimes the reality of parenting is we get distracted with other things and the day flies by. So, it’s a matter of doing the simple things but doing them every day and being fully engaged with our tamaiti when we do them.

Having a few simple rules – and sticking to them. Again it sounds simple, but it’s very easy to forget or let it slip. And we need to follow through on things ourselves if we want to help our tamariki to make some positive changes, too.

Suggest to whānau that you work out a few simple tasks together, either from the suggestions in ngā ara mātua or by making up something especially for their tamaiti.

All the self-care things like teeth cleaning, dressing themselves, sitting down to eat a healthy meal or avoiding sweet or unhealthy kai can be looked at in the same way as ngā ara mātua. They are all about guiding our tamaiti on a path towards health and happiness.

As the tamaiti says in Te Māhuri (page 6), "My whānau says it’s alright for me to eat heaps of healthy kai, but not too much sugar."

Helpful resources for whānau