Find resources / Group parenting programme / Thinking about parenting Module 8

Supporting whānau to explore the concept of conscious parenting.

When parents make sense of the way they were parented, they're more likely to make 'conscious' parenting decisions for their whānau. In some cases, they'll parent their children quite differently to how they were parented.

Learning goals

  • Making links between how we were parented and how we parent.
  • Understanding that what happens during childhood has a lifelong effect on children’s futures.

Session plan

Begin the session with an appropriate settling in time – for example, karakia, gathering thoughts, waiata, simple hellos. This is an opportunity for people to share what’s going on for them, if they wish.

Find waiata for your session

Introduce the topic – today we’re going to spend time thinking about the kind of parents we want to be, and the type of parenting strategies we’d like to use. We’ll be exploring what it was like for us growing up, and what effect that can have on how we raise our own children.

Mix and match from the pūtea of related workshops below. Consider the following when selecting which ones will work best for your group:

  • the size of your group
  • how much time you have
  • the ages of the participants’ children
  • factors such as literacy levels and the particular needs of the individuals you are working with.

Background information

Parenting is one of the most valuable, rewarding and challenging jobs there is. But, children don’t come with an instruction manual. Parents may need support and encouragement to become the parents they want to be.

What surprises some parents is that we find ourselves parenting in the same way as our own parents did. We end up doing things to our own children that were done to us, even though we didn’t like it when we were children.

When parents have made sense of the way they were parented, they’re able to parent differently and make ‘conscious’ parenting decisions for their whānau.

The Tākai booklet Thinking about Parenting is an easy-to-use resource developed to support whānau with their parenting. It promotes reflection and thinking about their child’s future.

Through discussion, it supports whānau to think about:

  • how they want to bring up their child
  • how they interact with and manage their child now
  • how this might feel to the child
  • how to change what they’re doing so that their child has positive memories about their early life
  • how to help their children to grow up to be happy, capable adults.


Tākai resources

Thinking about parenting [PDF, 11 MB]

Whakatipu Te Kākano [PDF, 9.9 MB]

Whakatipu Te Pihinga 1 and 2(external link)

Order free printed resources (external link)

Related articles

Thinking about baby before birth

Thinking about parenting

Love and warmth

Parenting styles- paper, rock, tree


Video: Children's voices: what matters to kids? | Tākai (YouTube)(external link)