North West News – Feb 2017

Message from Teena

Kia ora koe,

Happy New Year to you all.  It’s been a month into the year already! With school starting, this time is all about school supplies, uniforms and managing a mix of emotions in your household as children go through a range of thoughts and feelings about heading back to school (and maybe adults too!).

At the end of the newsletter is some information from the Australian ‘Kids Matter’ website which has some good information around managing different kinds of ‘unhelpful thinking’.

You may be able to apply these ideas to negative emotions your children are voicing if school is not a happy place or they are just experiencing the natural fears and worries that can arise as they start the school year.


Nga mihi

Email Teena
06 281 1642
027 285 6015



Association Information

Taranaki Caregiver Association Key Contact: Heather Pryor (Stratford) Available for peer support, queries and questions welcome. (Best after 3.30pm) Mobile: 0277777615.

Vacancy: Key Contact New Plymouth (Voluntary): Person with good experience as a caregiver. Enjoys assisting with event organisation and bringing people together. Time commitment is small.

Contact Teena if you are interested or would like to know more (0272856015).

Northwest Caregiver Workshops

Kick off this term in Whanganui with Understanding & Managing Behavior (15th Feb).

The other two workshops have not been presented for several years. They are Carer Families (1st March) in New Plymouth which focuses on caregiver well-being and Teamwork in Taumarunui (8th March) focuses on the skills of communication and advocacy.

Fostercare Awareness Week

‘Teamwork’ training falls in Foster-care Awareness week; a finger food lunch will be provided for Taumarunui attendees.

In New Plymouth Fostering Kids NZ, Child, Youth & Family and Open Home Foundation are collaborating again to organise a Caregiver event that celebrates the care and achievements of caregivers in the Taranaki community; details will be advertised when the final arrangements are completed.

Children’s Day – 5th March 2017

Whanganui Region

Ngāti Hauiti Te Rā o ngā Tamariki

Putai Ngahere Reserve
184 Cheltenham Hunterville Road

Time: 10am-12pm   Date: 05/03/2017

Come and celebrate Children’s Day with Egg & Spoon races, three legged races, sack races and lots more!

Grandparents Caring for Grandchildren Coffee Group

I am continuing to go through channels to advertise and ascertain interest in a local support group in New Plymouth.

There’s already a small group meeting with Fostering Kids NZ support.

The next informal coffee will be at ‘Locals Cafe’, 11 Wallath Road, Westown (old Countdown) on Monday 13th February 1.30pm. Please text me to RSVP.

Once the scope of interest is understood, it will be up to participants to decide how they would like the group to proceed. Is my understanding the National charity ‘Grandparents Raising Grandchildren’ have not had a local coordinator in Taranaki, however this could be an option to explore.

Northwest Regional Hui

Along with the Whanganui Association I am in the process of organising a Regional Hui for Caregivers in the Taumarunui, Taranaki and Whanganui areas.

The Hui will be in Whanganui towards the end of the 1st term. The intention of the Hui is to provide information and learning that is directly applicable and meaningful for caregivers.

Whilst it is a 2-hour drive for some, assistance may be available for travel costs and lunch will be provided. I’m open to considering whether childcare could be provided if this is an obstacle to caregivers attending. Further information will be provided asap.  Please contact me with any suggestions or questions.

Challenging unhelpful thinking

Unhelpful thinking is very common in both children and adults. Often we don’t notice it because the thoughts happen automatically.

By listening to the things children say about themselves and their experiences, parents and caregivers can learn to notice and gently challenge children’s unhelpful thinking. The best way to do this is to help children think through the reasons why they think a particular way.

Saying things like, “I can see how you might think that, but maybe there’s another way of looking at it,” or “Let’s see how we can check that out,” are very useful for helping children change their unhelpful thinking. It can help children to know they are not wrong to have unhelpful thoughts (everybody has them), but that learning to identify and change unhelpful thinking is a way of managing their feelings better.

Pattern What a child might think/say A helpful alternative
Overgeneralising I failed this maths test – I am hopeless at EVERYTHING. I may have failed this maths test but I’m good at other things.
Black or white thinking I forgot to say my line. Now the whole play is ruined. I made one mistake. It doesn’t mean the whole thing is ruined.
‘Shoulds’ and ‘musts’ They should have known not to start the game without me. I would have liked them to wait for me, but I can still join in.
Personalising It’s my fault she got hurt. I should have warned her. It was an accident. It’s nobody’s fault.
Magnification This project is so huge I don’t know where to start. I might as well give up. I can manage this if I take it step by step.
Minimisation Who cares if I won an award for ‘most improved’? It doesn’t mean anything. I may not have got the best marks, but I’ve still done well.
Catastrophising The other team looks so good. There’s no way we can win. It will be a tough match, but we can still try our hardest. We might do better than we think.

From – Kids Matter


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